Does An Appraisal Increase My Property Taxes?

A family consulting with a real estate appraiser

As a homeowner, you might wonder, “Will getting an appraisal lead to higher property taxes?” The good news is, in most cases, the answer is a resounding “No”.

Your property taxes are determined by the tax assessor in your town or county, whereas an appraisal is typically conducted for loan purposes. It’s important to note that appraisers are bound by strict confidentiality rules, meaning they can only share appraisal results with their designated client.

Normally, the client for an appraiser is either the lender who requested the appraisal or the homeowner seeking valuation for various reasons, such as selling a property.

To put it simply, the tax assessor isn’t privy to your appraisal’s findings unless they’re disclosed by another party. Hence, they have no grounds to adjust your taxes based on the appraiser’s valuation. However, it’s always wise to verify with your local tax authority to fully understand how assessments are made and any potential impacts.

A real estate appraiser inspecting a house

Property Appraisal

Explaining Property Appraisals

To grasp the essence of property appraisals, it’s essential to delve into the appraisal process and comprehend its underlying purpose.

At its core, a property appraisal represents an impartial evaluation of a home’s actual market worth, meticulously carried out by a certified or licensed expert. This evaluation takes into account various factors such as the property’s size, condition, location, and comparable sales in the area.

Understanding the Appraisal Process

Understanding the appraisal process is vital, especially during property transactions, where ensuring the home’s sale price aligns with its true value is crucial.

Typically, the process begins with a thorough inspection of the property by the appraiser. This is followed by a comparative analysis, where the property is assessed alongside similar ones in the vicinity, taking into account factors like condition, location, and any upgrades or renovations.

Market conditions also heavily influence appraisal outcomes. In a seller’s market, characterized by high demand and low inventory, home values tend to be higher compared to a buyer’s market, where supply exceeds demand.

Ordering an appraisal is a standard protocol in the home buying process, providing lenders with assurance that they are not extending loans beyond the property’s actual worth. This added layer of security safeguards against overextending credit and helps maintain stability in the real estate market.

How Appraisal Values Are Figured Out

Determining appraisal values involves a meticulous process overseen by licensed or certified appraisers.

Initially, the appraiser conducts a thorough physical examination of the property, assessing its condition and any unique features that may influence its value positively or negatively.

Following this, an in-depth analysis ensues, involving a comparison of the subject property with recently sold similar properties in the vicinity. This comparative assessment helps gauge the property’s worth relative to recent sale prices of comparable homes.

Moreover, appraisers factor in broader market dynamics such as shifts in the housing market or economic fluctuations, recognizing their potential impact on the property’s value.

By integrating various data points and employing a comprehensive methodology, the appraiser arrives at an estimated value or a value range tailored to the specific appraisal purpose. This meticulous approach ensures accuracy and reliability in determining the property’s true market worth.

Why Property Appraisals Are Important in Different Cases

Property appraisals hold significant importance across a spectrum of situations, each highlighting their indispensable role.

For homeowners seeking to refinance or secure a mortgage, an appraisal serves as a vital reassurance for lenders, validating the property’s value and fulfilling a standard requirement for loan approval.

In scenarios such as estate settlements or divorces, where asset distribution or valuation is pivotal, appraisals play a crucial role in ensuring fairness and accuracy.

Additionally, property appraisals are indispensable for insurance purposes, aiding in the determination of appropriate coverage amounts by providing an estimated property value.

With their multifaceted applications, property appraisals serve as cornerstone tools for informed decision-making in the realm of real estate and beyond, safeguarding interests and facilitating smooth transactions.

A person using a calculator

Property Taxes

Property taxes are a significant source of revenue for local governments and are levied on real estate properties. 

Understanding Property Tax Calculation

Property Tax Calculation Methods

Property taxes are computed based on the assessed value, or perceived market value, of a property, determined by the local government’s tax assessor.

This assessed value reflects an estimate of the property’s current market worth and serves as the foundation for tax calculations.

The tax rate, often denoted as the millage or equalization rate, is then applied to the assessed value to ascertain the property tax amount due.

This rate varies across jurisdictions and is typically expressed as dollars of tax per $1,000 of assessed value.

For instance, if a property’s assessed value is $200,000 and the local millage rate is 10 mills (equivalent to 1%), the annual property tax would amount to $2,000.

Moreover, exemptions, such as those granted to senior citizens or veterans, can be factored into the equation.

These exemptions serve to lower the effective tax rate for eligible property owners, providing relief and fairness in property tax obligations.

Factors That Influence Property Tax Rates

Various factors contribute to the divergence in property tax rates across different jurisdictions, reflecting the complex interplay of local dynamics and needs.

One pivotal determinant is the funding requirements of the local government to sustain essential public services, encompassing schools, law enforcement, firefighting, and infrastructure upkeep.

Communities with substantial allocations towards these services often necessitate higher tax rates to fulfill their fiscal obligations. Moreover, the aggregate property values within an area exert influence on tax rates.

Regions boasting higher property values may exhibit lower tax rates, as the requisite tax revenue can be sourced from the more affluent properties.

