If you’re like most property owners in Texas, you received your property tax appraisal in the mail and were less than thrilled with the result. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many property owners feel like their home has been overvalued and protest their appraisal. Let’s look at how and why to protest your appraisal before the property tax deadline 2022!
Protest Deadline Depends on When You Receive Your Appraisal Notice
You may still have time to file your Texas property tax protest. In Harris County, you have until 30 days after the date you receive the appraisal district notice of appraised value. TSo, if you received your notice on May 1, you still have 30 days to protest.
Why File a Property Tax Protest?
If you’re a property owner in Texas and disagree with your property tax bill, you have the right to protest.
You can begin your protest by meeting with the county appraiser. Your home may be one of many taxed homes that never received an in-person appraisal. Your district might have determined your property value without ever sending an appraiser to find the value of your home! This practice is common in Texas counties.
According to Texas Home Appraisers, ” In most cases the ‘proposed value’ of your home is based off of a mass appraisal techniques utilized by each county appraisal district. This practice is common since no appraisal district has the manpower or time available to appraise each and every home individually To manage such a large workload the appraisal district uses a mass appraisal system based on typical property values in your area to appraise your entire neighborhood.”
So, when you protest your appraisal value, the appraiser comes and looks at your home in person. The appraiser then bases the appraised value of your home (possibly for the first time).
Filing Your Protest
You can file your property value protest online using Harris County’s iFile system. You can also file your objection in person or by mail at the Appraisal Review Board office in downtown Houston.
Other counties have information about filing your protest in your mailed “taxpayer’s notice of appraised value.”
Meet with the Appraiser (Optional)
After you file your protest, the first step is to receive a notice scheduling an informal meeting with an HCAD appraiser. You and the appraiser will discuss your evidence and review records at this meeting. Many homeowners find that this meeting is all they need to resolve their appraisal value issues.
If you disagree with the appraiser’s valuation of your home, you will get a notice for an Appraisal Review Board.
However, the appraiser meeting is not mandatory. If you never contact the appraiser to arrange an informal meeting, you will also get a notice for an Appraisal Review Board.
ARB Formal Hearing Preparation
You can set up a formal ARB hearing to discuss your concerns and protest your appraisal value. Ensure that you send your supporting evidence before your hearing.
You may include evidence, such as:
- CPA statements
- Certified balance sheets
- IRS returns
- Actual books and records showing acquisitions by year or purchase
- Receipts, invoices, or leases (2)
ARB Formal Hearing Process
ARB formal hearings last for about 15 minutes. The hearing starts with the introduction of the 3-person panel. The hearing then continues with these steps:
- Your account number and the type of hearing
- Taking of oaths
- Panel members sign an affidavit stating that they did not discuss anything about your property before the hearing.
- Chairperson asks whether you have all exchanged your evidence for all to see.
- The appraiser briefly describes the property, the basis of the protest, and makes a statement about the value.
- Chairperson asks if you agree. If you do not, clearly say that you disagree so that the hearing will continue with the chairperson asking you to present your evidence. You need to provide four copies of all evidence you wish to contribute.
- The appraisal district shares evidence
- The chairperson may allow for examination of evidence and cross-examination of witnesses.
- Questions and closing remarks
After the evidence and closing remarks, the chairperson will declare the panel’s 3-person recommendation. However, before the panel’s final decision, the Appraisal Review Board must also approve it. You won’t receive your protest’s ultimate results until after the Board has completed its next monthly meeting.
If the Board doesn’t accept the panel’s proposal, they will schedule a second formal hearing before another board. You will receive the ARB’s final ruling by certified mail. Working with a knowledgeable real estate lawyer can aid you in presenting the most convincing evidence to obtain a reduction.
Will I Get a Property Tax Reduction if I Protest?
Harris County, Texas, has an average of around a 12% reduction in a protest. So, if the appraiser assessed your property at $100,000, you could see a drop in your tax-assessed value to around $88,000.
Of course, this is only a rough guide; your situation may be different. You could obtain a more significant reduction if you provide convincing proof that your property appraisal is too high. Similarly, if the Appraisal District has compelling evidence that your home was correctly valued, you won’t receive any changes to your value.
The Texas property tax reviews may help you save money on your property taxes, but it’s critical to understand the procedure and what to anticipate before beginning. A knowledgeable real estate lawyer can make an appeal successful.
TEXAS PROPERTY TAX DEADLINES:
For homestead properties, your deadline is 30 days after the date you receive the appraisal district notice of appraised value or before the regular May 15 deadline.
If HCAD mails your appraised value notice after May 1, you may qualify for a later protest deadline for:
- land and buildings
- business property
- industrial personal property
We Can Help
If you have any questions about tax protest reviews or the protest procedure, contact us at Jarrett Law. Our expert real estate attorneys can answer all of your questions and guide you through the process, from gathering evidence to attending a formal hearing. Our experience ensures that you don’t overpay for your property taxes. Contact us to find the best possible outcome for your case!
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