CHICAGO – May 5, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Homeowners who are considering property tax appeals should be prepared with all the relevant information and be mindful of local rules, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers said today.
As many U.S. homeowners begin receiving their local property tax bills, the Appraisal Institute offered suggestions to make the appeal process easier.
The amount of property taxes due to local municipalities is typically based on the location and assessed value of the home. Consumers also should understand that the assessed value of a property can change over time if, for example, improvements are made.
“There can be a big difference in property taxes from county to county and state to state. Regardless of where one lives, it’s important to know how property taxes are calculated locally and to follow all related legal requirements,” said Appraisal Institute President M. Lance Coyle, MAI, SRA.
While consumers might think they have a good idea of whether their property has been properly assessed, it’s much easier to make the case that their taxes are too high if there’s a professional appraisal to back up the argument. Homeowners should consider having an independent appraisal prepared and present the appraisal report to the assessor because appraisers are third-party experts who provide credible opinions of value. Consumers also should be mindful of Internal Revenue Service rules.
“Many homeowners recently filed tax returns with the IRS. Looking ahead to future tax filings, it’s important to understand that the agency has specific rules about the deductibility of property taxes, and consumers should with check with their tax professionals accordingly,” Coyle said.
There can be various stages of tax appeals based on the municipality, and Coyle suggested that homeowners consult with their assessor’s office or a local appraiser who can provide expertise. An experienced appraiser can also shed light on the local appeals process.
“Homeowners should be sure to hire a highly competent, well qualified appraiser, such as a Designated member of the Appraisal Institute,” Coyle said.
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The Appraisal Institute is a global professional association of real estate appraisers, with nearly 21,000 professionals in almost 60 countries throughout the world. Its mission is to advance professionalism and ethics, global standards, methodologies, and practices through the professional development of property economics worldwide. Organized in 1932, the Appraisal Institute advocates equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the appraisal profession and conducts its activities in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Individuals of the Appraisal Institute benefit from an array of professional education and advocacy programs, and may hold the prestigious MAI, SRPA, SRA, AI-GRS and AI-RRS designations. Learn more at www.appraisalinstitute.org.