Homeowners considering protesting their property tax appraisal understandably have several questions. But before we answer these questions, it is important to understand how your property value is determined.
HOW IS MY TAX BILL CALCULATED?
In Texas, property taxes are determined at the county rather than the state level. Two factors impact the taxes:
- Taxable value of your property
- Local tax rate
County tax appraiser will calculate the taxable value of your home by using the market value of similar homes that have recently sold. The term ‘market value’ refers to the amount they feel your home would sell for on the open market, based on the price of comparable homes that have previously sold in the area recently.
HOW TO PROTEST PROPERTY TAX IN TEXAS
Texas has 254 counties, and each county has its own tax rate. For example, the tax rate in Bexar County is 1.97%, so if your home is assessed at $250,000, you will owe $4,925 in property taxes. So you’ve decided to protest your tax rates — now what?
WHEN TO APPEAL YOUR PROPERTY TAX
For all counties in Texas, appeals filed before May 15 must be accepted. If your appraisal was mailed to you after April 15, you have 30 days from the date of mailing to file an appeal.
With this settled, you can move forward confidently on a solid timeline.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR PROPERTY TAX APPEAL
There are a few approaches that you can take to protest your property taxes.
- Ask your appraisal district for evidence
- Gather your own evidence
- Word with a local realtor
The first is to go to the appraisal district and ask for the evidence that went into determining your property’s assessed value. This should include the addresses and values of the comparable homes in the area. When you have this information, then you can research each property and begin making your case for why your home is not comparable to these.
The second option is to put together a case that shows the current condition of your home and an estimated amount for any potential repairs. Be sure to include photos and contractor estimates.
Thirdly, you can work with a local realtor and have them gather comparable sales in your area to support your claim. It is important to include home sales that extend a fairly long way back. For example, if your tax assessment comes out in February 2022, you should have your realtor pull the comparable listings dating back to January 1, 2021. Once you have the data for comparable sales in your area, you’ll need to adjust that information based on your square footage, the year your home was built, additional structures on your property, etc.
Cut my taxes offers a property tax protection program to help homeowners protest and reduce their property taxes. O’Connor provides property tax appeal services to over 100,000 clients in over 40 states. For detailed information visit https://www.poconnor.com/