How to Appeal a High Property Tax Bill

Knowing your property rights is very important in today’s time. If you are upset about the increase on your Property Tax Bill, then you are not alone. Each year in April and May, property owners bombard the internet with questions like “how to appeal property taxes?”. This is usually the time homeowners receive their estimated tax bill and the time starts winding to appeal your property tax increase. If you don’t file a timely appeal before the deadline, you may be stuck paying that increase.

While, it’s imperative to realize that no one factor leads to such market boost-up. One major reason for the rise in property taxes can be because of the rising home sales in any one market. Even if you live in an area where the market “Is Hot”, Know there is still a way to bring down your property tax bill considerably. The most important thing you must remember when filing for an appeal is that you are not protesting the property taxes but your homes valuation. Appraisal districts have nothing to do with property taxes but everything to do with appraising your homes valuation. By reducing your homes value, you can successfully reduce your property taxes.

There are a lot of property tax appeal companies that help you analyze your property’s valuation by looking at recent sales in your area and other out of the box angles to ensure capitalize on every tax-saving opportunity. You can also ask a local realtor for recent sales in the area and do your own due diligence. Something you have to be aware of is that sales are adjusted to any differences between your property and the comparable sales, and if you don’t account for those differences, you might be in for an unexpected surprise when you sit in front of an appraiser.

Few things you need to keep in mind before you opt for property tax appeal:

  • The board can lower your property’s valuation, but they cannot reduce the rate of taxation.
  • Make sure you gather enough data to support your claim
  • You are not protesting your property taxes, you are protesting your property’s valuation

1. Go through your Notice of Appraised Value:

Under §41.44 (a)(1) of the Texas Property Tax Code, the property owner must file their appeal no later than May 15 or the 30th day after the date the notice of appraised value was delivered to the property owner, whichever is later. If you miss out on the deadline, you may have to consult with a property tax consultant to see if you qualify for a late appeal. Under special circumstances, you can write the Chairman of the Appraisal Review Board outlining your specific circumstances in hopes of granting you a late appeal.

You will need the appropriate forms if you wish to start the appeal process. You can generate the form through the appraisal districts website or use the form on back of the Notice of Appraised Value. Some counties now offer property owners the option of filling and submitting appeals electronically through their website.

2. Look for any discrepancies the Appraisal District may have:

A good way to do this is to request the appraisal card through an open records request through the appraisal district. This will give you all the information the CAD has about your property, and you can easily identify any errors in square feet, number of rooms, etc. This is a good way to fix any errors they district may have and can reduce your value. A good property tax appeal company will perform this analysis for you and use is during their presentation.

3. Present your case in front of the Property Appraiser:

Once you file an appeal, the appraisal district will notify you via mail of your dates to appear. You are entitled to a face to face informal meeting with an appraiser, here you can exchange your research and plea your case. He will make you an offer, you have a right to reject this offer if you feel that it isn’t right, and then you will have to appeal before the appraisal review board on your scheduled date. Here you will have to present your case in front of a panel of residents who will decide what the value of your property will be. If you cannot make this initial date, homeowners can reschedule once without reason. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of you formal hearing, we can assist you in filing for binding arbitration.

Also Read: What Homeowners Should Know About Property Taxes in Texas

The most important thing you need to remember is if your property taxes are rising, it makes sense filing an appeal. Make sure you do your research scrupulously. Citizens of Texas can file property tax appeals through a form provided by the appraisal district, or you can download it directly from our website by clicking here. Homeowners also have the option to protest their property tax online using the online services portal on the appraisal districts website.  

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