March 9, 2016

5 Property Tax Appeal Mistakes

Each year, homeowners in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey receive their property tax assessments and, each year, many property owners disagree with an increase in their taxes. Fortunately, the tax assessor’s word is not necessarily final and there are methods of appealing if you believe your property tax assessment was inaccurate for some reason. However, there are many common mistakes made during the property tax appeal process that can hinder your chances of success in fighting the increased tax rate. The following are five examples of mistakes you can make during this type of appeal:

  1. Missing an appeal hearing – If you ignore or overlook a notice of a hearing or fail to appear at a scheduled appeal hearing, your appeal may likely be withdrawn and you can forfeit your chances of appealing until the following year.
  2. Relying on neighbors’ assessments – If your assessment was significantly higher than that of your neighbors, you may believe this is unfair and grounds for appeal. However, each property is assessed based on its own actual value for sales and a comparison to neighboring properties is generally not sufficient on its own to win an appeal.
  3. Making too many complicated arguments – Often, you may believe that the more evidence you provide regarding your proposed tax assessment, the greater chance you have of winning your appeal. However, too much evidence presented by property owners is irrelevant or insignificant and simply waters down the appeal argument. Less is often more, as presenting concise and targeted arguments and supporting evidence can generally be more effective.
  4. Not appealing the appeal – In many cases, if you lose your initial appeal, you have the opportunity to appeal to a higher board of review. If you are unaware of the procedures for a second-level appeal, you may miss your opportunity to do so.
  5. Representing yourself – As a property owner, you may believe you know enough about your property to defend your position in your tax appeal. However, appeal hearings can be confusing and intimidating and you may be asked many questions regarding appraisals, improvements, and more. Your answers can be used against you, so it is always wise to have representation from a tax appeal attorney who can guide you through the process, ensure you do not miss hearings, prepare a concise and persuasive appeal, and improve your chances of success in challenging your tax assessment.

Contact an Experienced Tax Appeal Attorney for Assistance with Your Case

At the Law Office Of Michael Alan Siddons, we regularly help property owners in PA, MD, and NJ with their tax appeals. If you have any questions regarding your options or how we can help you, call us today at 609-285-3999.