Welcome to Rhode Island!!
Donnie Bennett


Do you think you are paying too much in property taxes? According to the National Taxpayers Union (www.ntu.org), roughly 60% of the nation’s taxable property may be OVER-VALUED for assessment purposes.

Isn’t the government wonderful? Well… instead of taking punishment, maybe it’s time for you to fight back a little. When the city or town where you live puts an assessment value on your home (for the purposes of TAXING you)… it would be good common sense to always assume that the numbers are skewed in their favor. This is especially true if you have recently bought your home and the assessed value is much higher than what you may have paid for your home.

This is a very good reason to APPEAL the assessment of your property. About 30% of all people who appeal their assessments end up with lower taxes. Your chances are especially good in a time of declining property values – or as I said, when you’ve purchased a home far below the current assessed value. Assessors – like Certified Appraisers and Real Estate Agents) use market data, including information from the Multiple Listing Service to determine assessed values.

Here’s what you need to do if you decide to appeal property taxes:

#1) DO NOT DELAY: When you receive your assessment notice, you usually have only 30 to 60 days (sometimes an actual date is stated in the fine print) to let your city or town hall know that you plan to appeal. At this point, it’s ONLY a “notification” that you don’t agree with the dollar amount.

#2) YOUR HEARING DATE IS SCHEDULED: You will be provided with a hearing date, which will give you time to gather your evidence as to why you think the assessment is too high. They should also provide you with a list of “allowed” documents that you can bring to the hearing. If you’ve recently purchased your home it would be wise to bring your APPRAISAL REPORT, and your HUD SETTLEMENT STATEMENT along for good measure – especially if they both show your home to be worth LESS than your assessed value.

#3) GATHER YOUR EVIDENCE: Go to the assessor’s office to check out the data they have on your property. There may be mistakes in square footage, lot size or other data may be inaccurate. Write down the addresses of homes similar to yours (in the neighborhood) and ask to see their information, too. Don’t worry, the information is public and others can see what YOUR property taxes are, too. Next, get sales data from a real estate agent and find out what homes are selling for—both listed and sold transactions.

#4) LOOK FOR UNIQUE FACTORS: Why is your home different from another similar home? This could make a difference. Are you next to high-tension electrical wires? A drainage ditch? Maybe you’re on an extremely busy street versus your neighbor who lives on a cul-de-sac? Check to make sure the assessor made adjustments for negative factors.

#5) HIRE AN APPRAISER: If you don’t already have your appraisal report – OR, if you do and it is more than 6 months old – it might make sense to have a fresh appraisal conducted. Refer back to the list of documents that you might be required to present when your hearing is held. It may state that you are REQUIRED to have an appraisal anyway. Further, it should also clarify how old your appraisal can be for the purposes of your hearing. Appraisals can run from $250 to $550, depending on the type of property that you have.

#6) WARNING, DANGER, USE CAUTION, BE CAREFUL: If the appraisal or the comparable sales from the real estate agent happen to comes back HIGHER than your current assessed value… you should probably CANCEL your hearing appointment!!! Why? Because your hearing could also result in your city or town RAISING your property taxes based on the information that you kindly provide to them. And that would just STING to go through the time and expense – only to be completely responsible for RAISING YOUR OWN TAXES!!!

At the bottom of this page you will find a handy checklist for appealing your tax assessment. Print this page and use it as a guide, but be sure to follow whatever procedures are set forth by your city or town.

Whether you happen to be buying, selling, renting or investing… GOOD LUCK in 2013!! And please remember… I’m always here to bring you REAL ANSWERS to your REAL ESTATE questions!!

Donnie Bennett, REALTOR®
Brand Manager, Team Leader
931 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, RI 02886
401-383-4400 (Office)
401-268-SELL (7355)

Serving Rhode Island… from the Eastside to the Seaside!



#1) Make sure ALL deductions to which you are entitled were granted.

#2) Determine any deadlines or legal requirements for filing the appeal or for claiming any deductions. Comply with legal requirements and don’t miss these deadlines!

#3) Check the accuracy of the assessors math, description of your property, work papers, and record card (aka: “field card”) for your property.

#4) Consult with any experts who might be of assistance.

#5) Locate at least five (5) comparable properties. The closer that their physical attributes and location are to your property… the better!

#6) Make adjustments for differences between your property and the comparable properties.

#7) If your assessment is unfair, make an informal appeal to the assessor first. If the assessor doesn’t agree… THEN file your appeal.

#8) Prior to your hearing… attend an appeal board hearing in order to familiarize yourself with the process.

#9) Prepare a written summary of your case and rehearse your presentation.

#10) GOOD LUCK!!

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Donnie Bennett

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Donnie Bennett

Team Leader, Residential Expert, REALTOR®


401-269-9615401-269-9615 main


931 Jefferson Blvd., Suite 2006 - Warwick, RI 02886

Donnie Bennett, REALTOR®​ Serving Rhode Island