If you're a homeowner, this time of year is the only thing that makes your annual property tax payments at least tolerable.
For many, local property taxes are deductible as itemized expenses on federal returns.
Even if you don't itemize, you still can count some of the annual tax bill as part of your standard deduction. Remember, this year you'll have to fill out Schedule L to claim this additional amount.
Of course, a tax deduction that saves you a few hundred dollars is scant solace if you're struggling to come up with thousands to pay the property tax in the first place.
And as real property tax bills across the country continue to rise even though home values have plummeted, property owners are taking action.
Nationally, reports the Wall Street Journal, data from the National Association of Realtors shows median prices of existing homes fell 22.3 percent from 2006 to 2009.
Those declines, however, don't show up as quickly in local tax assessments and associated bills.
The reason was simple. The hikes were an attempt to offset falling tax revenues.
Fighting higher real estate taxes: There are many ways homeowners are coping with the taxes.
Courts that hear property value appeals are backlogged.
Voters are letting lawmakers know how they feel.
Some homeowners are moving to lower-tax states.
And some are simply falling behind on their property taxes.
The Tax Foundation does a nice job in tracking, compiling data and comparing property taxes across the United States.
Have your real estate taxes gone up or down? Have you applied for all available homestead exemptions or other tax-relief programs? Have you ever appealed your property tax assessment? Did you get it lowered?
Diana Ross seeks reassessment: The rich and famous aren't immune to rising property taxes. In fact, since they tend to own more expensive homes, they are hit with higher bills.
Diana Ross is a lady singing the blues about the taxes she owes on two Connecticut properties, a 12,562-square-foot mansion on five acres that the town says is worth $14.4 million and another piece of land nearby valued at $15.5 million.
The R&B diva pays approximately $168,000 a year in property taxes for the two properties, according to WebCPA.
Six years ago, Ross appealed Greenwich's assessment, won and cut her tax bill by $30,000. Now she's trying again.
Ross showed up again at Greenwich’s Board of Assessment Appeals meeting last week to contest the current valuations.
- Real estate values fuel property tax fights
- Property tax appeals on the rise
- Private property tax collector troubles
- Property tax time for all!
- 10 states in big financial trouble
- State tax refund delays are now the norm
- State tax collections nosedive
- Bet on it, states are struggling
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