This week while visiting with several owners at the Orlando Apopka Airport, a development where we have been selling property for years, one person mentioned the increase in taxable value that he noticed on his tax notice from Orange County. The increase on his vacant lot was excessive and needed to be appealed.
Hearing this, I researched other comparable properties and found the same discrepancy. The problem was wide spread on that lot size. We felt we could not just sit back and let this happen to people we have worked with, and become friends with over the years. During the last two days my husband, Ron, and I have called all of the owners we could, to let them know about the problem. The appraiser's office is advising that each owner should appeal, but the issue may be resolved without it running the full course. The tax office acknowledges something is wrong and is looking into it. By taking an active roll as an advocate for our customers, we hope to save them real money when they pay their property taxes this year.
Too often property owners don't pay attention to the information sent to them regarding their taxes. To some degree they may feel helpless. It doesn't need to be that way. With the help of a real estate professional, appealing your tax bill doesn't need to be daunting.
Here are a few pointers on this issue. This is by no means a comprehensive guide on appealing your tax bill.
If you own any real estate, it is vitally important that you pay attention to the notices you receive from the Tax Appraiser during the year. Often times there is only a short window to appeal the market value placed on your property.
Why should you appeal if you have Homestead Exemption? In the even you ever decide to move but plan to keep your property (perhaps as a rental), you will lose this protection and be taxed at the total "Market Value." At that time you will wish you had acted when you had the opportunity.
Before you can think of appealing your tax bill, you need to make sure you have a case. To do this I suggest contacting a real estate professional to help you. You need to find out if the comparable sales in your area are lower than the value placed on your home. If they are, you may have a case.
File an Appeal
How do you appeal the market value placed on your property? First look on the notice you received. Often the instructions are right there. Second you could go to the website of the appraiser for your county or call them for direction. In our county a website was listed right on the notice. The site included everything needed to appeal, including an online application. There is a small fee, $15 in our county. You may need to have your property appraised during the process.
I strongly suggest contacting a trusted Realtor for assistance. They can help arm you with the information you will need during the appeal.
Because every county is different in their handling of these appeals, you will need to find out what the procedure is for where your property is located.
In the case of the Orlando Apopka Airport, we are still in the beginning of the process, my roll is one of providing my customers with all of the information they need to make sure that the market value placed on their property is fair. Watch my blog in the future to find out how these owners do with their appeal.
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