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Real Estate Taxes 101


Just in time for Christmas, homeowners across the great state of Nebraska started receiving their property tax statement for their home and investment properties. Most homeowners pay little attention to this statement because as long as they have a mortgage, they also have an escrow account that is setup to pay this expense each year. Even though most homeowners do not have to worry about mailing in a check, we do want to make sure that you still take the time to review your statement for a few reasons.


The first reason is that mistakes can and do happen. Last year, we had a client who did not realize there had been a typo on their assessed value until it was too late to contest it. The homeowner ended up being taxed on an additional $100,000! The county insisted there was absolutely nothing they could do for the current tax year, so the homeowner was responsible to foot the difference since their escrow account didn't have enough money in it. While the homeowner felt pretty hopeless in the moment, we are so happy they contacted us to help them research the problem. It was easy to determine the valuation was incorrect, and with our help, the county did immediately file the valuation for the following year which was a $2,100 difference for this homeowner!


The second reason to review your property tax statement is that sometimes a property can be over-valued, and you have a right to contest it. There is a difference between market value and actual value, but in today's market, the actual value of your home as determined by the assessor's office, should not exceed the market value of your home. If it does, that is a big warning light. If this is the case for your property, contact your realtor today and ask if they will assist you by running a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for you to help your cause. Read more about how to protest your valuation at https://revenue.nebraska.gov/sites/revenue.nebraska.gov/files/doc/pad/info/Real_Property_Valuation_Protest_Info_Guide.pdf.


In Nebraska, you only have until March 1st to contest your property's valuation, so don't wait! If you have already discarded or cannot find your property tax statement, you can look it up by visiting your county assessor's website, and as always, you can always contact your agent at Heartland Realty Group with Coldwell Banker NHS to assist you!


If you are interested in learning more about how property taxes are calculated in Nebraska, visit https://revenue.nebraska.gov/about/frequently-asked-questions to learn more!


If you live in Iowa, check out https://tax.iowa.gov/iowa-property-tax-overview. Property assessments are only made every two years, and they follow a much different calendar for notifying homeowners.

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