Most business owners see commercial property taxes as a fixed cost. Just as homeowners do, commercial property owners receive a bill once per year, pay it and move on, but there are other options.
As a variable cost, like an electric bill, commercial property taxes vary. Thus, you do have the power to pressure, fight and negotiate your fees. Owning commercial property is expensive; the associated taxes are often the greatest expenditure. If there were ways to lower the expense of occupying that property, would you be interested? Of course, you would. a lowered property lax value equals a lower bill for owning the property.
Consider these five tips below to lower your commercial property taxes.
- Determine how much you pay per year in annual property taxes: You may own one or two, a dozen or hundreds of commercial properties, but no matter how many you own, you may be unaware of the yearly property tax cost. Begin to track this number for all your properties and look to lower the cost through a property tax appeal.
- Tax incentives can offer incentives when you make early payments: Some jurisdictions and tax bills can provide you discounts on your property taxes for paying early. Even a 1 or 2 percent discount can be significant.
- If you can, avoid paying in installments: Though many jurisdictions allow staggered payments, additional fees are often accrued when doing so. Unless you have no other option, be aware of “pay early incentives” or pay on time to avoid the extra fees.
- Leverage the appeals process in your favor: all tax districts have their own specifications and rules to follow when appealing a commercial property tax. For example, some states allow property owners to avoid paying the full tax if they pay during an appeal. If you win, you’ll only have to pay the decreased amount, but if you lose, you would have to pay the remaining percentage,
- Have a discussion with your local assessor: All properties have a property tax assessor. If you do meet with them, be prepared. Know the property inside and out by understanding the square footage, what your properties are worth, their location, the date you acquired them and how properties like yours have been assessed.
Property tax disputes can develop into messy legal matters. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a denied appeal, contact an attorney who specializes in resolving such disputes.