Every year, when your property tax assessment arrives, you should be thinking about ways that the County Assessor could have made a mistake. Property tax appeals are filed regularly by Dallas homeowners because when filed correctly, they can help minimize property taxes.
There are several steps that homeowners can to towards protesting and reducing property tax value, but one area that can be overlooked is the “Property Owner Rule.” Every year, homeowners protesting property taxes shell money out to expert appraisers, when there is a more affordable alternative readily available.
Understanding the “Property Owner Rule” can help you save money in more ways than one. Here’s a look at what this Texas law is and how you can benefit from it this upcoming tax season.
What is the “Property Owner Rule?”
Essentially, this rule is put into effect after a property tax protest has already been denied or results were unsatisfactory. From here, in order to continue fighting a bill, an appeal must be filed in a Texas District Court.
For most people, the cost to hire an appraiser outweighs the potential reduction in their property tax bill. However, the: ”Property Owner Rule” helps overcome these costs if the owner can prove that they are personally familiar with their property. Once this is proven, the property owner is then considered to be qualified to speak out about the value of their property.
In Texas, the owner doesn’t even have to qualify as an expert witness. This is primarily due to the Supreme Court statement that says:
“Because property owner testimony is the functional equivalent of expert testimony, it must be judged by the same standards.”
However, while this may seem like a cut and dry situation for a property owner disputing a tax bill, they must have the ability to produce relevant evidence and not insist on a lower property value based solely on opinion. Your local property tax consultant can help you provide said evidence and get you the reduced rate you are looking for.
What is Considered Relevant or Irrelevant Evidence?
When utilizing the “Property Owner Rule” to back up your efforts to reduce property taxes, speculative statements will not hold up in court. According to the Supreme Court, simply echoing the phrase “market value” just isn’t enough to bring relevance to your claim.
Whether your testimony is challenged or unchallenged, if you are using the “Property Owner Rule,” you must be able to provide to the courts:
- Evidence of price paid on the property
- The price of nearby sales
- Local tax valuations
- Local appraisals
- Other factors that could be deemed relevant proof by a property tax consultant.
Trouble Gathering Evidence? The Hegwood Group Can Help
If you are planning on using the “Property Owner Rule” to dispute your property appraisal, make sure that you have the evidence that will help create a stable case. The Hegwood Group is a team of experienced property tax consultants and can help you find the information that you need to provide relevant evidence. Contact us today to find out more about our services or set up a consultation.