As you are likely aware, 2018 Property Tax Assessment Notices have recently been released. There is no doubt that many of you will have questions about the notices and, specifically, about the Fair Market Value (FMV) determined by the Tax Assessor’s Office for your property. If you believe the FMV specified on your notice is too high, we recommend that you discuss your situation with an experienced property tax appeals professional. Additionally, if you are currently in the process of buying or selling a home, or you are thinking of doing so prior to the actual tax bills being released in late summer/early fall, then we recommend that an amendment or special stipulation be added to your contract to address the 2018 assessment notice to avoid complications related to tax pro-rations post-closing.
We hope the following tips will be helpful in the upcoming year.
Property Tax Bills
Unless we were specifically given another mailing address prior to closing, tax bills will be mailed to your property address and will be addressed to the owner on record as of January 1st of that year. This means that even if you purchased your home on January 2nd, the bill will be in the name of the former owner and runs the risk of being forwarded to your seller by the USPS.
Even if the bill is addressed to the former owner or you don’t receive a copy in the mail, it is still your responsibility to pay the full tax bill, as the seller paid their prorated portion to you at closing.
If you have a mortgage with an escrow account, your taxes will be paid out of your mortgage escrow account by the lender. However, it is always a good idea to follow up with your lender to confirm amounts and payment.
County records take a while to update, so do not be worried if your seller’s name still shows as the owner online. Your recorded Warranty Deed is your proof of the transfer of title.
Please feel free to reach out to us directly to discuss this topic in more detail or if you have more questions.