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Appealing a property tax assessment is a process—and preparation is key.

Gathering the appropriate documentation is one of the most important steps to prepare. According to the Appraisal Institute, property taxes are based on the assessed value of the property and its location—variables that can change. Documents pertaining to a credible, independent appraisal can help make the case for a reassessment.

“Assessors aren’t out to ‘get’ homeowners,” says Jim Amorin, president of the Appraisal Institute. “They are usually local elected officials who not only want to make voters happy, but are trying to get it right. Typically, if an assessment is inaccurate, it’s because assessors use value models that don’t take into account the condition, features or improvements made in individual properties.”

Consult with the local assessor’s office to determine the steps for appealing an assessment, the Appraisal Institute advises. An appraiser versed in local regulations can also be a valuable resource.

Keep in mind, as well, that assessors will be on the lookout for too-low appraisals, so working with a qualified, professional appraiser is essential.

“It’s important for homeowners to hire an appraiser who conforms to industry standards,” Amorin says. “Designated members of the Appraisal Institute abide by a strict code of ethics and can help ensure an independent, objective and impartial opinion of value.”

Source: Appraisal Institute

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