I love being a property owner. But I don't love paying property taxes. Alas, they're unavoidable. However, you should always fight your property taxes if the government over inflates your assessed value. This happened to me and I wasn't about to let the government screw me over.
Last year, I scored a victory against tyranny when I successfully fought sans lawyer to get the city to lower my assessed property value by 12%. If you've been reading this site for a while, you know I'm persistent as hell and will fight to the end for what I believe in.
My insurance company tried to cheat me by saying my house was 50% larger than reality so they could charge 50% higher home insurance premiums. Nuh uh tricky dick! I was able to increase my coverage by some 30% and in the end only pay 13% more from the original cost.
Time To Fight Your Property Taxes
Well surprise, surprise. The city then tried to jack up my assessed property value by 17% for the next tax period to extract more money. But that's ridiculous since my house isn't made up of gold!
Sure, the stock market has been performing well, but come on. A 17% increase would surpasses the all time high reached in 2007 by 3-4%. Things have recovered, but they haven't recovered that much.
One might argue that because the city lowered my assessed value for the previous tax period they are just normalizing the value to play catch up.
But the problem is, once they reassess downwards, it is a legal admittance of what my property value is. They can't just all the of the sudden raise the value back to the original price and then some. I know the law and my rights.
Plus, we all know that California and many states have huge budget deficits. Trying to bulldoze taxpaying citizens into paying more than they should is wrong.
The simple solution to state budget woes is to add a consumption tax, introduce the popular renters tax, reduce paperwork/red tape for small businesses, slowly reign in spending so as not to cause widespread chaos, and get out of our way.
If The City Is Screwing Me, They're Screwing You More
I know tons of people who panic or just completely surrender when the government or some organization comes after them. They think things like:
“What am I going to do?”
“I don't want to fight because I think I will lose.”
“They've got the lawyers, and I've got nothing.”
“It's going to take forever to fight and process the paperwork. It takes way too much effort.”
Come on now. Stand up for your rights and what you believe in! Don't be afraid to fight your property taxes. Big companies and government organizations bully customers and citizens ALL THE TIME. They are counting on us to roll over.
It's part of their internal financial analysis. Just like how companies calculate that 10% of all gift card recipients will lose their cards, thereby increasing profitability!
I've demonstrated to you in the past that with knowledge and tenacity, you will have a high likelihood of succeeding in whatever you really believe in.
Is Your Property Tax Bill Too High? Fight Your Property Taxes!
If you feel the government has incorrectly assessed your property value, fight your property taxes! You should know your home value better than the government. Not only that you should know the value of other homes in your area and recent comp sales.
Believe in your ability to lower your property tax bill if your instincts and the data tell you it's too high.
I could have been a good little zombie and let my insurance company charge me an extra $1,500 more a year but I didn't. And I could have let the government charge me thousands more in property taxes for the prior three years, but I didn't.
Isn't saving thousands of dollars from the hands of inept politicians worth it to you? Then, fight your property taxes! It's definitely worth it to me.
Financial Mismanagement: Blatant Desperation & Fraud
It continues to perplex me why anybody would ever vote for more government intervention in our lives. They've demonstrated how poorly they've managed their finances.
For example, University California students now pay 60% more in tuition a year than just 2 years ago to pay for our welfare state. Ouch, but lesson learned!
I will always fight to keep as much of my hard-earned money as possible because I know that if the government takes it, they will waste at least 75% of it on nonsense.
Just perusing through the SF Multiple Listing Service, I've found 3 comparables that can help support the fact that my house hasn't increased in value in one year.
Gather Data On Comp Sales To Fight Your Property Taxes
I started looking for proof after they denied my initial e-mail saying they unfortunately couldn't find any houses to support my claim. Can you believe it?
In just 5 minutes, I whipped up proof on 3 houses all within an 8 block radius. Really, they can't even find any? Talk about lying through their teeth.
Tax collector offices around the country are told behind closed doors to try and extract as much money from taxpayers as possible to shore up their state's budget deficits. If they do, they will get a better bonus, just like how cops are out in force to beat their ticket quotas at the end of each month.
Don't let the government beat you up and walk all over you. Fight for your principals until your oppressors know that you will never give up. That means fight your property taxes if they're too high!
If you want to know how to lower your property taxes click here. I've followed my own advice year after year. One time I argued with the city Property Tax Assessor himself on the phone for 45 minutes. He was being stubborn and didn't want to budge. I didn't back down and spent several hours after that gathering documentation to further prove my case. In the end, I won.
Remember, when it comes to valuing your property for tax purposes, you must create an Armageddon scenario so you can pay the least amount. On the flip side, when it's time to refinance or sell, you must then argue that your place is worth much more!
Photo: Clawful He-Man figure on skateboard by Sam.
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Updated for 2021 and beyond.