Lower Your Property Taxes, Silver Lining to Home Values Decrease

I wrote a piece a couple of weeks back called, My Home Is Dropping in Value? In the piece, I pointed to data that showed while the National home value average dropped about 25% since the housing decline, Louisville homes actually gained 1.5%. I think it’s important that people know the truth about their home’s value.

Now, this doesn’t mean everyone’s home gained value, many did in fact lose value. Every market is a fluid situation where people, and their emotional decisions, ultimately dictate what something is worth. When you fall in love with a home, sometimes you overpay. On the flip side, job transfers and other reasons force certain homeowners to sell their homes below their true value.

This caught my attention because I read this interesting piece in the Wall St. Journal that claims:

More than half of homeowners are paying too much in property taxes, says Jim Kane, Chicago-based managing director of True Partners Consulting, a tax advisory firm.

Surprised? I was! Not because the government wants to appropriate money from We the People every chance they can but because of the gargantuan size of their greed. More than half?!? That’s outrageous.

So what can you do? After all, Jefferson County Kentucky ranks 539th for property taxes out of 796 counties. That’s great! Our property taxes are quite low. (Another reason to sell your out-of-state friends to relocate to Louisville.)

But if you do want to get to the bottom of things, the Wall St. Journal story put a cute cartoon outlining the steps involved. Simply stated, 1) learn what value the tax assessor is assigning to your property, and 2) find out what its current market value is. Then, if it’s lower than the tax assessor believes, prove it to them.

The catch might be, as it is in many Louisville homes, the tax assessor values your home lower than its true worth. The last thing you want to do is draw attention to the increased value of your property. Then it would be a simple task for the tax assessor to increase your tax.

But depending on your situation, you may be able to save some considerable money. Here are a couple of examples of families that dramatically reduced their property taxes.

How They Did It chart of homeowners who lowered their property tax burden
Of course, the larger the home value the greater the opportunity for there to be a large discrepancy. These three homeowners lowered their tax bills by several thousand dollars.

So there you go. A trustworthy Realtor can help you determine your home’s current market value.