How to Properly Fill Out the Notice of Protest

Whether you are protesting your property taxes in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Austin, or somewhere in Central Texas. The process and forms you utilize are the same. The form is mandated by the state comptroller and you can download the form right from our website by clicking here.

It is imperative to fill this form out correctly as well as file it correctly with the Bexar County Appraisal District, or the appraisal district your property is located. This is the official notification to the county that you WILL BE protesting the valuation of your property. The deadline to file this form in Texas is May 15th of each year.

Prerequisites:

  1. Identify the Appraisal District’s Name – Write the appraisal district’s name for the county in which the property under protest is located.
  2. Appraisal District Account Number – the account number varies by county. For the Bexar County Appraisal District, this is your “Property ID” number, or “PID” number. You can find the PID on your notice of appraised value or on the appraisal district’s website.
  3. Tax Year – State the tax year in which you are filing your property tax protest.

Section 1: Property Owner or Lessee

Fill out this section as it appears on the Bexar appraisal district’s website or on your notice of appraised value.

  • Name of Property Owner or Lessee
  • Mailing Address
  • Primary Phone Number
  • Email Address

Section 2: Property Description

  • Address, City, State, and Zip Code of the specific property you are protesting.
  • Legal Description. This section is optional if no address is defined on the appraisal records.

PRO TIP – Because appraisal districts, such as Nueces County Appraisal District or Bexar County Appraisal District use this form to identify the property being protested, as a secondary precaution, we recommend you filling in the legal description of the property to eliminate any confusion. This can be found on the notice of appraised value or the county appraisal district’s website.

Section 3: Reasons for Protest

There are many reasons why you may need to file a Notice of property tax protest with the Bexar County appraisal district. However, we are going to focus on the most common selected reasons for reducing the property appraised tax value of your home. Note: if you need to protest other issues, consult a professional, as failure to appropriately protest those issues would likely preclude you from obtaining a hearing thereon.

  • Incorrect appraised (market) value. – You need to check this box if you want to protest your home’s market value. This will enable you to present comparable sales in your neighborhood that support a lower value. Usually, this is the most convincing approach for reducing your home’s appraised value. However, you should be careful with a market protest if you recently purchased your home for more than your current appraised value. By “careful,” I mean you should withdraw market at the onset of your formal hearing or not protest market from the onset. With that said, there are times when you still need to protest market despite having recently purchased your home for more than the current appraised value. This would be necessary if there were materially damaging circumstances unknown to you at the time of purchase, or if something occurred shortly after your purchase that materially decreased your home’s value.
  • Value is unequal compared with other properties. –  Check this box off as well. Essentially, this means you are protesting the appraised value of your home because it is higher than a median sample of other similar homes in your neighborhood (the other properties must be adjusted for comparison based on size, condition, location, and so on).

PRO TIP – If you find one of these appeal methods/reasons hurt your chances of a reduction, you can withdraw your appeal reason at or before your hearing, see our case study.

Section 4 – Additional Facts

We typically leave this blank. The decision for a value change, if any, depends on what you present at your hearing.

Section 5 – Hearing Type

As for formal hearing type, you have three options:

1) in person;

2) telephone conference call; or

3) written affidavit.

The topic of written affidavits and telephone conference calls is beyond the scope of this article, so I won’t get into them here. If you are reading this, you want to win your protest. If you want to win your protest, you should appear in person! If you can’t attend your formal hearing, you are allotted one reschedule without having to show cause, BUT you must request the reschedule prior to your scheduled hearing date and time. Now, if for some reason you won’t be able to attend, I recommend you hire a property tax consultant. If you can’t find a consultant to take your case, investigate filing a written affidavit. I do not recommend the telephone conference route, as you can’t discuss anything that hasn’t already been sworn to in writing, and everyone involved is quite annoyed and confused about the whole process to begin with, which was just implemented in the 2018 Tax Year. As with most cases in Bexar County, showing up to your formal hearing greatly increases your chances of getting a reduction.

Also Read: How to Appeal a High Property Tax Bill

Section 6 ARB Hearing Procedures

If you would like the ARB to send you a copy of its hearing procedures, you can receive that information by checking YES.

If you have protested with the Bexar County Appraisal District before, or any appraisal district for that matter, and are familiar with the process, then you can save some paper and check NO on this section.

Section 7 Certification & Signature

Check the applicable box, sign, print, and date.

Submitting/Mailing Your Notice of Protest

First off, you are protesting the Bexar County Appraisal District’s appraisal of your home to the county’s Appraisal Review Board, not the appraisal district. With that said, when submitting your protest, you should address it to the Bexar County Appraisal Review Board (ARB), or the specific county you are protesting in. Most ARBs use the same mailing address as the appraisal district. But the recipient needs to be the specific county’s ARB, not the Appraisal District.

You SHOULD mail your protest to the county ARB via certified mail, return receipt requested. Make sure the green receipt is stamped with the postmark date. This is off topic, but we recommend mailing all correspondence with CADs via some form of tracking mail service.  Many people reading this will think we’re being a bit overboard, BUT I can assure you we aren’t. Every single year, multiple occasions arise that require us to prove something was mailed because someone at a CAD’s office lost it, or it was lost in the mail. Think about all the mail they receive every day…

So, handwrite the certified tracking number at the bottom of the protest form and make a copy or scan the form and save it in a safe place. If you are mailing protests for multiple properties in the same envelope, write the tracking number on ALL the pages.

Paperwork gets lost and keeping a properly documented copy for your records will help you prove you mailed a timely notice of protest.

Now, you should have:

  • Copy of the filed notice of protest with tracking information at the bottom of the form.
  • Dated, postmarked receipt with tracking number.
  • Return receipt signed by recipient (this will come several days after you mail your protest and will let you know they received it – if you don’t get this within several days, go online to USPS and figure out what the deal is with your mail). If it gets lost for some reason, it’s much easier to resolve earlier in the protest season than later.

File in a safe place in case you need to refer to it in the future.

IMPORTANT – If mailing your notice of protest, we recommend certified mail, return receipt requested. If you have questions or need help you can ask your local postal office or watch this video that does a great job explaining the process.

VIDEO – How to Send a Certified Letter Return Receipt Requested

4 thoughts on “How to Properly Fill Out the Notice of Protest”

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