Homeowners in Arizona know that a high property tax evaluation can cost them lots of money. It can be tempting to challenge a tax evaluation in an effort to save money. However, without evidence, nothing will come of a legal challenge. In order to successfully lower a property tax evaluation, homeowners need to have documentation that supports their case.
Assessors do make mistakes
If you’re unpleasantly surprised by your property tax evaluation, the first step is to review the paperwork carefully. Sometimes, property assessors make simple, obvious errors. For example, they may have inadvertently added a bathroom or bedroom to a home. In other cases, they may have used a tax rate from a neighboring county. If an assessor has missed a serious issue like an infestation of bugs or rodents, that can also be grounds for a successful challenge.
Comparables can help make the case
Another way to challenge a tax assessment is by demonstrating that it doesn’t match up to sales prices in your neighborhood. Because home sales are a matter of public record, it can be easy to do this. Comparable homes selected to make this case need to be very similar to your home. The age, size and condition of your home and the comparable should be about the same.
The appeals process
In Arizona, the first step is to make a challenge at the county level. The document used to do this is known as a Petition for Review of Valuation. Following that, it’s possible to make an appeal to the Board of Equalization and even the Tax Court. In all of these proceedings, it can be very beneficial to have advice from an experienced attorney.