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I'm working on gathering info and scheduling a walk with my tax assessor to try and decrease my property's appraised value for a tax break. However, it occurred to me that the tax assessor's valuation might be used when valuing the home for sale.

Could I be costing myself potential money by intentionally doing anything I can to lower tax values?

We're planning a major indoor renovation next year and I wanted to do a walkthrough of the house to lower its taxable value now so I can put it off as long as possible in future years.

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Property appraisals are used as input when determining a tax assessment, not the other way around. Often, a tax assessor will allow other inputs to be used in determining the taxable value of a property (such as recent sales in the neighborhood), however the primary means of determining value is through an appraisal.

Your question might be a moot one, because after the assessment happens and (let's say) the taxable value is reduced; the building permits required to begin your renovation will flag the attention of the assessor. Once the renovations are completed, you can bet that the city will want to reassess the updated value of the home.

Taking steps to "intentionally" lower the value of a property is risky business- you can bet that an assessor who's been on the job more than a couple years will have seen their share of such attempts, and if they recognize it there will most likely be repercussions.

  • It's not uncommon to request a reassessment if property values have decreased. There's nothing necessarily nefarious about such action. – Rocky Jan 18 at 18:10
  • @Rocky To be specific, I wasn't talking about merely requesting a reassessment. I was addressing the idea of "intentionally doing" things to artificially influence and lower the assessed value. – Derek_6424246 Jan 21 at 17:25
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In my experience the opposite is actually true: a lower assessment is a potential selling point due to the tax savings to the buyer.

This statement concerns me though:

Could I be costing myself potential money by intentionally doing anything I can to lower tax values?

This could be illegal, and so yes, it could be costly if you were prosecuted for it. Or you could be elected governor instead.

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