Whether your phone or video appraisal review board (ARB) hearing wasn’t as clear or helpful as you hoped or you have new information to support your appeal, you don’t have to just accept their determination. Let’s start by saying that, in the best circumstances, ARBs in the state of Texas field numerous protests, and they are doing their utmost to ensure your home is appraised correctly and your property tax bill is reflective of an accurate value. However, they are human and that means, they might make errors. Remember, ARB members are not the bad guys! That being said, there are steps you can take to further protest your property’s assessed value for taxing purposes if the ARB denies your appeal. You’ll find some details about the process in this blog, and you can always contact your county’s appraisal office to find out more about deadlines and other appeal process information.
District Court Review
Once you receive the ARB’s final decision, you will have a limited amount of time to petition the the district court for a review of the ARB’s findings. In most counties, the deadline is 60 days from receiving the ARB’s notice. Before filing a petition with the district court, it is almost always a good idea to speak with a tax professional or seek legal counsel (if you haven’t already done so) to ensure you have a good case for appeal. At this point in the process, you are typically required to make a partial payment of undisputed property taxes before the delinquency date. This petition is reviewed by a district court in your county either by a judge or jury. They will hear both your side of the petition and that of your ARB and make a determination about your property tax value. Later this month, we’ll take a closer look at the district court appeal process and what you can expect, so don’t forget to check back if you’re interested.
Binding Arbitration Review
In addition to taking your ARB decision appeal to the state district court, you can also choose to have your decision reviewed by binding arbitration. In this scenario, rather than a trial to hear both sides and appraise your home’s value, you will rely on the decision of an arbitrator to assess the property value. This form of appeal requires a deposit that will be used in certain cases to cover the arbitration costs. Specifically, if the arbitrator’s assessed value is closer to or half way between your estimated value and that of the appraisal district, your deposit is used to pay the arbitration fee. However, if the arbitrator’s assessed value is closer to your estimate, the deposit is refunded. As is the case with district court petitions, the undisputed property taxes will need to be paid prior to delinquency even if your petition is still being considered.
State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) Review
This is the most complicated form of appeal and is only applicable in very specific cases, so you will need to consult with an authority on property taxes and/or hire a lawyer to help throughout the process. The State of Office of Administrative Hearings exists to handle disputes between Texas governmental agencies and citizens or other agencies. Because the SOAH is completely separate from the administration of local government, it may be an effective appeal option if you live in a very small county where you struggle to find available resources or employees who can offer unbiased opinions. Because the SOAH is responsible for many different types of appeals, this should be considered a last recourse, and they always encourage property owners to take every step to settle their dispute with local authorities. Additionally, they set much higher standards for the cases that are eligible for review.
Let the Home Tax Solutions Team Help
If you do end up needing to pay the full amount of your property tax bill, you still have one final place to go for help – the Home Tax Solutions team! With offices across the state, our knowledgeable loan specialists can help you break free from the cycle of debt related to your property taxes. Our loans offer solutions that alleviate the heavy fines and late payment fees, so you can pay off your property taxes and start getting back on your feet. When you’re ready to get started, give our team a call.