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Special Report 13: How to save on your property taxes - Electronic Edition

Special Report 13: How to save on your property taxes - Electronic Edition
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Author: Mark A. Smith
[This is the Special Report 13 in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Our electronic products download immediately to your computer upon purchase.]

When we started to research the tax rolls we discovered that some of the most lavish homes had the best rates on their taxes. The story of an eye-popping experience and how we ended up saving lost of money that others waste. Six pages, revised and updated with new reader tips, web links and comments.

Topics Include:

  • How to appeal your property tax assessment
  • Special tax breaks
  • Market value myth
  • How to adjust your design for lower value
  • Lower taxes for owner-builders

Excerpt from Report:

"...You've got your new home finished. You are settling down into a routine of comfort and pleasure in your fabulous creation. You marvel at how one can get away with generating this much equity in a property and never have to pay taxes on the windfall.

Then the tax man cometh...

No, not the income tax man. Thanks to the Taxpayers Relief Act of 1997, he's held at bay on your gain. It's the Property Tax man! You haven't thought much about property tax because it's the hidden tax. It is cleverly wrapped into an escrow by your mortgage company which is wrapped into a monthly payment which you know you can afford, and therefore don't think about.

But it's there.

In the first year you build your new house, you may be "exempt" from property tax, that is, in some jurisdictions they may let you pay the tax on the land alone, as there was not a finished house on it when the new tax year officially rolled around.

Not in my jurisdiction.

The tax man came right away. The assessor got notification of our building a house from the city inspector's department. The city inspector enters your home into the system at the amount you estimate it will cost to build. We entered $150,000 at the time we took out our permit. The assessors office got this information, and added something for the land which was already on their rolls, and hit us with the full amount the first year we lived in our new place.

We had never seen a tax bill that big."...

Sample Reader Tip Excerpts:

"I'm building three thousand square feet with a full basement, and another thousand on the third floor. It will be configured with garage doors down below, and framed in such a way that basement can be used as garage and thus unheated and taxed for much less. I'll make a ten-foot bay with a garage door, which can later be removed, windows installed, and made into a walk-out. Square footage but without the taxes."
Jim V.
Reno, NV

"We built our house and left basement unfinished until after the assessor filed his report, then we started finishing it ourselves. No sense having twice the square footage to pay taxes on."
Jason B.
Pleasant Grove, UT

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