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1 in 4 Americans Have Challenged Their Property Taxes

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on July 11, 2011 9:50 AM

Many a homeowner has opened that dreaded tax bill envelope. But not everybody just blindly pays what the government is charging. In fact, 1 in 4 Americans have challenged their property taxes, according to a new FindLaw.com survey.

If you are thinking about fighting our property tax bill, FindLaw has a wealth of information on how to present a successful property tax challenge. We also have a lot of other helpful information on property taxes written by attorneys that are passionate about presenting the often complicated issues surrounding this topic in an accessible manner.

One great resource to check out is our Answers community -- an interactive board that allows you to present your question and get answers. We have moderators, graduates of some of the nation's best laws schools, standing by to help you with your property tax questions.

Same goes for our staff of lawyers writing on real estate and tax law at FindLaw's national blog Law & Daily Life.

Yep, we can help you with all of it, including a quick rundown of what exactly property taxes are.

Taxing property (whether land or buildings) is one of the oldest form of taxes in the United States. Although the specific criterion varies from state to state, property taxes are based on the value of a particular piece of property. Translation: the more a piece of property is worth, the higher the property taxes will be.

Because the impact of a tax assessment can be quite expensive for property owners, challenges to the valuations of properties are understandably common. In most cases, owners are free to meet with the assessor to present their cases.

Owners need to keep in mind that any changes must be based on evidence. Mere complaints that the owners think their taxes are too high will not lead to a reduction. Evidence can come in the form of: correcting errors in the initial assessment, comparing to similar property sales and taking advantage of certain exemptions.

Property taxes are not all bad. They are a major source of revenue to keep the city you live in running. Additionally, owning a home and other property can be beneficial when it comes to income taxes.

So the next time you have a property tax question, be sure to come to us for all the property tax information you will need.

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