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The Nasty, Money-Sucking Downside To Rising Home Values

459You pay attention to real estate values, and you get a thrill every time someone in your community pays more for their house than you did. Equity is awesome. Until it isn’t.

What?

Yes, it’s the catch-22 of rising real estate values, and it might be about to hit you squarely in your mailbox. That dreaded property tax can be a killer, sucking up your money and making that equity seem downright excruciating.

“Property taxes will jump significantly in most cities this year,” said Washington state’s HeraldNet. In Snohomish County, Washington, that means a countywide 9.8 percent increase. In San Antonio, TX, 11 percent. And statewide in Massachusetts, an average of four percent. That can mean anywhere from a few bucks to a few hundred dollars a month, depending on your home’s value.

The higher property taxes are the product of an improving economy and rising home values nationwide. But in many cases, homeowners are paying more than their fair share.

“Chances are pretty good that you’re paying more in property taxes than you should be,” said Kiplinger. “According to the National Taxpayers Union, as many as 60% of properties in the U.S. are assessed at a higher amount than their current value.”

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