Appealing Your New Assessed Home Value

Appealing Your New Assessed Home Value

February 13, 2023

Did you hear how much the neighbor's house sold for?!?!  That is a common statement in most neighborhoods across the nation over the past few years.  The housing market is hot and home prices keep moving up.  It maybe cooling a little bit with higher mortgage rates, but your home is probably still worth substantially more now than it was in 2020.

That is the good news.  The bad news is property taxes also will be rising (or maybe skyrocketing).    Property owners will start receiving their new assessed value and the jump may startle you (or make you mad.)  The focus should be what that new assessed value is and not the increase.  It may have been too low in the past and the value is just catching up.

The first thing question is: "Is the value right?"  What do you think you can sell your home for?  In Nebraska the assessed value is to be 100% of the actual market value.  So, if your home had a $100,000 increase from $250,000 to $350,000 but you feel your home is worth $400,000 then the value is probably correct.  

What if you believe the value is too high?  Then you will have to go through the steps to appeal the assessment.  Be sure to check on the assessor's website what those steps are and the timeline.  Here are some things to do.

Review your assessment for errors.  Is your square footage correct?  The right number of bedrooms & bathrooms?  Is the unfinished percentage correct?  Those errors may be the reason the value jumped so much. 

Check out your house or comparable sales.  Do some research on Zillow, Trulia or to get an idea of property values.  Speaking to a local real-estate agent may be a big help to understand the value of your home.  They can also be a help if you are going to appeal the assessment.  They will probably charge a fee for their services.

Go through the appeal process.  You will have to have documentation and valid reasoning why you feel the assessed value is too high.  "Not fair" and "You can buy it from me at that price" isn't what they want to hear.   The focus shouldn't be on the increase from last year.  

See if you qualify for any type of property tax relief.  See this past Journal article for more information.  Property Tax Relief for Nebraskans´╗┐

Lastly, do a self-assessment of your financial and personal situation.  Maybe selling your home at the appreciated value could be the right thing to do.  This could be the perfect time to downsize, move closer to family, or retire to a new location.