What do I do if I buy a home but the tax assessment is higher than what I paid for the property?

  • July 05 2014 - Waterloo
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Answers (3)

Profile picture for craigfial
Generally the local County Property Appraiser has a method of protesting assessments.  Beware, you may have paid less than the actual value if it was a short-sale or Foreclosure.  In that case, property taxes are based on value, not what you paid.
  • July 06 2014
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The saying goes, "Everyone should pay their fair share of taxes, but no more than their fair share". The same holds true for real estate taxes. In Illinois, you have up to 30 days to protest your real estate assessment - not your tax bill. This is often mis-understood. The assessment will indicate the Assessor's opinion of fair market value. When you purchase a property, obtain a copy of the most recent assessment on the property. This is public information - you can get it from the Assessor or ask your Realtor you download a copy for you. If you paid less than what the Assessor is taxing the property at, it may be worth your time to protest the assessment. You will need to start with the Assessor's office in the County your property is located in. Assessor's may have different procedures for adjusting assessments. Logic would suggest that a property is only worth what it sold for in the open, competitive market. Some Assessor's will reduce an assessment to match your deed - no battles, just documentation. I have been told some Assessor's employees have told property owners "we don't care if you stole the property, you are not going to steal the taxes". That's pretty offensive. However, if proof of what you paid for it won't get you anywhere, a licensed appraisal usually will. If you financed the property purchase, your lender will have provided you with a copy of the appraisal. There is a formal procedure for appealing to the State if you don't get anywhere locally. You should not have to over pay, but be prepared to document thoroughly. Remember to watch that assessment every year!
  • July 05 2014
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
You can argue the assessment with the tax assessment office to see if it can be lowered after the sale is done. Don't plan to win, but you can try.
  • July 05 2014
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