Once your tax evaluation comes in for the New Year, you may need to protest the tax appraisal. One way to go about it is to hire a company to manage the process for you. Usually a fee is collected on if they are successful in having the tax value reduced. You might also manage the process yourself.
When it all begins…January 1
Tax values are based on the homes condition as of January 1. Each property is valued by the Appraisal District as close as possible to market in order to assess the closes tax value as possible. Anything that occurs after that time is most likely not going to be noted in the value stated; examples include: adding a pool, barn or utility building, home improvements affect living sq. ft. and so on. Changes in value up or down should be provided to the tax district by the owner.
You should receive your property tax appraisal notice sometime in April or early May; if you do not receive the notice, follow-up with the district or go online to see if it has been posted on the website. Check to see that your property information is reflected correctly. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE THE APPRAISAL DISTRICT ANY INFORMATION RELATED TO WHAT YOU PAID FOR YOUR PROPERTY WHEN YOU PURCHASED IT! Texas is a non-disclosure state, meaning that information is not public knowledge.
Should you Protest?
There are several reasons you may want/need to protest your property valuation: Incorrect ownership stated, incorrect information that affects value and condition, over valued for current market to name a few.
Deadline to Protest – May 15
There is a deadline to protest your tax valuation. You must submit your “Notice o Protest” by Mary 15. Two ways to file:
- Use the section on the back of your valuation form received, “Notice of Appraised Value”. It will have all your property information already on it.
- File online with the appropriate county appraisal districts website
Read and complete all appropriate information and the reason for the protest. The reasons for your protest will determine the supporting documentation you will need during the protest process.
Appraisal Review Board (ARB)
The ARB will set a hearing date and notify you. Be prepared to stand before the board under oath and provide supporting documentation for the protest. Some supporting documents may include blueprints, surveys, photos and market reviews that you can obtain from a real estate professional if you believe the value is overstated. Some protests may take 15-30 minutes while others may be more complex. The ARB sets back to back hearing so be prepared and expect to present your information in an efficient and respectful format.
- You may request the documentation the appraisal district used to compile its appraisal of your property in advance.
- Don’t procrastinate when gathering documents and be on time for your hearing
- The ABR does not set tax rates, they are only there to decide what your home is worth for tax purposes.
- Bring all supporting information (one or two copies for the board to see and your copy to present).
Need more information? Texas Comptrollers FAQ page can help you find the answers. https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/protests/faq.php