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Home Improvement

Home renovations can increase property taxes

10/4/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

The addition of a pool or outdoor landscaping can raise property values and property tax.
Photo courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection
Many homeowners do not think about the tax man when they are about to renovate their homes. But it is important to consider that home repairs — even planting a garden — could lead to higher property taxes. The two things that determine property taxes are the assessed value of your home and the property tax rate for where you live. In many cases, making improvements to the inside and outside of your home can result in higher taxes on your property. Although the vast majority of repairs that most often affect taxes include major renovations, there are lesser known repairs that can catch even savvy homeowners by surprise.

Here is a look at some of the renovations that could raise your property taxes:

• Adding a room: Converting the garage into a bedroom or adding on a new bathroom will increase your home’s value and the property tax you’ll pay on the home. Although tax assessors don’t usually make surprise trips to your home to check for renovations indoors, they may peruse permits filed at the clerk’s office and then investigate. Permits are the primary way assessors learn about improvements, so much so that some homeowners look to circumvent permits when making renovations. But that can cause a number of problems down the line if and when you decide to sell.

• Pools and outdoor structures: Changes to a home’s exterior are some of the easiest to see and document. Permanent changes outdoors, such as the installation of a shed with a concrete floor, a deck or a pool can increase property taxes.

• Landscaping: Hiring a professional to do your lawn and plants can result in higher taxes. It’s called “alteration of land improvement.” Repaving a driveway or adding a new cement walkway also may increase your home’s value and, subsequently, your property tax bill.

• Fireplaces: The installation of a fireplace also can increase a home’s value, leading to a higher tax bill as well.

 

This information was provided by MetroCreativeConnection.

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