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Property tax appeals likely in wake of new federal deduction limit on state and local taxes

Home property appraisal perspectives

We got our notice of appraisal for our house last week. It was, as has been the case for the last few years, higher. If we were selling our house right now, we'd be thrilled. But we're not moving (yet).

This week, we got our monthly neighborhood newsletter. It included a local Realtor's ad touting local listings. One was for a house down the block.

The asking price was $300,000 more than our appraisal notice.

Yes, that home is a bit larger than our house. And it has a pool. But is it worth $300,000 more than our home? The hubby and I don't think so.

But good for our former neighbors. I say former because that overpriced-to-us house sold. I don't know if they got their full asking price, but I doubt they dropped it by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Prices and property taxes: Their real estate bounty, however, is not good news for the hubby and me or the rest of us in our development who will be forking over 2018 property taxes to our county tax collector later this year or early in 2019.

Property taxes are based on the assessments that we and other county homeowners recently received. Part of that calculation is the value of comparable homes.

And our former neighbor's inflated asking/sales price is not an aberration. Home values in the Austin area, like in some areas across the county, have been appreciating. Again, a good thing if you/we are selling. Otherwise…

Appealing property assessments: If you're staying in your home, but don't think it's appreciating as much as your tax assessor does, you could take your chances on a property assessment appeal.

Today's Saturday Shout Out goes to Ann Carrns' "Your Money Adviser" column in The New York Times, in which she discusses appealing higher property taxes.

As Carrns notes in her article, more homeowners are likely to appeal property assessments because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's $10,000 federal itemized tax deduction cap for all state and local taxes, including property taxes.

In addition to Carrns' tips, which includes a link to a National Taxpayers Union checklist for appealing a property assessment, you also can get property appraisal info in my prior blog posts:

Time is of the essence: If you do decide to appeal your property assessment, there's one thing I want to point out before you click over to Carrns' article or my prior posts. Don't wait.

Real estate assessment appeals boards have strict deadlines. If you miss them, no matter how convincing your arguments for a reduced assessment are, then you'll be stuck paying a bigger real estate tax bill.

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