Are your property taxes too high? Most of us would think so. If your property tax seems way out of whack, you can appeal with the county. And if you appeal, you’ll want a good appraiser on your side.

Professional appraisers can help Twin Cities residents be prepared with the proper documentation.

How Is Your Home Assessed?

You should keep in mind that when it comes to property taxes, local cities and counties determine a property’s value from the location, type of construction (if any), and other factors that make each property unique. However, these values can change over time. Shifts in land values, general market fluctuations, and home improvements can cause taxable values to change.

"Assessors aren't out to 'get' homeowners," said Appraisal Institute President Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS. "They are usually local elected officials who not only want to make voters happy, but are trying to get it right. Typically, if an assessment is inaccurate, it's because assessors use value models that don't take into account the condition, features or improvements made in individual properties."

So what can you do to make sure your assessed value is more accurate? You can provide your local assessor with an independent appraisal. But not all appraisals are created equal. You’ll want to be sure your appraisal provides a credible, accurate, and reliable determination of value. Because many appraisers work with tax consultants and attorneys who specialize in tax appeals, connected appraisers can provide a comprehensive look at your property that accurately reflects its true value. And this can help when appealing the property tax amount with the municipality.

All of this can affect your bottom line in more ways than one. "Consumers also should be mindful that the IRS has specific rules about the deductibility of property taxes and should check with their tax professionals to ensure their filings are prepared accordingly," Amorin said.

Because municipalities may have varying stages of tax appeals, you’ll want to check with your local assessor’s office or local appraiser who can shed further light on the subject.

Credibility and ethics are key here. Assessors can easily sniff out an unreasonably low property value that an unscrupulous appraiser offered. A poorly executed appraisal could have a negative impact during your appeal.

So if your property tax assessment looks too high, give me a call. If I think there’s a chance we can work together to lower your taxes, I will do so through an independent, objective and ethical framework. I look forward to helping you lower your taxes.