Property tax appraisals for the current year’s taxable values are issued in the spring in all counties. Following are a few tips to understanding your statement and for filing a protest if you disagree with the value assigned to your property.
When you receive your Notice of Appraised Value:
• Verify that the appraisal is for the correct property and make sure that any exemption you are eligible for (i.e. homestead, over 65, etc.) is included
• If you believe the value assigned to your property is higher than what the market in your neighborhood would bear, you do have the option of protesting that value and asking the appraisal district to lower it.
• NOTE: Your local appraiser is required to appraise property at market value as of January 1st, so your appraisal should reflect the value of the property at that time. The appraiser has generally applied mass appraisal criteria based on the individual characteristics of your property, and in most cases has not done a physical inspection of your property.
How to Protest your Appraised value:
1.) Protests must be filed in writing. The appraisal district has protest forms available, but you don’t have to use an official form. A written notice of protest is sufficient if it identifies the owner, the property, and states that the owner disagrees with the valuation made by the appraisal district.
2.) File your notice of protest by May 31 or no later than 30 days after the date of the Notice of Appraised Value, whichever date is later. Be aware that the deadline is 30 days after the date of the notice, not from the time you receive it. If you don’t file a notice of protest before the Appraisal Review Board approves the appraisal record, you lose your right to protest or file a lawsuit about the taxable value of your property.
3.) Information to support your protest: Provide your closing statement from your home purchase, a copy of the purchase contract, any appraisals, engineer’s reports, etc. to the board when protesting your value. Photos of defects on the property are also helpful. Your real estate agent can assist you in compiling a comparable market analysis for your property to show how it would be priced if you were to sell the property.
4.) Who decides? The Appraisal district board (ARB) is an independent board of citizens that hears property owner protest. It has the power to order the Appraisal District to make changes. If you file a written protest before the deadline, your case will be scheduled for a hearing where you will talk to one or more members of the ARB. The ARB has several options: grant your request, refer you to a hearing of the entire board, schedule a physical inspection of your property, or deny your request. If you are denied, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against the Appraisal District.
Contact your local appraisal district for more information or for copies of protest forms:
If you have any questions, please know I am here for you as a resource to help however I can.