Property Values down but Property Taxes Up?


Funny how the housing market is going down yet, the property taxes are going up? I don't know much about taxes, government or politics but it just doesn't seem right. They are crazy, we had to go appeal our property valuation notice the other day. Hopefully, it comes down in value. Next year for sure it'll be even lower at the rate we're going. I'm not paying taxes on an amount I couldn't even sell my house for, that's just ridiculous. It's not my fault the gov doesn't know how to budget their funds and so they feel the need to rip me off by increasing my property taxes. To fight it, you have to present them with at least 3 comparable homes which have sold for a lower value than your home. Not hard to do in this economy, however if you don't have a good Realtor to help you then you're pretty much out of luck. Some Realtors don't want to help you because they probably think it'll lower their commissions or property values even more. How do you expect to get referrals in this economy if you're not even willing to take 10-15 min out of your day to help someone lower their Property Taxes. I mean if a Realtor could save me at least $100-$200 any given year, I'd for sure be telling my friends and possibly even use that Realtor to help me relocate or sell my home. Duh!! Realtors are crazy and it sometimes makes me want to be a realtor cause I sometimes think I could do a better job. But only sometimes! The property values will continue to drop no matter what Realtors do to "protect" it. It's a buyer's market and that means, BUYERS will determine the drop or increase in market. If a Realtor can't help me lower my taxes one year, then I can't believe that the same Realtor will try to look out for my best interest when I decide to buy.

If you don't have a good realtor then here's some things you can do to help yourself out. The following can be found online for free. Especially, if you live in Utah County.

1. Know your homes details: Bedrooms, Baths, Square Footage (without garage), year built, acres, garage square footage, and serial or parcel number.

2. Know which neighbors sold recently and which homes are exactly like yours: You'll want to get homes which have sold and which are relatively the same as yours and write down their addresses and we can search for their info online. Usually ones in your neighborhood are best. On your list you can have 3 homes which have sold relatively close to your homes stats and then maybe another couple homes which you know are exactly the same. So you can compare your property values to theirs.

3. Search for Parcel Numbers: Go to > "Online Services" > "Search Land Records." Then select "Interactive Map based Parcel Search" and enter your serial or parcel number in the " Zoom To Parcel" section and click GO. You should be able to view your neighbors parcel numbers and if you can't then zoom out and you'll get a better view. Write down the parcel numbers to all the homes which you outlined in #2, you'll need it in order to see what their Property Values are.

Apple Grove Parcels

4. Compare Property Values: Now, go to the home page again. Go to "Online Services" > "Search Recorder's Documents" then click "Property Values". You will then want to type in the parcel number for the property which you need the values for. Print each one.

5. Take it to the County: Call the number on your Property Valuation Notice and tell them you'd like to make an appointment to Appeal it. Then they'll send you a paper in the mail and you'll be able to fill it out and take it to them on your appointment date.

From these steps and the sheets you now have you should be able to see if you are being charged more or less than your neighbors for their taxes. Your taxes are based on the value of your home (the higher your market value the higher your taxes) so if you have an exact duplicate home of your neighbor (like in our area) then you can see if either one of you is paying more or less than you should and you can use that information to appeal your property taxes. Also, if you do this and present the info to a realtor they will be more likely to use the houses you pulled up in your search than they pulled up in their search, afterall we know our neighborhood better than they do and we might have a preference for which houses to put on their comparison sheets. :) Hope this info helps you in saving some money this year or any coming years. I'll let you guys know if we were able to reduce our Property Value to what it really is or at least closer to what it is so I can let you know if this works for me. I know it's worked for a neighbor of ours but that's because they just bought it.

There's a whole lot of other stuff you can see from the Utah County Recorder but this is the most valuable info and I don't have time to get into all of the cool stuff you can find on there. But if you have time just click on all the links and type in your Parcel number to get the cool stuff. You can also look up homes for sale in your neighborhood using: or look up your neighbors and other stuff on (Zillow isn't my favorite but you may find some homes for sale that you wouldn't have found otherwise. Zillow, just doesn't seem to have the most accurate property values because they didn't even have our house on map maybe yours will be there.)

Oh and BTW be a good neighbor and let someone know if your Property Values are lower (for an identical property) than theirs because they'll appreciate it and maybe make you some cookies. Remember, this is free public information and so it's not like it's a big secret.

Linda Winegar

My greatest blessings call me Mom.