Common Mistakes During the Property Tax Appeals Process

So, your property tax bill showed up in October, and the value of your home seemed much too high. Now what? Many homeowners simply accept that their tax assessor’s office got it right, and they pay the bill. However, you do have a right to appeal the assessment of your property value, and thus, the amount you’ll pay in annual home taxes. At Home Tax Solutions, we offer property tax relief in the form of lower interest rate loans to split the cost of property taxes into smaller monthly payments. However, if you’re overpaying, we encourage you to learn more about the appeals process.

Incorrect Assumptions About Property Tax Appeals

In the state of Texas property assessor offices are severely understaffed. There is no way for a property valuator to see every property every year. In fact, algorithms are used to determine the value of properties based on local home sale prices, square footage, and a number of other factors. The actual property may only be visited every few years, and in most cases, this visit will only include an evaluation of the outside of the home. This leads, in many cases, to over or under valuing homes. If you want to appeal the value of your home for tax purposes, there are a few false assumptions we need to tackle first.

  • I don’t have to pay during my appeal. – many homeowners think that appealing their property taxes means they don’t need to pay the bill. This is not true, and if you fail to make payments on time, you will still accrue penalties that will need to be repaid once your appeal is completed no matter what the outcome. 
  • My independent property appraisal is always right. – your tax assessor will likely counter with their own reappraisal. Not only do they know the ins and outs of the state appraisal process, these assessors also have access with more data on comparable homes in the area and their sales prices.
  • I appealed last year, so my property value should be correct now. – even if you appeal and win, your property value may go back up again. Make sure you check every year, and if you need to re-appeal, do so.

The Texas Tax Appeal Process

Every state and even individual counties have different property tax appeal processes, but the basic steps for Texas residents include:

  1. Do your research – you need to access the property records for your home, check that the description of your home matches what’s on file with the tax assessor’s office, and double check the math before you begin an appeal. 
  2. Have your property professionally assessed – then, you’ll need a professional to assess the value of your home. Real estate agents are a great resource for this part of the process. 
  3. Make an informal appeal – this is just a letter sent to your Tax Assessor’s Office. Explain all of your evidence and concerns and include any documentations you have for support. 
  4. File a formal appeal – if the assessor disagrees with your informal appeal, you can file an official appeal with the county. Your county’s Tax Assessor Office website will usually provide access to all the forms and information you need. 
  5. Prepare a legal appeal – if this appeal is declined, you can begin a judicial hearing through the courts.

How Home Tax Solutions Can Help

At Home Tax Solutions, we take the burden of property tax payments off your shoulders. Don’t let hefty late fees add up. Simply fill out the online form from our team to get started with a low interest property tax loan.