Property Tax Too High? What You Need To Know

Posted on: 26 September 2022

Local governments fund their operations through property tax. Your property taxes fund local services, such as the police, fire department, trash collection, and other vital government functions. Most homeowners have no issue with paying their property taxes because they realize that critical services would be hampered if no property tax system was in place.

In some instances, however, you might feel that your property taxes are unfairly high. The following article examines this important issue for homeowners.

Millage Rate and Assessment

Some homeowners might not know exactly how their property tax bill is determined. This lack of knowledge could make it more difficult for a person to recognize if their bill is too high. Let's take a look at how municipalities calculate property taxes.

Local governments use a unit known as the "millage rate" when determining property taxes. A mill is equal to one dollar of taxes for every $1,000 of the property's assessed value. So, if a municipality has a mileage rate of 7 and your house is assessed at $150,000,  you are taxed $7 for every $1000 of the property's assessed value and your taxes are $1,050.The mileage rate part of the formula is fixed. The only variable is the property assessment, which can vary. Generally, when someone disagrees with their property tax bill, it's because they think their house's assessment was too high.

Homestead Exemption

One way to reduce your property taxes is to apply for a homestead exemption. This is a provision that can allow homeowners to have a certain percentage of their assessment exempt from taxation, which lowers your overall tax bill. 

Although most states have a homestead exemption provision, the eligibility requirements and amount of the exemption vary from state to state. In many states, only certain people, such as seniors and veterans, will qualify. In other states everyone who owns a home is eligible. Check your state laws and make sure you file for the exemption if you qualify.


If you feel that your tax bill is too high, you have the right to appeal. Usually, you will need to file the appeal within a few weeks of receiving your property tax bill. To successfully challenge a property tax bill, you will typically need to show that the assessment of your property was excessive. Before filing an appeal, it's a good idea to determine the value of comparable homes in your neighborhood. Another possibility is to have a real estate professional assess the value of your home. An experienced property tax attorney can help you with your appeal and make sure that you have a strong case.

Call a property tax attorney to discuss your property taxes.