Economic fluctuations, such as recessionary periods, can further shape property tax rates as local administrations recalibrate rates to address budgetary shortfalls or adapt to shifts in property valuations.

Lastly, the direct impact of voter-endorsed initiatives and referendums on property tax rates cannot be understated. These initiatives can either raise tax rates for designated projects or impose caps to curtail tax escalation, reflecting community priorities and mandates.

Role of Property Value In Tax Assessment

The property value of a home serves as the cornerstone for determining the property tax obligations of individual property owners.

Local governments undertake periodic property assessments to ascertain the prevailing market value of properties within their jurisdiction.

These assessments are susceptible to various influences, including shifts in the real estate market, enhancements or expansions to the property, and alterations in the surrounding area that may impact property values.

An escalation in a property’s assessed value typically translates to augmented property taxes over time, while a depreciation in property value may alleviate the tax burden.

Property owners retain the option to contest their property’s assessed value if they perceive it to be inaccurately reflective of the market value.

To substantiate their case, homeowners can furnish evidence such as recent sales data of comparable properties in the vicinity or an appraisal conducted by a licensed appraiser. This process ensures fairness and accuracy in tax assessments, safeguarding the interests of property owners.

A magnifying glass on top of a laptop

Addressing the Misunderstanding: Appraisals vs. Property Taxes

A prevalent misconception among property owners revolves around the notion that obtaining an appraisal directly impacts their property taxes.

While it’s accurate that an appraisal provided to the tax authority could potentially influence the assessed value of a property, it’s important to note that the tax authority typically doesn’t have access to individual appraisals.

In scenarios such as refinancing or property purchase, the appraisal is conducted and furnished to the lender.

Adhering to stringent confidentiality protocols, appraisers are restricted to sharing their findings solely with the lender who initiated the appraisal.

This implies that not only can appraisers not disclose their reports to the tax authority, but they’re often unable to share them with the buyer either, emphasizing the confidentiality surrounding appraisal processes.

A woman comparing two documents

Differentiating Between Appraised Value and Assessed Value

Understanding the disparity between appraised value and assessed value is crucial, as they serve distinct purposes in the realm of property valuation.

Appraised value signifies the present market worth of a property, determined through a professional assessment by an appraiser. This valuation holds significance in various contexts such as real estate transactions, financing arrangements, and insurance matters.

Conversely, assessed value is calculated by the local government tax assessor and serves as the basis for property tax computations. Unlike appraised value, assessed value may not always align with current market valuations, as it is influenced by assessment regulations and schedules unique to each jurisdiction.

It’s important to recognize that although the terms “assessment” and “appraisal” are sometimes used interchangeably, they denote distinct processes with different outcomes. This distinction is paramount to avoid confusion.

In essence, it’s crucial to understand that an appraisal does not directly dictate the assessed value of a property for taxation purposes. Each serves its own distinct function within the realm of property valuation.

A couple consulting with a residential appraiser

Situations Where Appraisals May Impact Property Taxes Indirectly

Your Home Is Being Sold

When your home is sold, one crucial data point that tax authorities can access is the sale price of the property.

The sale price of a home is typically a matter of public record and can be readily accessed by anyone interested.

In certain instances, especially in robust real estate markets like those experienced in 2022-2023, if a home sells for more than its current assessed value, it can trigger a reassessment by the tax authority, potentially leading to an increase in property taxes.

Therefore, if your appraisal value aligns with or exceeds the selling price of your home, confirming its market value, this information may eventually become public knowledge.

In this manner, although the tax authority may not directly review the appraisal, the appraisal could indirectly impact your property taxes through its alignment with the eventual sale price of the property.

You’re Challenging Your Assessment and Hire an Appraiser

If you find yourself questioning the accuracy of your property assessment and suspect you’re being overcharged, engaging a professional appraiser could prove beneficial.

Through acquiring an up-to-date and precise appraisal, you equip yourself with substantial evidence to contest the tax assessment.

Although the appraisal alone doesn’t ensure an alteration in the assessed value, utilizing this information in your appeal can significantly bolster your case for a reassessment.

Your Town or County has an Appraiser on Staff

In certain jurisdictions, towns or counties may employ in-house appraisers tasked with conducting periodic evaluations of properties within their purview.

This process forms part of a routine reassessment schedule adopted by cities and counties to align property taxes with prevailing market values.

During such reassessment periods, the staff appraiser may assess your property, potentially resulting in an adjustment to your property taxes, whether an increase or decrease.

It’s important to note that this scenario differs from when you commission your own appraisal.

In this instance, the tax authority acts as the “client,” and the appraiser isn’t engaged by you or your lender, as discussed earlier.

A cutout word about taxes with dollar bills

Top Tips for Property Tax Management

To proactively manage your property taxes and mitigate potential increases, consider implementing the following strategies:

Stay Informed About Local Tax Rates and Assessments

Staying informed about local property tax rates and assessment schedules is essential for effective tax management. You can access this information easily through your local government’s website, where updates on tax rates and assessment timelines are typically available. By staying abreast of these details, you can anticipate potential changes in your property taxes and plan accordingly. Additionally, consider subscribing to email alerts or newsletters from your local tax authority to receive timely updates directly to your inbox. This proactive approach ensures that you are well-informed and equipped to manage your property taxes effectively.

