June 30, 2011, is the last day you can appeal your property tax assessment in Rome, Georgia. The Rome News Tribune had an article about this topic on front page of today’s paper (click here to read it).
The number one reason to appeal your tax assessment if the value is not accurate is that a lower property value will lower your tax bill. For many people, their property taxes are escrowed into their mortgage payments. If you can get your property taxes lowered, you might be able to get your mortgage payment lowered as well or least keep it from increasing next year. I’ve noticed that most of my Northwest Georgia bankruptcy clients have their property taxes included in their mortgage payment.
A second reason to appeal your tax valuation is that it could help your bankruptcy case. For example, most Chapter 7 trustees will look at the tax assessments to determine whether or not they want to try to challenge a debtor’s valuation of their home in the bankruptcy petition.
For example, if you have listed that your house is worth $50,000 in your bankruptcy petition but your tax assessor has it valued at $100,000, most Chapter 7 trustees will challenge your value. Furthermore, a chapter 7 trustee can sell your house and use the proceeds to pay your creditors. In this current economy, this almost never happens because the housing market is awful.
If you are planning on wiping out your second mortgage in a Chapter 13, you will want your county to assess your the value of your property as low as possible.
Getting a professional appraisal of your house to support your valuation of it will greatly increase the chances of your success in appealing the county tax assessment.
If you are planning on selling your house in the near future, you my want to leave your property tax assessment alone. If your asking price for your house is much higher than the tax assessment you will most likely find it extremely difficult to sell.
If you want to appeal, you must do so as soon you can. Otherwise, you are stuck with that tax valuation for the next year.