Having your property appraised at fair market value is important if you want to maintain accurate records and avoid paying too much on property taxes each year. Even if you have a fair market value property, you may still want to look at protesting the proposed taxes with the Appraisal Review Board. According to the DCAD “The ARB determines taxpayer protests and taxing unit challenges… The ARB’s decisions are binding only for the year in question….The ARB establishes its own Procedures and Rules that govern its operations…”
Most other counties in Texas have a good number of members on the ARB and these are the people you will be speaking to when you protest your home’s appraised value.
#1 – Do You Not Have a Market Value Property?
You may pay more in taxes each year if your home is actually not worth the market value of the home. Certain interior features of the home cannot be seen when the appraisal is done for the taxes. By letting the ARB know of problems with your home, you could negotiate lower taxes.
Make mention of damage, repairs that need to be made, broken appliances, faulty plumbing, non-working features like AC or heat, and other things that make your house not as good as it would look from the outside. These things can lower the appraised value of the home and thus bring you into a lower tax bracket.
#2 – Interior Upgrades Increase and Decrease the Market Value
You may not get as much for your home if it is actually worth more than the market value and you are trying to sell. Just as mentioned the interior of your home could lower your property value, it can also raise your home’s value.
Did you remodel the bathroom or kitchen, add new carpeting, replace the AC unit, get a new roof, or do any other upgrades? These touches can boost the value of your home, even if it doesn’t look that good from the outside.
#3 – Special Tax Deductions
You could get special tax deductions if they know about updates or features of your home. Sometimes you could get a reduction on your property taxes if the ARB knows you have certain features such as green or energy-efficient appliances, better insulation, or water-conserving appliances. These can help you get a better deal on the taxes you will have to pay so it is important to mention these features of your home.
#4 – Nothing to Lose by Protesting
You have nothing to lose and could stand to help yourself save on taxes or get more from the sale of your home by protecting the value. The worst that the ARB could say is no. If you are arguing for lower taxes they will likely just say no and keep it where it is- they won’t raise the amount. If you are arguing for a higher appraised value they will just say no- they most likely will not lower the value of your home. So really, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from protesting the appraised value.
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