Review Your Assessment Notices

When you receive your property assessment notice, it’s crucial to review it meticulously for any inaccuracies in the description of your property. Errors in property descriptions, such as incorrect square footage or inaccurate property classifications, can potentially lead to an overvaluation and higher property taxes.

If you identify any discrepancies or errors in your assessment notice, it’s advisable to take prompt action. Contact your local tax assessor’s office to request a review or correction of the errors. Providing documentation or evidence to support your claim, such as property blueprints or recent appraisals, can strengthen your case for a reassessment.

Addressing errors in your property assessment notice in a timely manner can help ensure that your property taxes accurately reflect the true value of your property, potentially saving you money in the long run.

Understand the Appeal Process

It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the appeal process for challenging your property assessment in your local jurisdiction. Each locality may have specific deadlines, procedures, and requirements that must be followed to be considered for a reassessment.

Start by researching the appeal process outlined by your local tax assessor’s office or government website. Take note of important deadlines for filing an appeal and gather any necessary documentation to support your case, such as recent property appraisals, sales data of comparable properties, or evidence of property damage or deterioration.

Be sure to adhere closely to the outlined procedures and provide all required information when submitting your appeal. Failure to meet deadlines or provide necessary documentation may result in your appeal being dismissed.

Consider seeking guidance from a local tax professional or attorney who specializes in property tax appeals for additional support and advice throughout the process.

Understanding the appeal process and taking proactive steps to challenge your assessment can be instrumental in ensuring fair and accurate property taxation.

Consider Home Improvements Wisely

When considering home improvements, it’s essential to weigh the potential impact on your property’s assessed value and, consequently, your property taxes. Certain types of renovations or additions can significantly increase your property’s assessed value, resulting in higher tax obligations.

Before embarking on any home improvement project, research how different types of improvements might affect your property taxes. Understand that visible enhancements, such as decks, patios, new siding, or sunrooms, are likely to catch the attention of the tax assessor and may lead to an increase in your property’s assessment.

On the other hand, improvements that are not immediately visible to the tax assessor, such as new kitchen cabinets or a finished basement, may not prompt an automatic reassessment. In such cases, the tax assessor may not have a reason to support an increase in your property’s assessment.

Therefore, it’s essential to consider home improvements wisely and assess their potential impact on your property taxes before proceeding. You may also consult with a local tax professional or assess the likelihood of a reassessment based on the nature of the improvement and your local tax assessor’s practices. This proactive approach can help you make informed decisions and avoid unexpected increases in your property tax bill.

Compare Your Home’s Assessment with Other Properties

Comparing your home’s assessment with similar properties in your area can provide valuable insights into whether your property is being fairly valued or if there are grounds for an appeal.

A useful starting point is to access assessment data for your property and neighboring properties through your local county or village website. Typically, you can find this information by searching for “x county real property records.” By analyzing assessment data for comparable properties, you can assess whether your property’s assessment aligns with others in the area.

If you find disparities or inconsistencies in assessments among similar properties, it may indicate potential grounds for appeal. Gathering evidence and documentation to support your case, such as sales data of comparable properties or property condition assessments, can strengthen your appeal.

By proactively staying informed and engaged with your property’s assessment and taxation, you can better manage and, in some cases, mitigate increases in your property taxes. Taking these proactive steps empowers you to advocate for fair and accurate property assessments, ultimately contributing to more equitable property taxation in your community.


In conclusion, understanding the relationship between property appraisals and property taxes is essential for homeowners seeking clarity on their financial obligations. While property appraisals play a crucial role in determining a home’s market value for various purposes such as refinancing or sales, they typically do not directly impact property taxes. Property taxes are primarily based on assessments conducted by local tax authorities, considering factors like property values and local tax rates.

It’s crucial to recognize that while appraisals provide valuable insights into a property’s worth, they are not automatically shared with tax authorities. Appraisers adhere to strict confidentiality rules, limiting the disclosure of appraisal results to their designated clients, typically lenders or homeowners. Therefore, the misconception that appraisals directly influence property taxes is unfounded in most cases.

However, certain scenarios, such as property sales or assessment challenges, may indirectly affect property taxes. For instance, if a home sells for more than its assessed value, it could prompt a reassessment by tax authorities, potentially leading to higher taxes. Similarly, utilizing an appraisal to contest an assessment can influence tax outcomes.

In navigating property taxes and valuation processes, homeowners are encouraged to stay informed about local tax rates, review assessment notices for accuracy, understand the appeal process, and consider the implications of home improvements. By taking proactive steps and seeking guidance when needed, homeowners can effectively manage their property taxes and ensure fair and accurate assessments.

If you’re seeking clarity on your property’s value or considering a property appraisal, we’re here to help. Block Appraisals offers comprehensive property evaluation services tailored to your needs, providing you with the insight, clarity, and peace of mind you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how our certified property appraisal experts can assist you in understanding your property’s true market worth and navigating important financial decisions.

A professional appraiser in his office

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