First and foremost, you should approach a property tax protest with the right mindset. Taxing authorities are trying their best to accurately appraise property values with very limited resources. With so few appraisers in each taxing district, it’s not possible for every property to be individually evaluated each year. Past values, similar property values, and other numbers are used to make estimates; however, despite best efforts, mistakes can be made. This is when filing a property tax protest can be beneficial. Property tax rates in Texas are always increasing, so even a small error in the appraised value of your home can lead to a significant change in your property tax bill. Understanding your property tax protest rights can lead to substantial savings, so keep reading to learn more about your protest rights.
When You Should File
A notice of appraised value will be sent to your home each year. If the appraised value of the home remains consistent or the change in value is less than $1,000, a simple appraised value notice can be sent. Both types of appraisal notice will include details about your appraisal protest rights and deadlines. In most Texas counties, the due date for filing a property tax protest is between May 15 and May 30.
What You Should Know Before Your Protest
Before your protest, you should gather the following necessary information to make your case:
- Get your appraisal card information from the appraisal district office. This includes the appraisal information like the size of the lot, type of property, number of rooms, and other information that is used to assess the value of your home. An error in this information may be used as the basis for a property tax protest, so this is the best place to start.
- Get an accurate appraisal of your home’s value. The easiest way to get an accurate appraisal is to contact a realtor in the area. They can give you information about what comparable properties have sold for recently. You can use this comparison information to determine the amount your home could reasonably sell for.
- File your protest. Each appraisal district has its own requirements for filing property tax appraisal protests, so you’ll need to visit your appraisal district’s office or their website to get the specific steps for filing a protest in your district.
- Request appraisal information. After filing your protest, you can request additional information from the taxing district that will be used as evidence to support your home’s appraised value at your Appraisal Review Board (ARB) hearing.
- Gather documentation for your ARB hearing. Bring all of your research on local property values with you to your hearing. You should also take pictures of your property and documentation that supports what you believe to be the true value of your home.
Working with the Home Tax Solutions Team
It’s important to remember that, even if your home value is under protest, you are still responsible for paying the property taxes when they’re due. Failure to pay the assessed property taxes on time will still result in interest and fees, so it’s important that you make arrangements to pay all or part of your property tax bill on time. If you need help covering your property tax bill, the Home Tax Solutions team is here to help. Don’t hesitate to complete our online request form to get started.