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This morning my husband opened a piece of mail from Fifth Third Bank in regards to our home equity line. They said that according to a market study of our area, the value of our home has been significantly lowered. Because the value is lowered, they are lowering the amount of money available to us through the equity line. This doesn’t really affect us because we have never really used the equity line, it was just the mortgage loan that worked for us when we bought our home.

We have known for a while that the value of our home is declining, however last year the auditor significantly raised the tax appraised value of our home, at least $20,000 higher than the home would ever sell for. I did all the paperwork required, submitted recent comps, and even met with the REALTOR who works at the auditor’s office. They would only agree to lower the value of our home by a small amount.

Now I know that our city, county, and schools need the tax money to continue operating, but it just doesn’t seem fair to be paying taxes on an amount that’s higher than our home is worth. Is it being unrealistic to expect the auditor to use fair market value? I thought I had learned at one of our sales meetings at the office that the tax appraised value is usually lower than the fair market value of a house. I know they can’t adjust the price of every home every year, but if we did sell our home this year at an amount that is way lower than the tax appraised value, would it be adjusted for the new owner?

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