Example of a property tax appeal letter.
As you go through the process of appealing your property taxes and challenging your assessment, it is always a good idea to have much of the communication take place in writing. It is always a good idea to keep any important communication on any topic in writing as claims of verbal communication does not hold up in court. That approach of documenting everything allows the homeowner to keep records of the property tax appeal process, helps ensure the case and appeal is not ignored or claimed to have never been received, and it will ensure that any agreed upon deal can’t be contested.
As your read the example letter below that can be used to challenge your assessment, it may be possible that all sections of it do not apply to your particular situation. For example the property tax record card that the local town or county assessor has on file may be accurate, but it may be that the comparable home sales section of the example letter is what applies to your situation. Or maybe the list of improvements done to your home is wrong.
So only use those sections that apply, and of course feel free to adjust the example to fit your personal situation. As it is fairly common for each appeal case to vary slightly from others. The appeal letter as well as the calculations should be specific to the real estate taxes that are paid on your home, otherwise this approach will not work.
This is just one tool as well as resource to use as your challenge your taxes. Homeowners have many other options available to them. Click here to get more details on the overall appeal process and how a letter can fit into the approach.
Property tax appeal letter
To the Assessor/Tax Tribunal/Board of Review:
Please let this letter serve as my notice to appeal my property tax assessment for the following reasons. I have provided details on why my home is overassessed below.
- According to the Property Record that you have filed, I have noted the following discrepancies between your records and what is currently in my home.
- I do not have a deck as indicated. Estimated tax value - $2,200,
- My home does not have a 3 car garage as indicated. It only has a 2 car garage. Estimated tax value - $1,500.
- The home is not 1,800 square feet of living space as indicated on your property tax record card. I only have 1,000 square feet. Reduced value of $7,500.
- The home is in fact 20 years old, and not 17 as you have indicated. The estimated reduction for this error is $2,000.
Please deduct this amount from my assessment $11,200.
- The following are structural defects on my property. These defects and needed improvements reduce the value and resell price of my home by the following amounts:
- Cracked exterior wall - $2,000.
- Cracked foundation - $5,000.
Please deduct this amount from the value of my property - $7,000
- The following homes and properties were recently sold on my street and in my neighborhood. These are examples of comparable homes, as they have similar amount of square feet, improvements, and age to the home that I am appealing. I wish to make the following comparable to my home which will show the property taxes on my house are too high.
- 100 Main Street, assessed value of this home is $250,000. My home is comparable to this.
- 3040 Tree Road. This house recently sold for $200,000, and it is comparable to my home in square footage, age, and other aspects.
My home should be assessed at a value of $225,000 based on these two comparables.
As you will see from the information I provided above in this letter to challenge as well as appeal my property taxes, the card you have on file incorrectly states the improvements along with the overall condition of my home. In addition, the comparable sales do not support your assessment. So I am paying too much money on my real estate taxes.
My home should be assessed at a value of no greater than $225,000. Please adjust my assessed value accordingly. Or of you would like to discuss this further, I would be glad to stop by to informally discuss, or I can also go through the formal process. I can be reached at 451-555-6712.
110 Main Street
Note the dollar amount associated with the the errors made by the assessor can often be calculated in the letter by backing out the value of the discrepancy. For example, if the assessor said the total square footage is 10% too high, then back out the equivalent percentage from the assessed value of the home. Be sure this value is documented clearly in the property tax appeal letter you draft.
As noted above, this property tax appeal letter is just an example, and feel free to edit it as needed for your circumstance. You may need to delete certain portions of the letter, modify the amounts, add additional examples (say of improvements or comparable sales) and make other modifications.