How three homeowners fought their property tax bills

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

Declining house values create great opportunities for homeowners to contest their property tax bills and potentially save big money.

Each jurisdiction has its own rules, procedures and deadlines to appeal property taxes. The bottom line is that a little research, communication and patience can pay off when you fight a property tax bill.

To prove the point, here are three real-life stories of homeowners who have fought -- or are fighting -- their property tax assessments.

Best comps win

Michael Garard, a real estate broker at Garard & Associates in Highlands Ranch, Colo., has contested the property tax assessment on his house three or four times in the last 10 years with mixed results. Most recently, he scored a big win: a drop in the valuation from $535,000 to $480,000 that will cut his tax bill by about $300 a year for at least two years.

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