Because your Texas property taxes are based on your home’s market value, the lower your home’s assessed value, the less you pay in taxes. However, because your home is likely a large portion of your financial security, you want to ensure you can sell the house for maximum value.
But there is often little correlation between a lower tax assessed value and the dollar amount you could sell your home for tomorrow. In fact, securing lower taxes through a property tax protest may make your house more attractive to a potential buyer.
During a property tax protest, you or your representative uses evidence to show that your home's tax assessed value is too high. Each Texas county has an appraisal district that determines the assessed value for every property in the area. According to Texas law, the appraisal district should use the home’s market value as of January 1 that year for taxing purposes.
However, the appraisal district does not individually inspect and assess every house. Instead, mass appraisal techniques often over-inflated home values. And if your home's assessment is too high, your property tax bills will be too.
By filing a property tax protest, you have the opportunity to lower your bills. After a hearing, an independent Appraisal Review Board (ARB) can substitute a lower assessed value, leading to you paying fewer taxes.
It may seem paradoxical to argue that your home is worth less than what an appraisal district says its market value. But Texas relies heavily on local property taxes to fund various governmental programs. And this means Texas homeowners pay a significant amount in annual property taxes.
Lowering your home’s assessed value will cut the taxes you pay to all your local taxing districts, like the school district and city or county government. These savings add up, so a lower assessed value can be excellent for a homeowner. Plus, because your home's tax-assessed value cannot increase by more than 10%, lowering the value now can lock in savings for the future.
A successful Texas property tax protest will result in your local ARB finding that your home's market value is lower. However, this does not mean your home is genuinely worth less on the open market. A tax-assessed value is merely an estimate of what an imaginary buyer would pay for the home.
An actual buyer may be willing to pay far in excess of your home’s market value determined by the ARB. A family may place additional weight on your house's location or a specific feature such as a pool than a standard buyer would. Finding the right buyer for your home is critical in ensuring you receive top dollar.
In fact, a successful property tax protest might make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Because you have already lowered the annual tax liability for the land, your home may be a better purchase than a similar home that did not reduce its tax-assessed value. Having the ARB determine your house is worth less counter-intuitively could eventually mean it sells for more!
Texas law allows all property owners to have qualified representatives present arguments on their behalf during a property tax protest. This means that the experienced tax protest team at Watchtower Protest can handle every step of the process for you!
Best yet, Watchtower’s services are offered at no upfront cost to you. We only get paid when we secure property tax savings on the homeowner’s behalf. So, there’s no reason not to sign up today through our convenient online portal.
Property tax in Montgomery County - a property tax consultant can help you manage your tax obligations, exemptions, deductions, and how to challenge your assessment.