Some Owners Making Efforts to Cut Property Taxes

March 28, 2018

Some homeowners are taking steps to appeal their property taxes after the new tax law that took effect at the beginning of the year placed a $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction. In some high-tax states, such as California, New Jersey, and New York, homeowners may feel the pinch on their tax bill. 

Some tax experts say owners may find a benefit to appealing their property taxes and doing the extra work to try to lower their tax bill. For homeowners affected by the new caps, they will want to determine if they’re likely to itemize their deductions in 2018, tax experts recommend. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubled the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married filers. 

“In many cases, the doubling of the standard deduction might be enough to offset itemizing deductions in order to take advantage of SALT deductions,” Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia, told USA Today

Homeowners’ property taxes can change when the municipality reviews the assessed value on a home. Homeowners have the right to appeal their home’s assessed value. Every municipality has its own process for appeal. 

Homeowners will want to compare a property’s value against similar properties in the area. If the home seems to be assessed at a higher amount than comparables, homeowners may be able to start building an argument for their appeal to support that their property taxes are too high. 

“You have to make sure that the houses that you are showing them for comparables are comparable to your house in terms of square footage and what your house has to offer,” Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA and tax expert at TurboTax, told USA Today.

Some homeowners may even hire an independent appraiser to do a valuation, but this can cost a few hundred dollars and can take some time to see the appeal process through. 

Source: “New Tax Law: Steps to Cut Property Tax Are Worth Effort, Money After SALT Cap,” USA Today (March 20, 2018)