Many homeowners either plea for help or speak against the increasing tax rates. But, not all find a solution.  A property tax bill is something that drops in your inbox every year and many pay the bill as it is without raising a question or without even understanding how the numbers arrived. Just because it is a printed sheet of information that comes from the county appraisal district doesn’t mean you will have to pay the entire amount as it is. As a taxpayer in Texas, it’s your right to protest and appeal your property taxes. If you do not agree with the value determined by the appraisal district you have every right to protest.

Right on your money

Property taxes are some of the biggest expenses for many homeowners and knowing how property taxes are calculated is very important. Here is the formula used

Property taxes = (Assessor’s value x assessment ratio – exemptions) x tax rate

Why protest property tax?

No matter if you save a fortune by not appealing your property taxes, you should always protest your property taxes year after year. You might end up some day-saving hundreds and thousands of dollars!

Common misconceptions about property taxes

Always remember that you are protesting your property value and not your property taxes. Do not portray your sob story of how property taxes are a burden for you, it will always fall on deaf ears.

Another misconception is, your property value has nothing to do with the resale value. Appraisers cannot visit each property and assess the value. If we take Harris County, for instance, it has more than 750,000 accounts, and assessing each is practically impossible. Taking the assessed value as the market value is not the right option and not many investors purchase a property based on the assessed value.

Preparing for the protest

Preparing for a protest can be a crucial task, here are a few points you can follow that can help you make your protest a successful one.

  1. Request for the House Bill 201 evidence packet
    The HB2 includes all the information the county appraisal district used to sum up your property’s value. The appraisal board uses this as evidence to argue against you. So, studying the entire bill and picking evidence can increase your chance of winning the protest.
  1. Pictures speak more than words
    Pictures of any disrepair or negative influence around your property will help you reduce your property taxes. Having a print of the satellite view of your property can also help you.
  1. Aid help from realtors
    If you could seek help from any realtor, you can get print outs of the sold properties on the HB neighborhood sales page. If you find the CAD’s evidence is not up to date on a house, you can check the date i.e. the last time an appraiser physically visited the property.  This can be a great strength to weaken the credibility of the appraiser’s opinion in the hearing. Always stick to your evidence, the chance of value reduction can be high.

Points to remember when protesting property taxes in Texas

  • Do you own more than one property? Then protesting your property taxes every year is important. No matter whether you win it or not, you might end up saving thousands of dollars over time.

  • Make sure you check the boxes’ market value and unequal appraisal when you fill out the protest form and have strong evidence to support your protest.

  • If you are selling your real estate, be clear that the tax assessed value has nothing to do with the market value.
  • Request for an HB2 evidence packet along with the notice of protest.
  • Aid help from a property tax reduction consultant. 
  • If you wish to protest on your own, make sure you stay calm and do not lose your cool. Learn the entire process, study the HB2 evidence packet, and collect your evidence.

Good luck on protesting your property taxes!

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