Property Tax season in Texas is in full swing, and if you’ve seen the news, you have probably seen that Texas had made headlines lately. Recent reports say that Texas has one of the highest personal tax rates in the country. In fact, Bexar County’s Tax Assessor-Collector stated the county’s property tax revenues increased by 12 percent between 2014 and 2015. With tax levies at expected to grow 2 ½ to three times faster than the median income in Texas, it is possible that you or someone you know could receive a property tax bill that is too expensive.
If you are faced with this circumstance, as a Texas taxpayer, you have the option to protest or file an appeal. Here’s what you need to know.
When to File a Protest with The Appraisal Review Board
Usually, you will have until May 31st or 30 days from the date the appraisal district notice was delivered to file your appeal with the appraisal review board (ARB).in Texas.
Filing a Texas Property Tax Appeal
First, you need to know that filing an appeal means you disagree with the appraisal district’s value or any action of the appraisal district about your property. To appeal, you will need to file a protest with the ARB.
For most appraisal district offices, you will be asked to meet in order to review your protest. This is an informal meeting where you and the appraisal office will attempt to resolve your issue. Afterwards, you should get a written notice that will include details of your hearing such as the time, the date, and the place of your formal hearing. During this hearing, they will listen to you and the chief appraiser.
Tips for Protesting the Appraisal Review Board
If this a route you are considering taking in the quest to lower your property taxes in Texas, here are some helpful tips that the Texas Comptroller suggests you use to help prepare yourself for your appeal:
- Ask one of the district’s appraisers to explain the appraisal.
- Check the appraisal to make sure the property description and measurements of your property are correct.
- Check the appraisal to see if it accounts for hidden defects like a cracked foundation or inadequate plumbing. Evidence of a hidden defect could be a photograph or a statement from a builder or independent appraiser.
- Ask the district for the appraisal records on similar properties in the area to learn if similar properties are treated equally.
- Consider using an independent appraisal by a real estate appraiser. Insurance records are often helpful.
- Get documents or sworn statements from any person providing any sales information.
- Use sales of properties that are similar to the subject property in size, age, location, and type of construction.
- Use sales that occurred closest to January 1.
- Weigh the cost of preparing a protest against the potential tax savings.
- Ask the appraisal district to see and inspect all information it used to set the value of your property. The appraisal district must give you the opportunity to inspect information, even if the information would normally be considered confidential.
- Ask to inspect and obtain a copy of the data, schedules, formulas, and any other information that the appraisal district plans to introduce at the hearing. The law requires the appraisal district to allow you the opportunity to inspect during the 14 days before the protest hearing.
Get Texas Property Tax Help
Are you interested in filing a property tax assessment appeal in Texas? You don’t have to do it alone. At Hegwood Group, we can help. Our Property Tax consultants have extensive experience in tax-related issues including filing a formal appeal, preparing for the appeal, and even mediation and arbitration representation.
To get help with your Texas property taxes, contact Hegwood Group today.