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Property Taxes and your Protest
Dated: December 1 2021
Homeowners all across Texas have started to receive the dreaded letter in the mail. Now that the shock has worn off, it's time to take action. The clock is ticking if you want to protest your property tax appraisal. In most cases, you have 30 days from the date you received your appraisal to fight it.
It can be a process that requires time, effort and homework, so it's suggested to do it sooner, rather than later.
You can file until May 15, or 30 days after the date your notice of appraised value was mailed, whichever is the later date. If the appraisal district does not mail a required notice of appraisal value on or before April 15th, the protest deadline will be 30 days after the date printed on the notice of appraised value.
What is a property tax appraisal?
According to the Texas Comptroller's Office, the state requires taxable property to be appraised by Jan. 1 of every year. A county's appraisal district determines what the value is and bases it off of the Texas Property Tax Code.
Why does it matter?
It determines how much you'll pay in taxes every year. The property value multiplied by the tax rate explains how much you'll pay in property taxes.
How do I protest?
In Texas, their property tax appraisal. In Harris county the taxing authority is HCAD or Harris County Appraisal District - https://hcad.org. You can protest the valuation of your property online, by mail (post marked by the deadline) or drop off if allowed at the time.
From a county appraiser- “I ask people to do is, do your research, do a little bit of homework. I know the knee jerk reaction is to go 'Oh my gosh my value couldn’t be this high,' but if you actually go talk to Realtor’s because the value has gone up since Jan 1. because that is what our market is just doing right now."
Contact us at the Brilliant Team and we can provide you a valuation based on sales in your neighborhood during the taxing period. We do not charge for this service. Don’t supply a current valuation to the taxing authority. Taxes are collected in arrears so you want your home valued for the previous calendar year minus any outstanding repairs.
What do I put in the protest?
This is where you back up your argument on why you believe the value should be lowered. They don't see the inside of a home, which could have a very different story from the outside.
Taking pictures of floors, walls, foundation, windows, kitchen, bathrooms etc., that need repairs or renovations can help build ones as to why the value given doesn't match.
I suggest getting estimates for how much it would cost to fix these issues and include that in the protest.
Upload all this documentation to your filling.
The appraiser will review the information submitted and will respond to the property owner.
It may be because the value didn't change, but it's still important to check online because you are able to still protest.
This is a top way a homeowner can receive a tax exemption on their home. It puts a cap on how much a property's value can increase. It can't go above 10%. Now, if someone has multiple properties, it can only be used for the
Damage from the winter storm in February? There's an exemption for that too
The damage has to be at least 15 percent of the improvement value, to the structure, not the land.
"If you have a $200,000 home for instance and $100,000 is land and $100,000 is improvement, then you would have need to incurred $15,000 dollars worth of damage to qualify," explained Wiggins.
People have to apply by May 28th and that is through their county's appraisal district.
If you protest trust me, you will usually get some kind of reduction!
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