The current issue of Realtor Magazine has some practical advice for the majority of homeowners who have seen their property's value decline as their tax bills continue to rise:
If, after a review with a residential broker or appraiser, a home’s assessed value seems out of line with current market values, the home owner should undertake an investigation to determine what might have caused the incorrect valuation. Here are some steps for your client to follow:
1. Arrange a visit with the local tax assessor and request a complete copy of the home’s tax records. Property record cards are public records and are universally available.
2. Pay particular attention to the market comparables listed on the property record card. These recently sold homes are the basis for the assessor’s valuation of your client’s home. Visit those houses or view them online, and compare them to the client’s house.
3. Take the appropriate equalization ratio and multiply the market value you believe appropriate for the home by that rate. If the number is lower than the current assessment, your client should file a tax appeal.