Woman Says She Was Compelled To Sell Her House After Property Tax Soars By 174%

by Gee NY

Tamra Ransom, who once saw homeownership as her American Dream, found herself listing her Polk County, Florida home for sale less than a year after purchase.

The culprit behind this sudden reversal? A staggering 174% increase in property taxes, combined with soaring home insurance costs.

Ransom’s distress began with the arrival of a Truth in Millage Rate (TRIM) notice, a standard communication from county property appraisers sent annually to inform homeowners of their property’s assessed “market value.”

For Ransom, a new homeowner, this notice came as a shock. She expected minor fluctuations in her tax bill but was unprepared for such a dramatic increase.

Initially paying around $2,700 in property tax, Ransom anticipated modest changes.

However, the prospect of a $4,700 annual tax bill was beyond her expectations, leading her to the painful decision to sell her home.

“I put most of my savings into the house,” she lamented during an interview with WFLA-TV, “and I’m losing all of that.”

Michael Finn, a local attorney, highlighted the importance of buyer awareness in such situations.

He noted the exponential rise in property values, particularly near water bodies, emphasizing the need for buyers to understand local property dynamics before purchase.

In Polk County, where Ransom resides, home values have surged. According to Zillow, average prices have risen by 39% over three years.

Finn advised prospective buyers to proactively engage with local property tax assessors to ascertain future tax burdens before finalizing property purchases.

While homeowners like Ransom face daunting tax bills, Finn cautioned against expecting significant reductions through appeals, citing the proficiency of property assessors in valuation.

Nonetheless, he urged homeowners to review TRIM notices meticulously and dispute inaccuracies promptly to avoid overpaying on property taxes.

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