But before you get ready to write the check, here are some Money Matters tips on what to do to take an axe to those high dollar property taxes.
If there's one silver lining to the dark cloud of plunging property prices, it's this: If your house drops in value, your property taxes might go down as well.
"When property was going up, everybody was getting their taxes raised. And when property's going down, they should get them reduced," says property appraiser Joel Greenberg.
He should know, Greenberg is an appraiser, and a special magistrate who presides over his county's property tax appeals.
And lots of people do appeal. Property values are estimated by a computer, which means that your assessed value could be wrong, and you could be entitled to a lower bill. How do you go about it?
You start with the annual estimate of your assessed value. This is what the powers that be think your property is currently worth. So first, check for mistakes: Is your lot size correct? How about your square footage? Don't just assume the county is right.
Then see if the value makes sense. Get comparables by searching your neighborhood for homes that are similar to yours in age, size, and condition. Real estate agents can help.
And when you're convinced your assessed value is too high, time to get some proof in the form of an appraisal.
"The single most important thing is to get an appraisal on the property. Because that's a professional giving me his opinion on what the property is as opposed to coming in and just telling me you think property values are lower," says Greenberg.