Property taxes – all the paperwork and what to do with it!

We are bombarded by so much information that if something comes in the mail and says “this is not a bill” we tend to chuck it into the circular file.

Many of my clients ask me what to do with the notices and or what to do if they think the amount of tax increase is unreasonable.  . . .not to mention any specific city names. . . St. Paul. . . . .there are others that will remain unnamed

There are things you can do to have an impact on your tax amount but you have to pay attention and get involved with the process and/or do some research to see if it makes sense to go through the appeal process.  They tell us what is going to be done and when and if we want to change things we need to do something so pay attention or you might miss your window of opportunity!

The 1st notice comes in the Spring – The valuation Notice

This comes in March and tells you how much you will be paying in taxes.  The way they calculate this number is a mystery to most but they have the calculations of it and you can research it and see if you can figure it out . . good luck. . .If you want to appeal they tell you how to do that on your notice but make sure you know your housing market before you appeal – it may or may not be worth it depending on what you find out – that is where I come in!  I can help you figure it out!

There are deadlines of how long you have to appeal your tax statement!  Don’t miss your window!  And of course it can’t just be one date for everyone . . . that would be way too easy so you have to contact someone in your county to figure out your deadline

The 2nd notice – Truth in Taxation

This is sent by your county and comes out sometime in the fall (around November).  This tells you what proposed taxes are for next year

This is what it looks like for Hennepin County:

Don’t worry if you have never looked at that statement.  It is never too late to start paying attention and I would say most people don’t, so don’t feel bad.

This notice will tell you when people in your community will be meeting to discuss this increase and you can voice your opinion.  I would mention that if you are really frustrated with an increase then there will be others in your position and you should start making your frustration known (in a constructive way of course) as there are a lot of circular file people out there so they need to know what is going on and if you don’t tell them they won’t know.  You might have to provide food and drink after the meeting to get them to come but it will all be worth it if they can have an affect on your tax amount. . .and you get to have food and drink with them . . . good stuff. . totally worth it.

The 3rd notice – Your Tax Statement

You have to pay this one . . .sometimes this amount is bundled with your mortgage payment so your mortgage company pays that amount.  This “escrowed” option can seem less painful  but then they like to send you these crazy “notices of escrow increase” where they collect way more than they need to have enough “in reserve” to pay out your taxes.  If your taxes are not escrowed then you need to pay it directly 1/2 on May 15th and the other 1/2 on October 15th.  This is past the point of no return folks (unless you want to go to tax court). . .you just have to pay it wait for your next opportunity to get involved in the process.

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