Everyone can agree that their property taxes are too high – but can filing a Texas property tax protest actually save you money?
The simple answer is yes. Because of Texas' property tax laws, a successful property tax protest not only lowers your bills immediately, but can also help reduce your future tax obligations.
Every county in Texas has an appraisal district responsible for determining property values for taxing purposes. Under state law, your local district must come up with an assessment of your home's value that matches its market value on January 1 of the current year.
But because the county appraisal district is responsible for assessing every home and taxable property in its jurisdiction, it cannot give your house an adequate review. Instead, the board uses mass-appraisal techniques that can drastically over-value your home. If this happens to you, you’ll owe more in property taxes than the law says you should.
A property tax protest can fight these over-appraisals. During a protest, you challenge your home’s tax assessed value with an independent body called the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). Your local ARB has the power to overrule the original assessment and replace it with a lower value, lowering your taxes.
A successful Texas property tax protest can grant homeowners significant relief on their annual bills.
First, lowering your home’s assessed value will apply to all your local taxing districts. Therefore, the taxes you pay for your local schools will be lower, but so will your local government or road or water district taxes. The savings can quickly add up because Texas relies on local property taxes to fund government services like schools, police departments, and hospitals.
Second, a lower assessment this year can secure savings for years and years to come. Texas law caps the annual increase a local appraisal district can assess against your house at 10%. So, even if the actual market value of your home increases by more than 10%, starting with a lower assessed value will prevent more drastic increases in your tax bills.
Finally, once you reach 65 years of age, your local school district property taxes are capped. This senior freeze prevents any increases, but if you are close to 65 years old, lowering your tax-assessed value now through a protest means paying lower taxes for as long as you own your house.
Yes! According to the Texas Comptroller, almost three-quarters of property owners who responded to a 2020 post-protest survey secured a lower assessed value by protesting. And 2020 appears to have been an unusually unsuccessful year for Texas homeowners. From 2016 to 2019, over 81% of the survey respondents succeeded.
The right to protest your property taxes is one of the most fundamental rights granted to property owners in Texas. And statistics say you have good odds of securing lower property tax bills if you decide to protest.
One of the best parts about Texas property tax protests is that you are allowed to have a professional represent you throughout the entire protest. The experienced team at Watchtower Protest can handle your tax protest at every stage.
Our qualified team will create a compelling argument that your home’s assessment does not adequately match its market value. Then, we will argue before your local ARB on your behalf or negotiate a lower assessed value informally with the local appraisal district. Either way, we do not get paid unless we secure reduced property tax bills for you! Sign-up for our risk-free services now through our website.
Property tax in Montgomery County - a property tax consultant can help you manage your tax obligations, exemptions, deductions, and how to challenge your assessment.