Property Taxes Just Went Up? We’ve Got You Covered!

It’s reassessment season for most folks in our area. 

Homeowners all across Southwestern Indiana and Western Kentucky where we appraise have recently been the unfortunate recipients of a reassessment letter from the local PVA or Tax Assessor.  While taxes are part of living in this great Nation (remember what Ben Franklin said?), that doesn’t mean we have to like it.  Or just roll over and accept it.  Want to know your options?  Read on.

If your property value has recently been reassessed, leading to a large increase (I’ve heard some have had bumps upwards of 30%-40%) in property taxes, you might want to consider appealing.  It won’t always work, because for some, it’s been years since you’ve been reassessed, and you’re just now being brought up to where you should’ve been five years ago.

But for the rest of us, here’s what I recommend:


  1. Make a call.  It’s free, and could be well worth your time.  Explain your case to the assessor why you think your assessment is too high.  The worst they can do is say ‘no’.  But be prepared.  Have some local sales, or good reasons why your property isn’t worth what they say it is (outdated, damaged, in a flood zone, etc etc).
  2. If that doesn’t work, find out what your assessor’s procedure is for a formal appeal.  Some will want you to fill out a form, while others may have different rules to follow.  Most will want you to provide some kind of evidence to back up your claim, though.  This is where we come in.An appraiser will come out and complete an appraisal of your home, which will take into account all the good, bad, or ugly stuff an assessor won’t see since they usually don’t go inside homes.  If the appraisal is lower than your assessment, then you can use that as the basis for appealing your taxes.
  3. Keep in mind that an appraisal for tax appeal is not a silver bullet.  There’s no guarantee that the appraisal will come in lower than what the assessor has you valued at.  But it’s a really good option if you have even the faintest idea that your home is over-assessed.Here’s an example:Your home just got bumped up a whopping 35%, which will end up costing you an extra $1,000/year in taxes.  Yikes!  Let’s say an appraisal costs $500 (will be different depending on the appraiser and area).  If the assessor lowers your taxes even by 50% of the increase, then after year 1, you’re already making your investment back!  And, if the assessor puts you back to your previous assessment, after only six months, you’ve recouped the expense of the appraisal, and will enjoy the benefits of lower taxes for the next few years, at least.


What to provide the appraiser

  1. Any relevant, recent sales from your neighborhood.  Now, if you’re in a $300,000 home, don’t give the appraiser a $90,000 foreclosure.  That’s just wasting your time and the appraiser’s.  No appraiser in their right mind will use that, and even if they do – the assessor will laugh you out of their office during the appeal.
  2. Updates, or lack thereof.  When was the last update on your home?  If it’s been since Clinton was in office, it might be worth noting.  Have a basement that floods?  A furnace that isn’t working?  A roof that leaks?  Let the appraiser know.
  3. Information about the neighborhood.  Hopefully the appraiser is already familiar with your neighborhood, but he or she might not know the juicy details about the meth house two doors down.  Or the manufacturing plant that causes a ton of traffic on your street a few times each day.  Or the proposed Dollar General across the street in the currently open field.


Keep in mind, the appraiser will always be unbiased and independent

Even though I’m giving you tools that you may be able to use to appeal your taxes, at the end of the day, an appraiser – acting as an appraiser – cannot advocate for your cause.  We know you want your taxes lowered.  That’s a given.  So don’t do what some have done and say, “I want a low-ball appraisal!”  An appraiser’s greatest asset is their ability to remain independent and unbiased.  If the assessor can see this was done, you’ll have a better chance at an appeal.  If they can tell the appraiser has gone out and cherry-picked the lowest comps, then you’ve just wasted a few to several hundreds of dollars.

Lastly, if you’re in the Western Kentucky or Southwestern Indiana region and think you might be over-assessed, give us a call for a free consultation to determine if an appraisal on your home might be helpful.


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