Do you think your Texas property taxes are too high? You're not alone. Property taxes are one of the most significant expenses for homeowners in many parts of Texas.
Fortunately, there is an option available to reduce your taxes: filing a property tax protest. This process allows citizens to appeal their homes’ assessed values and, if successful, reduce their total tax liabilities. However, filing and winning a tax appeal can be challenging, so it’s essential to understand what you are getting into before taking it on yourself.
This blog will help you determine if a DIY appeal is right for you and teach you everything else you need to know about taking action yourself vs. hiring a professional.
A property tax protest is a legal process that allows Texas property owners to appeal the appraised value of their homes. Since your home’s assessed value is used to calculate your Texas property tax bill, a reduction in this value will result in a reduction in your property tax liability.
Through a property tax protest, you can present evidence to your county appraisal review board that shows that your home has been overvalued. If the board agrees that the assessment is too high, they will reduce your home’s tax assessment value, lowering the amount of property taxes you must pay.
There are several steps you must undertake to appeal your home’s appraisal value successfully. We’ve outlined these stages in the sections below.
The first step in the Texas property tax protest is to file your appeal with your local appraisal district. Appraisal districts must send you a notice of appraised value that includes your home’s assessed value by April 1.
Once you receive your notice, you must take action to initiate a protest. In some counties, you can file your appeal online, but others require you to submit a paper protest form. Either way, you’ll need to gather the necessary information and file your protest before the deadline listed on your notice of appraised value.
To successfully protest your property tax appraisal value, you will need to gather evidence that proves your home has been overvalued. You can argue that your home has been assessed to be worth more than fair market value or that other comparable homes have been assessed at a lower value than yours.
No matter which tactic you choose, you will need to have evidence to present to the appraisal review board, such as photographs, comparable sales, and third-party appraisals. You may also need to gather additional evidence to rebut the appraisal district’s evidence.
Most appraisal districts allow for some sort of informal negotiation process before the appraisal review board hears your protest.
While the actual practices vary between districts, an informal hearing will often be a meeting between the property owner and a representative from the appraisal district. These discussions may occur in person, over the phone, or by email.
If your appeal is not resolved during informal negotiations, you must argue your case at a formal hearing in front of the local appraisal review board.
During your hearing, which may take place on the phone or in person, you and the appraisal district will each have a chance to present evidence supporting your valuation of the property. The appraisal review board will then review all the evidence and determine a final assessed value for your home.
When it comes down to it, filing a Texas property tax protest takes a significant amount of time and effort. Fortunately, a DIY appeal is not your only option.
Texas law allows homeowners to be represented throughout the protest proceedings. At Watchtower Protest, we handle every step of the process for our clients. Even better: you don’t have to pay unless we get your tax bill reduced.
Don't go into your property tax protest alone: sign up for our risk-free services today.
Property tax in Montgomery County - a property tax consultant can help you manage your tax obligations, exemptions, deductions, and how to challenge your assessment.