Sadly, now that we are into the depth of summer, many of the standard deadlines to file a Texas property tax protest for this year have passed. However, that does not necessarily mean you are out of luck. As a Texas homeowner, you may still have avenues to help reduce your property tax bills.
Every Texas property owner has the right to protest the taxes levied on their land. Property tax protests are not just for farms and commercial landowners. They can also help ordinary homeowners save big on their annual property tax bills.
You can file a protest with your local tax Appraisal District to try to lower your taxes. There are various reasons you may cite for your taxes being too high. For instance, the appraisal district may not have correctly applied all the exemptions you were granted or failed to enact a freeze on your school district taxes once you reached age 65.
For many Texas homeowners, however, the most likely reason to file a protest is that the appraisal district incorrectly assessed your home’s market value. Texas law requires a tax assessment to match your home’s market value as of January 1. Because of the mass-appraisal techniques used by appraisal districts, many homes are assessed at too high of a value, leading to homeowners receiving bills for more tax than they should owe.
A successful property tax protest can lower your taxes by convincing a review board that your home’s assessment is overvalued. Securing a lower assessment through a protest will cut all your local property tax bills and set a lower value for future years.
Many appraisal districts require your property tax protest to be filed by mid-May. However, you typically have 30 days after receiving a notice of value from your county to file a protest. So, if your bill just arrived a week ago, start the process of protesting now.
If you missed your county's deadline, you may still have options to secure lower property tax bills for this year. The Texas Comptroller’s website lists various reasons you may be allowed to file a property tax protest, even after your local deadline has passed.
The specific reasons for a late protest include:
You can also request your county’s chief appraiser agree to a correction of the value, even after the deadline to protest has passed. In most cases, you must still pay the taxes to prevent them from entering delinquency while the protest or issue is being resolved.
The annual right to protest your home’s property taxes is a critical way to protect Texans from runaway tax bills. Even if your attempt to file a late protest for this year is unsuccessful, you can begin preparing for the next tax season now.
Securing a reduced tax-assessed value for your home as soon as possible is critical to paying less over the long term. Because Texas law caps the annual raise in primary home’s appraisal to no more than 10%, a lower value now can pay dividends for every future year you own the house.
Sign up with Watchtower Protest now to ensure you have our professional team on your side next year. Simply fill out the form on our website. Our services cost nothing out of your pocket, so there’s no risk to enrolling today.
Discover how Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal techniques could wrongly calculate your home's Texas property taxes