After paying taxes to the IRS and your state government, the last thing you want to think about is paying even more taxes. But homeowners across the country are facing increased property taxes as cities and counties are filing for bankruptcy and local governments are looking for ways to raise money.
According to a recent Rockefeller Institute report, local property tax revenues are continuing to decline, even as state revenues rise. Somehow, the trickle-down effect isn’t working.
When sales tax funds and other money sources start drying up, cities and local governments need to get that money from somewhere else. What’s the most logical source? Property taxes.
Are property tax increases coming your way?
Generally, there are small increases in your property tax bill each year due to minor cost-of-living adjustments, but there might be larger ones on the horizon. Start paying attention to your own local municipality—some cities have already announced increases. For example:
Protecting yourself from property tax increases
If you’re living in one of the many parts of the country facing property tax changes, let’s see what you can do to protect yourself—or at least to reduce the problem.
Is it worthwhile to hire a professional to get your property taxes reduced? There are mixed feelings about that. Many assessors feel that they provide all the tools, forms, and information on their websites to help you do it yourself. There may be a certain amount of resentment towards professionals. However, if you are overpaying by $1,000 a year or more, it may be worthwhile. Be sure to find someone who has a solid track record and who has reduced property taxes for someone you know.
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com , where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including the new edition of Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.
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