Property Taxes and How to Save Money with Appeals

How property taxes work, and more importantly how to lower your property taxes without doing any work yourself.


Jay Tipre

How Property Taxes Work

Property taxes account for the lion's share of revenue for most local governments. There are four main components that make up your property tax bill:

  • Assessment - The equalized value assigned to your property by the municipal assessor.
  • Tax Rate - The rate at which property is taxed.
  • Assessment Ratio - The ratio to convert your assessment into a dollar value.
  • Market Value - The dollar value of your property.

Generally, your tax bill is calculated by:

Assessment x Tax Rate

To compute your assessment a municipal assessor will juxtapose your property against several similar properties in your jurisdiction. In the vast majority of the country this is accomplished through varying types of multiple regression analyses, attempting to fit a linear pricing function to the observable property sales.

Tax rates on the other hand are set by local governments. They are computed by a simple equation which considers the jurisdiction's budgetary needs on one side, and how much tax they would need to levy against all property value in the region to meet those financial obligations on the other.

Why are so many assessments incorrect?

Assessors are tasked with the difficult job of accurately valuing hundreds of thousands properties in a given region. This is a process that is plagued by poor data and outdated software that still takes a linear approach to mass appraisal. As a result, roughly 45% of all properties in the United States end up overassessed on an annual basis. To make matters worse, the vast majority of property owners are unaware if they are overpaying on their taxes. Only 10% of property owners who should appeal actually do.

Reducing property taxes with Fairly.

Our platform uses machine learning to constantly monitor the accuracy of your assessments. Our data driven approach to valuation allows us to ensure that your assessment truly reflects the condition of comparable properties in your regional real estate market. When our model identifies an overassessed property, one of our local experts takes care of all the paperwork and files an appeal on your behalf - all you have to do is sit back and save.

The best part? Our assessment monitoring service is entirely free. Fairly's business model works on a contingent basis - we only get paid if you see a reduction on your property tax bill. In nearly all municipalities an assessment cannot be increased as the result of an appeal - meaning it is truly a no-lose proposition.

Sign up now and start optimizing your NOI.

August 9, 2021

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45% of properties in the United States pay too much in property tax. You shouldn't be one of them.
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