Seller Resources - Articles

Selling Your Home - Property Taxes

Where can I learn more about appealing my property taxes?
In my experience here in Idaho, tax assessments are reviewed at most once a year and trail behind market value. Prices have been rising for years, so very few assessments will be too high. It is much more likely when prices are falling that you can get the assessor to lower your assessed value. If you think your assessment is too high, contact your local tax assessor's office to see what procedures to follow to appeal your property tax assessment. You may be able to appeal your assessment informally by providing relevant and recent comparable sales to the assessor. You may have to go through a formal tax-appeal process, where the burden of proof is on you to convince the Board of Equalization that your market value is lower than the assessment.

How is a home's value determined?
You have several ways to determine the value of a home. An appraisal is a professional estimate of a property's market value, based on recent sales of comparable properties, location, square footage and construction quality. However, a residential appraisal costs $500 or more today. Alternatively, a comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value performed by a real estate agent based on similar sales and property attributes. Most agents offer free analyses in the hopes of winning your business. You also can find comparable sales reports for a fee from various real estate websites.

Are taxes on second homes deductible?
Mortgage interest and property taxes may be deductible on a second home if you itemize. Check with your accountant or tax adviser for specifics.

How do property taxes work?
Property taxes are what most homeowners in the United States pay for the cost of public schools, services and government, on average 1.5 percent of the property's current market value. These annual local assessments are calculated using a variety of formulas. In SW Idaho, the levy rate for homeowners is closer to 1% per year on market value with the homeowner's exemption, depending on which taxing districts the property is in. Non-owner occupied property owners can pay up to 2% per year.

Are property taxes deductible?
Property taxes on all real estate, including those levied by state and local governments and school districts, may be fully deductible against current income taxes. Consult your tax professional.

What is an impound account?
An impound account is a trust account established by the lender to hold money to pay for real estate taxes, and mortgage and homeowners insurance premiums as they are received each month.

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