Owners are often mistaken about supplemental tax bills.
Homeowners may question why their property taxes keep going up. These taxes fund schools, libraries, police and fire departments, roads and parks. But several factors could cause property taxes to go up; home renovations and revaluations are the two most common, according to realtor.com®.
Carol Quan, special assistant to LA County Assessor Jeff Prang, told a CVAR members that new homeowners are often blindsided by supplemental tax bills, wrongly assuming it’s been taken care of by an impound account. (See attached video)
If homeowners renovate a home and add to its worth, they’ll likely see their property taxes increase. Converting a basement into livable space or a walk-up attic into a new room can all trigger an automatic reassessment, says Rita Patriarca, a real estate professional in Wilmington, Mass.
Revaluations Prompts Higher Tax
A revaluation can also prompt higher property taxes. Properties are periodically reevaluated to figure out the current value of homes, to ensure the tax burden is spread equitably and accurately.
Assessors will factor in a home’s location, size, type, any changes since the last evaluation, as well as other variables, such as home sales and valuations in the neighborhood and changes in the economy. A revaluation does not mean your taxes will always go up, but it can be one reason behind a rising bill.
Another reason for an uptick in property taxes may involve the construction of a new school.
Homeowners who believe their property taxes are too high can appeal their home’s property assessment.
“Most municipalities have a process to contest your property tax bill,” financial planner David Rae, president and founder of DRM Wealth Management in Los Angeles, told realtor.com®. “I’ve contested the value of my home in the past, and the assessor shaved $150,000 off the taxable value of the home. Definitely worth the effort.”
It’s important for homeowners to ensure property records reflect their home’s amenities accurately, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. If there are mistakes, notify the assessor’s office.