Although you must pay property taxes, you can make sure that you pay a reasonable amount based on the true value of your home and land. Many homes get overvalued because assessors err in valuing a home and homeowners don’t pay attention to these mistakes. Consequently, homeowners unwittingly pay more than they should in property taxes.
However, if you’ve owned your Canmore home for more than a year, you can potentially lower your property tax burden by showing that your home has been overvalued, meaning that your tax assessment claims your property is worth more than it is.
While working with many buyers in Canmore last year I was shocked to see the amount of home owners that are unknowingly overpaying for their property taxes. This was especially visible in condo complexes that were built and purchased in 2008-2010. Contrary to many home owner beliefs, a high property tax assessment does not hold much weight if any at all in a buyers decision to purchase your place. If anything, I have found it easier to sell properties that are assessed a considerable amount lower than market value.
2016 Canmore notices will be mailed in early march. Annual property tax levies are issued in early June with payment due June 30th. To get started protesting your property tax, read your assessment letter. Your assessment letter will list data about your property and the assessed value of your house and land. Make sure your assessment letter has the correct information about your property.
Understanding that assessors can make mistakes assessing your home value will help you with your appeal. There are three key mistakes assessor make when assessing property. These mistakes include:
1. Outdated Historic Sales Data: Sometimes assessors will use sales data from previous years. Because the real estate market is fluid, this data changes quickly, as a result; this data can over value your home.
2.Mass Appraisal Methods: Also, when assessors use mass appraisal methods, they do not take into account all the market adjustments that occurred over time. Consequently, there sales data can’t always produce useful comparable properties to set future sales.
3.Living Area: Assessors notoriously make mistakes about the living area of your house or condo. This is especially true if you live in a 1.5 or 2 story home. Check any previous appraisals to ensure correct measurements and description of our home. Does the assessment letter show the right number of bathrooms and bedrooms? Does it report the correct size of your lot?
After reading your assessment letter, feel free to get in touch with me for market data. I can find three to five approximate values of comparable properties similar to yours, and these comps can then be used to support your claim that your home is overvalued. This is especially useful if the assessor used poor historical sales data.
You’ll have 60 days from the date that the notice is mailed to review and file an appeal of your assessment, so you’ll want to get the comps as soon as your assessment arrives. You can speak with an assessor on the phone or request a formal review email@example.com or 403.678.1506.
You’ll then need to fill out a form and follow specific instructions regarding your supporting evidence. Typically, it’s not necessary for you to appear at the review. The review can take one to three months to complete, and you’ll receive a decision in writing.
The majority of assessment appeals are successful. However, if at first you don’t succeed, appeal. You’ll need to pay a small filing fee for an independent appeals board to hear your second appeal. This process could take up to a year to complete, so you’ll need to decide whether it’s truly worth it.
As a homeowner, you have plenty of options available to decrease your tax burden. The benefit is that you can use your tax savings for major life events such as weddings, vacations, fat tire bikes and home improvements.
To find out more about your tax saving options as a homeowner, check out tax information for homeowners. You can also contact me directly and I’ll gladly lead you in the right direction towards saving you money on your taxes.
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