What should i do if I am behind on my property taxes?

Property tax rates and properties subject to taxation are determined by the state and locality in which a person lives. Property taxes generally apply to a person’s tangible belongings, such as a home or motor vehicle, as well as intangibles such as brand franchise names, stocks and bonds. Many people who are behind on their property taxes are forced to see their homes be sold in a Property Tax Lien Sale where, in order to get money owed to it from delinquent property taxes, the county sells the property through either its tax deed or tax lien certificate. If you are a real estate owner, there are several important things to know if you about how to make sure you are not being held to property taxes that are not your fault.

If you attempt other methods of resolution for your tax debt such as penalty abatement but you do not qualify or the government still files a lien against your property, you can try to get a withdrawal of the lien or an appeal of the lien if you are have a qualifying reason (the government made a procedural error, you already paid the amount due, et cetera).

Additionally, however, it is important to know that you can dispute the Assessed Value of your property if you feel that your property is assessed to high. It is not uncommon for county assessors to have incorrect information on someone’s property information (one example includes a taxpayer listed as having a swimming pool on his property that was nonexistent!) You can also petition for a review of your property’s evaluation on the grounds of the market approach, the income approach, or the cost approach. The market approach compares comparable properties to yours to attempt to show that they are either valued lower by the county assessor or have sold at a lower price than the one at which your is valued. The income approach examines the real estate’s projected future benefits in determining the property’s value, and the cost approach involves calculating what the cost of building or rebuilding the property added to the value of the land would be. 

A attorney is not required in most states to file a petition to dispute your property’s assessed value, but a skilled tax attorney can let you know if you have a case or not and assist you in the legal process.

This article is not intended to dispense legal advice.




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