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Did you know you can appeal your property taxes?

Assessors can and do make miscalculations, commonly due to incorrect information, such as bedroom count, location or size. Since they’re a considerable expense, it’s good practice to scrutinize your taxes, especially if you’re in a costly state, like Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey or New York, which have the highest property taxes in the U.S.

If you believe your municipality overestimated your property taxes, you can appeal the assessment—but, you have to prepare, according to authorities at the Appraisal Institute, an appraisers association with more than 17,000 members worldwide.

“Homeowners should know that when errors are made in how local governments calculate a homeowner’s property tax bill, they can appeal the assessment,” explains Jefferson L. Sherman, president of the Appraisal Institute.

To aid your case, an appraiser can help, according to Sherman—but not all are created equal.

“It’s important to choose an appraiser who conforms to a strict code of ethics, such as one governing the actions of Appraisal Institute Designated Members,” says Sherman, adding “homeowners should consider having an independent appraisal prepared and then present the appraisal report to the assessor because appraisers…are to act in an independent, objective and impartial manner, and advocate only for their expertly developed value opinions.”

In addition to expert guidance, appraisers can connect homeowners with other professionals, such as an attorney, to assist in the appeal process, says Sherman.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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