Monday, September 08, 2008

Money saving idea #4.

Get your property tax re-assessed!

With the housing bubbled having popped a long time ago, and with us buying our condo when it was right at the end of the bubble's reign, our property tax is outrageously high compared to our condo's real value as of 2008. And for some crazy reason, the value keeps going up each year. Which is not only absurd but frustrating as all get-go.

Last winter I took a look at the form to have your property value re-assessed, but if date requirements don't make sense to me, then I'll give up, and sadly, that's what I did. The form was talking about sales prior to this date, but the filing is this date and what is that date and all this stuff that just wasn't adding up to me at all. So I gave up. Even though it was always in the back of my mind.

Recently we just got another supplemental tax bill saying we owe about 60 bucks more based on the new value. Then we started getting all these offers for property tax adjustment companies. They basically do the filing for you and then you pay them. Some said we'd save 600 bucks a year (yippeee!), but on the flip side, we'd have to pay them 200 bucks for filling out a one page form.

Last week I started thinking about it more and more, and I knew the deadline of 9/15 was soon approaching, so I went to our County Assessor's web site, looked at the form again, and bingo! for whatever reason, it made way more sense now than it did in January. I went onto Zillow, did some research, found three units in our complex sold prior to the end of January 2008 (this was the major hiccup in my brain last January, for whatever reason), got the APNs of the properties from the County, declared our condo's value at about $50K less than what we paid (ugh, heart flutters, passing out...what did we get ourselves into???), signed and dated the form and mailed it off.

I'm too math illiterate to figure out if they did reassess our condo's value at the value I listed, what we will end up saving, but I figure it's got to be close to the 600 bucks. And that's 50 bucks saved per month. And that's cha-ching in our bank account, and that will make me very happy.

Cross your fingers and toes.

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