Fight the valuation that determines your property tax bill.
The season when the Texas property appraisals are out is said to be the magical season where you walk down to your mailbox with a mix of emotions, deep breathe and dare to look at your appraisal.
Property taxes are calculated by multiplying an estimate of the property’s value with the tax rate set up by the local tax authorities. If you feel your property tax rates are too high, don’t worry. Experts say you can either go offensive or defensive, but what is it?
Offensive and the defensive approach
In a defensive approach, you can ask for the evidence the county appraisal district is going to use to defend you. This will help you know which properties are compared with yours. You can analyze these properties and bring in reasoning to speak for you.
The offensive approach lets you argue for your property. You can argue that the condition of your property is not as how the appraisal district portrays it. Document the issues with pictures or get estimates from contractors that say your property needs to be repaired. You can also get comparables from a realtor that support a lower valuation for your property.
Points to remember
1. Complete the legal requirement
Flip your value notice, fill it out and mail it.
2. Get comparables
Ask your CAD for the comparables they are using against you.
3. Pictures speak more than words
Take pictures of the comparable properties to prove as evidence that they are not similar to yours.
4. Get aid from realtors
Ask realtors for comparable properties, go back to the last year as appraisals are based on them.
5. Present the inspection report
Presenting a recent inspection report can help you cite flaws that were noted.
What types of pictures are and are not helpful at the hearing?
Photographs of a property are a good form of evidence. Pictures help in explaining the problems on a property better. Make sure the photos are clear and are taken from different angles and distances. Photos help in comparing your property with the neighboring ones. Watch the video below to know more:
Protest your property appraisal
Did you know, homestead exemptions are a key to protest your appraisals? If you have a homestead exemption, your appraisal value cannot exceed 10% in a year. The general homestead exemption is around $25,000 and this amount from your property’s valuation is exempt from tax. This will help you keep your property taxes low. You become eligible if you have been living in the home since January 1st of the previous year. You have time till April 30th to apply, a few states allow residents to apply for a late exemption as well.