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Researching your property’s fair market value is the first step towards determining how to grieve taxes. From there you will need to file a petition with the municipality, write a letter of support and provide supporting documentation.

A tax grievance takes place when a property owner (residential or commercial) believes that their property tax amount is higher than what it should be. This process can also be used if the homeowner thinks that the value of their home is less than what the town has set it at. As assessment of the property will then be completed by a tax grievance service. A tax reduction process will then be used to reduce the amount of payment if it’s determined that the property has indeed been assessed higher than it should be. The case will be closed if it was determined that the current assessment value is where it should be.

Not everybody knows that the process of grieving your property taxes is available as a person who is paying property taxes. Those who know about how to grieve taxes don’t always know how to go about walking through the necessary steps. Let’s take a look at some common questions that many taxpayers have that can help you learn more about the process of grieving your taxes to save you money in the long run.

What are the Benefits of Grieving Your Property Taxes Annually?

Many homeowners understand there is a process you can use to grieve your property taxes, however it’s something a lot of people only choose to do once or twice. In fact, it’s beneficial to go through this process on a yearly basis. You can’t guarantee that the first grievance you achieve is going to provide you with the lowest tax bill possible moving forward. Once you’ve learned how simple this process is, it’s easy to do it annually to ensure you’re saving as much money as possible.

When You Don’t File a Tax Grievance, You’re Likely Guaranteed to Experience an Increase in School and General Taxes

Regardless of where you live, you’re probably experiencing high taxes. There are affordable places to live in the U.S., but you’ll hear plenty of complaints from people that feel they are overpaying on things like property taxes. These taxes tend to go up on an annual basis, making it harder and harder for many people to keep themselves afloat.

School taxes contribute to these high tax amounts that you may be experiencing, and those tax amounts go up each year as well to accommodate for building updates, the addition of new programs and sports field upgrades just to name a few. The easiest way that you can protect yourself from these consistent increases is by taking matters into your own hands to see if you’re assessed at a reasonable value amount. Grieving your assessments each year can provide you with substantial financial relief.

It’s Common to Achieve Consecutive Reductions in Taxes

Going through the process of grieving your property taxes isn’t something you’re guaranteed to win, but you never know until you try. Once thing you can be sure of is that you’re not going to experience an increase after your grievance. Whether you had your taxes lowered because of your grievance or they remained the same, you can go ahead and start the process over again next year. Even if you received a positive change in your tax amount, you may be able to have it lowered again next time around. Professionals who help homeowners through this process say it’s not uncommon to see consecutive reductions from year to year.

Grieving Your Taxes is a Simple Process

Grieving your property tax assessment can be done in hopes of receiving a reduction, and an increase will never be able to occur because of this process. Gather together your property tax information details, such as your property code, full name, address, ward, sector and plot. Then you will prepare a grievance petition and provide any necessary supporting documentation. Most people are surprised at how easy this process is, especially when you’re utilizing the services of a company that helps you navigate the grievance process. It’s typical for these companies to forgo a fee unless you receive a reduction.

Why It’s Smart to Grieve Your Property Taxes

Making it a point to grieve your property taxes annually is a great routine to get into. Whether you’re planning on staying in your home short-term of long-term, you can save money for the time being. Not to mention, you’re helping out anybody who owns your home in the future. The grievance changes will be made, and that newly assessed amount will stay with the property whether you are living there or not. If you do plan on selling, those lower amounts may be tempting to people.

What is the Process of Grieving Your Taxes?

Grieving your property taxes isn’t a very complicated process. In fact, it just takes a bit of research and some documentation to get the ball rolling. You’ll need to research the process of how to grieve your taxes in the area where you live. From there, you’ll likely fill out a form, write a letter explaining why you’re filing a grievance and gather together all of the paperwork that needs to be included in your application. There will likely be a deadline for the municipality that you live in, so make sure that you have filed your grievance for that year by that date. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait until the following year to complete the process.

What are the Procedures Associated with Grieving Your Taxes?

