By Chesley Payne
It’s the time of year that everyone looks forward to each year. Yes, it’s property tax time. If you’re like most people who have an escrow account with a mortgage company, this time can come and go without much notice. However, if you pay your taxes yourself, here are some things to keep in mind.
First, taxes must be paid by Dec. 31 of each year. Many people overlook this requirement, allowing property tax investors to sweep in and pay your taxes on your behalf. If this happens, you may have to pay additional costs and interest to redeem the property. Do not forget to make your payment timely.
Second, take this time to ensure you are paying the correct amount of property taxes. Did you buy your property prior to Oct. 1 of the current year? Make sure the property taxes are assessed in your name prior to Dec. 31. Also, if it is your principal residence, make sure you have filed your homestead election prior to the end of the year. By doing so, you will receive a significant discount on your next tax bill. Are you eligible for a tax exemption? To confirm this, contact your county’s tax assessor’s office to confirm your status and take the steps to claim your proper allowance.
In the end, these steps should be repeated on a yearly basis. Mistakes can be made and it is your duty as a property owner to ensure everything is correct. If you find yourself in a situation which seems difficult or beyond what you have dealt with, contact the attorney of your choice to discuss this further.