Real Property Taxation
Before income tax, before sales tax, there was property tax. Property tax is still with us today. Even states that have abolished their income tax still tax property at some level. Rates around the country range from .27% to 2.44%, and where property values are high, even modest tax rates can hit property owners with a significant tax bill. Florida ranks around the middle of the country, with a .98% property tax rate and a $1,752 median annual tax. Taxing authorities can make mistakes, and you have the right to challenge your tax bill if you think it’s wrong. For help with issues surrounding the levy, appraisal or collection of real property taxes, call Lehman Tax Law to discuss your concerns with a dedicated and experienced real property taxation attorney.
Challenging a Property Assessment
Property can be appraised and assessed using different methods. The three most popular methods are:
- Cost – The value of the land plus any structures, less depreciation
- Sales Comparison – What have comparable properties in the area sold for recently?
- Income – Appraisal based on capitalization and income potential of income (rental) properties
It does no good to appear before a taxing authority and complain that your property was assessed too high. You need to have evidence that shows some error was made in the process. Did the assessor make a mistake in describing the home or property? Was the tax figured correctly? If sales comparisons were used, were the properties truly comparable to the subject property, and were the sales recent enough in time? Were there factors hurting the home’s value that the appraiser didn’t know about, such as a shifting or subsiding foundation or the presence of termites, lead or mold?
Lehman Tax Law can help you prepare and present your case for an adjustment of your taxes, whether appearing before the local assessor, a state agency, or in court where applicable.
Real Property Is Continually Assessed and Reassessed
In most states, local governments such as municipalities and school districts rely heavily on ad valorem taxes (taxes based on a proportion of property value) for a significant portion of their revenue. Yet ad valorem taxes are regressive taxes; they hit lower-income and fixed-income property owners the hardest. In some states, property values are reassessed when the property is sold or if significant improvements are made. In other states, reassessments occur every three years or even annually. A reassessment can sometimes come as an unwelcome surprise in the form of a shockingly high tax bill you weren’t expecting and had not budgeted or planned for. If you feel your property was not fairly or accurately assessed, an experienced real property tax lawyer can evaluate your situation and let you know what recourse you might have.
Get Professional Legal Help Regarding Real Property Taxation
For help with real property taxation issues in Boca Raton, Florida, or nationwide, call Lehman Tax Law at 561-368-1113 for a complimentary consultation with a skilled and experienced real property taxation attorney.