With more than half of American homes valued above their actual value, many homeowners may be overpaying for their property taxes — and one software developer is helping support homeowners’ appeals of their tax payments.
TurboAppeal, a Chicago-based startup launched in February, is automating the property tax appeal process for real estate professionals, homeowners, condominium associations, and residences classified as townhomes or buildings with six apartments or less in Cook County.
A property tax assessment appeal is a process where you appeal your property’s assessed value to a governing body if you believe you are overassessed. This governing body will then review the information and evidence that you present and decide whether to lower your property assessment, thereby lowering your property taxes.
TurboAppeal seeks to automate that process. Users visit TurboAppeal’s website, click on the sign-up form and enter some very basic information, including their name, address of the property, email address and phone number.
Using “big data and analytics,” TurboAppeal then formulates a property tax assessment appeal. After the appeal is filed, users can expect a decision in approximately six to eight weeks.
TurboAppeal also offers property tax appeal services for real estate professionals, supporting them in their efforts to sell homes, working through post-transaction or underwriting a loan.
Users pay TurboAppeal only if the company is successful in appealing — the company’s cut is around 30 percent of the savings for a single-family home, or 10 to 15 percent for a condo building.
According to CEO Badal Shah, TurboAppeal charges an average of 40 percent less than attorneys who specialize in property tax appeals.
“We’re effectively saving the homeowner money two times: once on their tax bill and again on their fee. And we’re taking the headaches out of the process, too,” Shah said.
TurboAppeal said it currently has 4,000 clients. The company is currently offering its property tax appeal product only in Illinois’ Cook County, but it plans to offer its service in nine other counties by the end of the year.