Factors Behind Property Tax Surges
February 27, 2018
Homeowners may question why their property taxes keep going up, and some owners may be shocked by just how much. Property taxes are crucial funds for schools, libraries, police and fire departments, roads and parks, and more within a community. There are several factors that could cause property taxes to go up; home renovations and revaluations are the two most common reasons, according to an article at realtor.com®.
If homeowners renovate the home and add to its worth, they’ll likely see their property taxes increase. Converting a basement into livable space or a walk-up attic into a new room can all trigger an automatic reassessment, says Rita Patriarca, a real estate professional with RE/MAX Encore in Wilmington, Mass.
A revaluation can also prompt higher property taxes. Communities will periodically reevaluate properties to figure out the current assessed value of homes. These are conducted to ensure the tax burden is spread equitably and accurately. Assessors will factor in a home’s location, size, type, any changes since the last evaluation, as well as other variables like home sales and valuations in the neighborhood and changes in the economy. A revaluation does not mean your taxes will always go up, but it certainly can be one reason behind a rising bill.
Other reasons for an uptick in property taxes may involve new schools. The construction of a new school can come with a high price tag for a community, and an area may increase taxes in order to help pay for school projects.
Homeowners who believe their property taxes are too high can appeal their home’s property assessment.
“Most municipalities have a process to contest your property tax bill,” financial planner David Rae, president and founder of DRM Wealth Management in Los Angeles, told realtor.com®. “I’ve contested the value of my home in the past, and the assessor shaved $150,000 off the taxable value of the home. Definitely worth the effort.”
It’s important for homeowners to ensure property records reflect their home’s amenities accurately, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. For any mistakes, notify the assessor’s office.
Source: “5 Common Reasons Why Property Taxes Go Up, No Matter Where You Live,” realtor.com® (Feb. 26, 2018)
Updated: October 15, 2019