High property taxes are a burden for many home owners; but if you feel you may be paying too much in property taxes, PropertyShark can help you figure out what the right amount is, and gather all the necessary information you need for your property tax appeal.
Scout the Neighborhood and See How Much Your Neighbors are Paying
Our Tax Value per Sq. Ft Map is the quickest way to get a clear picture of how much your neighbors are paying in property taxes. Simply look up your exact address using the Property Search tab on the upper left side of the screen and a pin-point will indicate its location.
The map legend will help guide you, as all properties with high property taxes are signaled with a red color, whereas lower taxes are marked with shades of blue – which enables you to browse the neighborhood and quickly identify tax rates in your area.
A click on the parcel where your home is located will give you the option to open a mini property report, where crucial tax information (like total property tax, building area, tax year, and tax per square foot) will be displayed, along with further property details.
Do the same for the properties in the immediate vicinity to your home and perform further research on each of the neighboring properties. Click on each parcel to open the mini property report – that provides essential details like property type, square footage, no. of floors & units etc. – and easily identify properties that are most similar to your home. Feel free to extend your search to other properties nearby, but preferably not beyond the borders of your neighborhood, or in areas where you know that homes are cheaper.
You can then cross-reference their property taxes with your own to see how much you should be paying and if you have a solid case for a property tax appeal. Please note that the mini report links to the full version of the property report, where you can see a lot of additional information (including the home’s tax history for recent years).
If you have spotted more than 4 neighboring properties with lower taxes, you already have a solid starting point for your property tax reassessment.
Tip: Living in an area with many commercial properties? Our Building Classes map can help you identify dwellings in the area, as not to include office or retail buildings in your property tax research.
Look up Similar Homes Using our Comparables Tool &
Estimate your Home’s Market Value
Haven’t managed to find homes similar in size and characteristics to your own using the map? Try a more professional approach by looking up Comparables.
Comparables (also known as Comps) are normally used to estimate the current market value of a home. Basically, they pull out prices paid for recently sold homes that are similar in size, characteristics, and location with your targeted property, helping you estimate the value of a home.
But you can also use comps to narrow down your search for homes that match your own – you can filter properties by location (neighborhood, zip code or draw your own polygon on the map), square footage, and even by tax class. Once you’ve set your criteria, our Comps tool will identify all homes within your designated area with similar characteristics.
You can then open their property reports and look at their property tax assessment and see how much the owner is paying for taxes. It’s that simple. Just don’t forget to check whether or not the homes are subjected to any tax exemptions or abatements that could alter the property tax (you can find this information in both the overview and the Property Tax section of the report).
Similarly, if you’re planning to ask for a review of your tax assessment, you’ll need to know the estimated market value of your home. Simply follow the steps provided in our Comparables search help manual and get an estimate based on recent, relevant sales of neighboring properties.
Property Tax History: Where to Look
To see a home’s in-depth tax details – ranging from the property’s assessment history for the past several years, current market value and assessed value to base tax, billable value for the year in course, tax per square foot, not to mention all current tax exemptions & abatements– simply open the property report and look for the dedicated section called Property Tax.
Here’s an example: a four-family home in Central Harlem South. You can get all the basics by looking at the overview section of the property report:
But Section E. Property Tax provides you with a wealth of information. For this property, we immediately found out its market value ($442,000), its net assessed value ($27,992), the exact amount the owner has to pay this year ($3,679), and that there are no exemptions or tax abatements recorded for this property.
Moreover, the home’s tax per square foot details are just one scroll away, as the Tax Value per Sq. Ft Map is also incorporated into the property report:
We know that not only the current taxes are important for a fair assessment of how much you should be paying. That’s why we provide you with a detailed history of taxes paid in recent years by the owner:
How to Pursue Your Property Tax Appeal
Now if you find out that you’re paying more than your neighbors, how should you proceed with your property tax appeal?
You can either hire a pro (a tax attorney) to make the appeal for you, or go about it on your own. If you decide to pursue a formal review of your property tax assessment by yourself, you can start with a trip to your local tax assessor’s office, where you can ask for a copy of the materials used to determine your home’s value.
Then scout the materials for:
- erroneous descriptions of your home (extra bedroom, additional square feet etc.)
- a bigger assessed value than the price you paid for the property – if you purchased the home recently for less money than its assessed value, you have a strong argument for your property tax appeal
- homes the assessor took into account when making the valuation – if the properties aren’t similar to yours, you have another solid starting point
For New York, the State’s Department of Taxation and Finance provides property owners with a set of steps to follow to contest their tax assessment that can help you get started. Unfortunately, you may have to wait a few months, as the deadline for New York property tax appeals was March 3 (for Class 2, 3 and 4 properties) and March 17 ( for Class 1).
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