Real Property Taxation Lawyer
Taxes on land have been around almost since the dawn of civilization, so a “brief” history of property tax is anything but. The Pilgrims first imposed tax laws in 1620s, the funds were integral for state and local governments raising revenue throughout the 1800s, and property tax rules are very much in force today. Since they are not going away, you must understand and comply with the laws that apply to your jurisdiction. At the same time, you owe it to yourself to challenge your tax bill if you think officials have made a mistake in assessing your property value.
If you have questions or need help regarding property tax levies, appraisal, or collection, you can trust our team at Lehman Tax Law for knowledgeable, personalized advice. We have in-depth knowledge of the complex tax laws that apply in various jurisdictions throughout the US, and we strive to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients. Please contact our office to set up a consultation with a real property taxation lawyer, but some general information may be helpful.
Potential Challenges to Property Tax Assessments
Officials employ various methods as part of the appraisal and assessment process, but the three most common approaches include:
- The cost of the property, which comprises the value of the land and any structures upon it, minus depreciation;
- A sales comparison that reviews the purchase process for similar properties that have recently sold in the same area; and,
- The income method that evaluates capitalization and what earnings the property may generate, such as through rental.
Obviously, if you seek to contest your property’s assessment for tax purposes, you will not get a favorable result by simply complaining that it was valued too high by officials. You need solid proof and evidence of some error with respect to the above methods for assessing property value. For example, the following mistakes may favor your position:
- The assessor erred in the description of the property, structures, and/or fixtures;
- There was a miscalculation in determining the tax amount;
- If the assessment was based upon #2 above, the comparison properties may not be similar enough to warrant the valuation; or,
- There are issues with the property that are not visible or known by the assessor, such as a government easement on the land or the presence of mold in the home.
The Ongoing Process of Real Property Assessment: In many US states, local governments and school districts rely upon “ad valorem” taxes for revenue. This term refers to a tax that is levied upon a percentage of the property value. Ad valorem taxes are regressive in nature, which means that the rate decreases as the taxpayer’s income increases. Other states may conduct a value reassessment when the property is sold, or upon an annual or other periodic basis.
Consult with a Real Property Taxation Attorney About Assessment Issues
To learn more about our services in the area of real property taxes, please call Lehman Tax Law at 561-368-1113 or visit us online. You can set up a free consultation with Richard S. Lehman, who can explain how the laws apply to your unique circumstances.