Every year, homeowners and business owners get a real estate tax bill. And, every year, it goes up and up, regardless of the state of the property or what you think the property is worth. However, you may be able to reduce your real estate tax bill if you appeal it.
When you get your real estate tax bill
Around the same time every year, you receive a real estate or property tax bill that states what the county tax assessor believes your home is worth. If you do not object or appeal this decision, your property tax bill will be based on a percentage of that assessed property value. However, within that bill, there will be an appeal notice, which gives you notice on how to appeal that assessed value and the resulting bill.
Follow that appeal notice
If you disagree with your property tax value assessment, follow the instructions on how to appeal that value. You will need to file something online, but some counties require that you file something through the mail. If that is the case, make sure you do it through certified mail with tracking. Save that tracking information and call to make sure they received the appeal notice. If you do not follow the rules, your may lose your Los Angeles, California, appeal rights.
Preparing for the appeal
The first step in preparing for the appeal is deciding what you are arguing for in the appeal. In other words, why do you think the value is different. Is it because you disagree with the actual value, think the assessor is valuing your property differently (equalized taxable value) or other special value? The most common appeal type is actual value, which is that your property’s value is different from comparable properties because of unique characteristics and quality, like flood or fire damage.
While you can function as a witness as to your knowledge and belief, you will need more. This includes pictures, cost estimates to fix the issues, etc. If you are using an alternative appraisal, make sure that the appraiser is there as a witness.
Follow the rules
Prior to your appeal, you will receive a notice of your appeal time and date. Within that communication, you will also receive information on how to present evidence, what to bring with you to the appeal, etc. If you fail to follow these rules, you may lose your appeal. Though, remember, you can always hire a Los Angeles, California, attorney to fight this for you.