6 tips to make a case for property tax cut

Know your property specs
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Cash and a house plan

One of the first things to do is to make sure the government has the right specifications for your property. These include confirming things such as the square footage under roof and the lot size. They're not always accurate, says Michael Mila, a Chicago-area real estate appraiser who owns Chicago Appraisals LLC and operates the website Often, the assessor may have simply looked at the outside of your house before rendering judgment.

"One of my clients had a one-story home with vaulted ceilings," Mila says. "They assumed the height reflected two stories, so they charged her for double the living space. She brought the sketch to the assessor's office and wound up saving $1,000."

You should have received a floor plan and boundary survey when you bought your house. Use them to determine your dimensions. A surveyor or engineer can help you here, but the cost will be $200 to $1,000, depending on the size of the property.




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