Did you know that the real estate tax rate in Pennsylvania increased by 1.58% in 2019? While that may not seem like a big jump, Pennsylvania continues to pay some of the highest property tax rates in the United States.
Paying property taxes on your brick-and-mortar is an inevitable part of owning a business. But it is also possible that you could be paying too much in commercial property taxes and losing a significant portion of your annual profits.
How do you challenge and appeal your commercial tax assessment? With tax season finally here, now is the time to find out!
Understanding Commercial Property Tax Assessments
When it comes to appraising a commercial property, the process can be very different than evaluating a residential property. The process for assessing residential properties is generally the same; residential appraisals often measure the property’s value based on location, the neighborhood, and the size of the property.
With commercial properties, however, every property is regarded as unique and warrants a customized appraisal. Commercial property appraisals are contingent on how much income a business is expected to generate. Commercial appraisers will also base their values on the property’s public ownership history, long-term rental leases, and how much similar properties have sold for in the area.
Not all properties are assessed on an individual basis each year, and many businesses pay their commercial property taxes with the mindset that they’re fixed and cannot be changed. Because property values often roll over each year without assessment, and because businesses don’t always question how much they’re paying in property taxes, many of them are likely overpaying an unnecessary amount each year.
How to Appeal Your Commercial Property Tax Bill
If you suspect that your commercial property is overvalued, or if you’re wondering how you can lower your tax liabilities, it’s important to remember that you can challenge your commercial property tax bill.
Before filing an appeal, it’s essential to work with a lawyer and determine if you have grounds to challenge your commercial property tax bill. At Hoegen & Associates, P.C., we’ve helped businesses throughout Pennsylvania navigate the local property tax laws set in place.
We’ll first work towards obtaining an accurate assessment of your commercial property. We’ll evaluate the local real estate market and the sales prices of other commercial properties in your area. We’ll also factor in construction and remodeling costs, the age and size of your property, and how all of these factors play into your tax rate as it stands now.
If your county has overvalued your property, our lawyers can file a tax assessment appeal and represent you before the court and fight towards decreasing your property tax liabilities.
Reduce Your Business Tax Obligations in 2020
High property tax rates in Pennsylvania are, unfortunately, not decreasing anytime soon. With the recent rise in property tax rates, it’s becoming more common for businesses and commercial property owners to pay more than is necessary.
Hoegen & Associates, P.C. is committed to protecting businesses in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and standing up for them when it comes to their property taxes. If you own a business in the area, we can also help you understand other ways to decrease your business tax obligations and save more money in the long run.