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How to appeal property taxes

You just found the most recent property tax bill in your mailbox, and the taxes have increased.  What do you do? You have the right to appeal.

Appealing property taxes can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and preparation, Hoosiers can navigate the process effectively. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help homeowners understand how to appeal property tax assessments in Indiana.

  1. Understand the Assessment Process: Before appealing your property taxes, it’s essential to understand how your property’s assessment was determined. Assessments are typically based on factors such as property value, location, and recent sales of similar properties in the area.
  2. Review your Assessment: Obtain a copy of your property tax assessment from your county’s assessor’s office. Review the assessment carefully to ensure that all the information, such as property size, features, and condition, is accurate.
  3. Research Comparable Properties: Research recent sales of similar properties in your neighborhood to determine if your property assessment is in line with market values. Look for properties with similar size, features, and location to make a valid comparison.
  4. File an Appeal: If you believe your property assessment is inaccurate, you have the right to appeal. In Indiana, the deadline for filing an appeal varies by county but is typically within 45 days of receiving your assessment notice. Contact your county’s assessor’s office to find out the specific deadline and appeal process.
  5. Complete the Appeal Form: Obtain the necessary appeal forms from your county’s assessor’s office or website. Fill out the forms completely and accurately, providing any supporting documentation or evidence to support your appeal, such as recent appraisals, photographs, or sales data of comparable properties.  There are different types of appeals. One is called the Objective Appeal, which means you believe there are statistical or processing mistakes. The other type is called the Subjective Appeal, which means you think the assessment increase is an inaccurate assessment of market trends that adversely affects your taxes. There will be deadlines.  Don’t delay if you are interested in doing this.
  6. Attend the Appeal Hearing: Once you’ve submitted your appeal, you may be required to attend a hearing before the county’s property tax assessment board of appeals. Prepare your case thoroughly and be ready to present your evidence and arguments to support your appeal.
  7. Receive the Decision: After the hearing, the board will review your appeal and make a decision. You will receive a written notice of the board’s decision, which will either uphold or adjust your property assessment.
  8. Consider Further Appeals: If you’re not satisfied with the board’s decision, you may have the option to further appeal to the Indiana Board of Tax Review or pursue legal action through the court system. Just remember that time matters.  You need to be aware of any limitations on filing another appeal. It most cases, you have 45 days, and then the window of opportunity closes.
  9. Monitor Future Assessments: Even if your appeal is successful, it’s essential to monitor future property tax assessments to ensure they remain accurate. Stay informed about changes in property values and assessment practices in your area.

Different counties have different forms. Make sure you complete the correct form for your county. If you are in Marion County, this link will be helpful.  If you are in Hamilton County, this link will help you. No matter where you live, your county assessor’s office is the place to find out the specifics you need.The Yosha Snyder Group is here to help.  Feel free to contact your REALTOR® for assistance if needed. By following these steps and being proactive in appealing property tax assessments, homeowners in Indiana can potentially save money and ensure fair taxation on their properties.

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