Your property taxes seem like they are always going up. While that might not actually be true, it’s best to be prepared for when it does happen or be able to argue that it shouldn’t be the case.

Having a tax plan in place for your business can help navigate variations in property value, and the resulting changes in property taxes. Commercial property values have steadily increased over time, but haven’t been without fluctuation. Plan for your tax rates so you’re prepared to pay price increases or to appeal assessments quickly.

The writing on the wall

Establishing a plan requires that you know the factors that will contribute to your annual assessment:

  • Type of evaluation: An assessor will likely use one of three forms to assess your property, either a market comparison, a cost comparison or an income estimation. Knowing which type they will apply to your property will give a good idea of the metrics used to find the value.
  • Learn trends: Knowing your current tax rate is good, but looking into the future is better. Make sure your plan predicts changes in assessments and taxes by projecting changes due to new development, growing population and increased millage rates.
  • Increased value: Ideally, your property is going to grow and improve over time. Don’t just prepare for those developments, prepare for what those developments mean for your taxes. You can likely expect a higher value after building structures or adding improvements.

Stick to the plan

Once you’ve outlined your expectations, at some point, the actual increase may not line up with your prediction. Use this divergence as a sign that it could be time to double-check the numbers. Make sure your projections are still on track with current trends, but also compare your findings with the work of your assessor. Use all the information you’ve collected for comparison, and if need be, use it to mount a counterargument against the value that your assessor reported.

Staying ahead of your property taxes with a plan makes it easier to prepare for eventual increases in property taxes, and to make sure you’re ready for an appeal if the time comes.