Each year, your local municipality will release an assessment roll that includes the market value of your property. Once this has been released, you can go through the process of grieving your taxes. The first thing that you’ll want to do is determine if you have grounds for filing a grievance. This can be done by researching whether or not your property value is accurate. If you feel it isn’t accurate, you can file a grievance petition that includes a letter of support and supporting documentation. Send everything in by the deadline, and you should hear back shortly regarding your answer.

Can Non-Resident Property Owners Grieve Their Taxes?

Anybody is eligible to grieve their tax amount if they are paying property taxes. This includes property owners (resident and non-resident), purchasers under contract, tenants who are paying taxes, etc. The process is the same for everybody that is eligible.

Contesting Your Assessment with Stipulating an Assessment Reduction

On your assigned grievance day or before then, you have the ability with the assessor to stipulate to a lower assessed amount for your property. This can be done by completing a form provided by your local municipality. Always retain a copy for your own records.

If you then proceed into a stipulation, you do not have the ability to request another reduction in your assessment amount. The agreed upon amount will be featured on your final assessment roll, and then that is the amount of that will stay in place.

Alternative Ways to Submit a Grievance Application

You can grieve an assessment on your property taxes if you are a property owner, a purchaser or a tenant that is paying property taxes. You can only grieve the current assessment roll using the form that is provided by your local municipality. You can fill out this form and submit it yourself. You are not required to use a lawyer for the process, but your lawyer does have the ability to submit the form for you if you have chosen to use one. Depending on where you live, you may be required to fill out a form for both the town and the village where you are located. You can check in with your local assessor to find out more about submitting your information as well as when the deadline is in your area.


How Do I Determine If I Am Over Assessed?

Check your tax bill to see what an assessor has estimated your property taxes to be. Most municipalities will assess properties at one hundred percent value. If you feel that the amount listed is adequate based on the property, the value of properties nearby and other criteria in your area, then you probably don’t have to worry about grieving your taxes.

However, there are people that feel they are overpaying on their taxes. This could be because the assessment was made inappropriately. There may even be changes to the area that a person feels has affected their property value. For example, people have tried to have their property tax amount altered after the town went ahead and had windmills or cell phone towers installed nearby. This could very drastically affect the value of a property regardless of what the assessed value was in recent years.

If you live in a municipality that assesses properties at a percentage of market value, this is where things can get a little trickier. Determine what the full market value is. You don’t want to use the amount that is listed on your property bill. If you’re not sure where you obtain this information, you can call your local town office for more information.

Is It Possible to Grieve Your Taxes Each Year?

As a person paying property taxes annually, you have the ability to grieve your property tax amount on an annual basis as well. You will have to go through the same process each year regardless of what the outcome was the last time you did it. This includes filling out a new form, providing an updated letter and new supporting documentation. You can increase your chances of a favorable outcome by starting fresh and not duplicating your previous information.

Can Property Tax Amounts Go Up Each Year If You Grieve Them>

You aren’t guaranteed to receive a favorable outcome for your tax grievance when you file, but there is no way that your tax amounts can go up by way of this process. That’s simply not something that your local municipality has the right to do once they have already assessed your property for the year and determined if they are going to provide you with a grievance approval. This would be against the law if they tried, and you could hire a lawyer to contest that determination. Essentially, there’s no real reason that you shouldn’t go ahead and try to grieve your taxes. Unless you feel that your current assessment amount is set exactly where it should be, it’s worth a shot to see if you can save a little money by paying a fairer amount on your property tax bill each year.

What is the Cost of Grieving Your Taxes?

When you’re representing yourself during the process of grieving your taxes, there is no fee that you need to worry about. This is a completely free process that doesn’t require the representation of a lawyer. You can however choose to use a professional to help you navigate this process. The fees will vary from one professional to another. In most cases, you won’t be required to pay any kind of fee unless you have received a decrease in your tax amount. If this positive outcome does occur, you may be asked to pay anywhere between forty or fifty percent of your tax savings for that first year. You don’t have to worry about anything else after that point.