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How to Challenge Your Commercial Property Tax Bill

Owning commercial property comes with a lot of responsibilities, such as ensuring you pay the correct amount in taxes. A commercial property tax bill is one of the largest expenses that businesses need to budget for. If you believe your property tax bill may be too high, then it’s important to know how to challenge it. 

Paying taxes on commercial property can be expensive, but challenging your taxes doesn’t have to be. The good news is that challenging your property tax bill doesn’t have to be intimidating if you know where to start. By taking the time to understand the process and familiarize yourself with the laws, you can make sure that your commercial property tax bill is fair and accurate. Let’s take a look at how you can successfully challenge your commercial property tax bill.

5 Steps to Challenging Your Commercial Property Tax Bill 

When challenging a commercial property tax bill, there are several things that can be contested. These can be items such as: 

  • incorrect classifications or values 
  • errors in calculation discrepancies between comparable properties 
  • changes due to physical improvements or renovations made after the assessment date 

Knowing which areas of the assessment are open for dispute will help focus your efforts on those points. This will make it easier for you when making an appeal against your assessment notice. Here are our five steps that you can take towards challenging your commercial property tax bill. 

Step 1: Gather Evidence for Your Appeal

The first step of any successful property tax appeal is to collect evidence that will support your case. Start by gathering supportive paperwork such as deeds, value assessments and real estate appraisals. Your evidence may also include photographs that show both the interior and exterior condition of your property.  

It’s also important to include evidence related to similar properties in your area that may have lower tax assessments than yours does. This documentation is especially useful if there are economic or structural differences between your property and those with lower assessments. 

Step 2: Understand Your Local Tax Laws 

Once you have all your documentation in order, next is understanding the local laws governing commercial property taxes in your area. It’s important to become familiar with local tax laws as they relate to challenging commercial property taxes. You can check local zoning laws and regulations to make sure they apply to your property.

Different states have different rules and regulations when it comes to assessing these taxes. For instance, some states require owners of commercial properties to file an appeal within a certain period of time after receiving their assessment notice. Failure to do so could result in forfeiting your right to contest the taxes imposed on your property.

These laws usually provide guidance on factors such as depreciation, improvements, market value, or other factors which may impact the value of the property. If you think any of these factors should be taken into consideration when assessing your taxes, be sure to understand how they will affect the valuation of your property in preparation for an appeal hearing. 

Step 3: Calculate Your Assessment Value

With your evidence and local tax law knowledge in hand, it’s time to calculate an accurate assessment value for your property. This will give you an idea of what the fair market value for your property should be. You can do this by comparing similar properties in the area or by using online tools such as Zillow or Redfin. Make sure that when calculating a fair market value for your property, you account for factors such as location and condition of the building, as well as any recent upgrades or improvements that have been made since its last assessment.

Step 4: Prepare and File an Appeal  

Now that you have calculated an accurate assessment value for your property, it’s time to prepare a written appeal. This documentation outlines why you think your property assessment is too high, and is then filed with the county assessor’s office. When drafting this document, focus on providing clear arguments that are supported by facts rather than emotion-based claims or personal opinions about what constitutes fair taxation in general.

In most cases, this process involves filling out a form and submitting it along with supporting documentation such as appraisals and photographs of the building’s condition. Once you submit your appeal, it will be reviewed by a qualified assessor who will determine whether or not it is valid and if there are grounds for lowering the assessed value of your property.

Step 5: Negotiate With the Assessor if Your Appeal is Successful    

If after reviewing all of your evidence and the assessor agrees that there are grounds for reducing the assessed value of your property, they will contact you with an offer or settlement agreement outlining how much they are willing to reduce the assessed value by. At this point, it is up to you whether or not you accept their offer, or if you would like to negotiate further for a better deal. 

A Guide to Challenging Your Commercial Property Tax Bill

Challenging commercial property taxes requires research, planning, and patience. By understanding local tax laws and gathering evidence related to similar properties in your area, you can ensure that your commercial property tax bill remains fair and accurate throughout the year. 

Through focusing on areas like incorrect values or classifications, discrepancies between comparable properties, or changes due to physical improvements or renovations made after the assessment date, business owners can dispute their bills with confidence. After filing an appeal make sure to stay engaged throughout the process, from negotiation until settlement, so that everything goes smoothly. With proper research and preparation ahead of time, business owners can ensure they are taking all necessary steps towards reducing their commercial property tax bills as much as possible.Appealing your commercial property tax bill can be overwhelming but with support, it can be successful and potentially save you thousands. TXPTR are the lending experts in the industry–reducing property taxes for commercial owners all over Texas. Our flat fee services ensure that reducing your property taxes remains stress free, putting time and money back into your business.   

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