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As a property owner, you have a right to challenge your property assessment and potentially lower your property taxes.
A taxpayer has four grounds on which to challenge a tax assessment:
- Excessive assessment – the property’s assessment exceeds its full market value or is excessive because of the denial of all or a portion of a partial exemption;
- Unequal assessment – the property is assessed at a higher percentage of its full market value than all other properties (or properties of the same class) on the assessment roll – by far the most common complaint;
- Unlawful assessment – e.g. property is wholly exempt, is located entirely outside the boundaries of the taxing unit in which it is designated as being located, property has been assessed and entered on the assessment roll by a person or entity without authority to make the entry, and various other technical grounds;
- Misclassified assessment – the real property is misclassified – e.g. classified as non-homestead when in fact it qualifies for the homestead class.
The amount of taxes being paid by a property owner is not a ground for complaint. The total tax burden depends on budgetary requirements over which the assessor has no control. If an assessment is equitable, then a property owner will pay his or her fair share of the taxes.