How to Protest Your Property Tax in Texas
Like many Texas homeowners this year, you may have been caught off-guard by the increase in property taxes. With these increases being as much as 10%, many Texans are looking for ways to help lower their costs. Protesting your property tax is an important option to explore and can save you several hundred to several thousand dollars over time. Here’s how you can protest your property tax assessment in Texas.
Step 1: Find Out Your Home’s Current Value
Every year in January, your local appraisal district will begin the process of determining the appraised value of your home. This is when the county appraisal district calculates the market value of your home based on the current condition of your home and comparable home sales prices. Homeowners will start to receive appraisal notices in early April that state the value of their home.
Step 2: File an Appraisal
If you think the updated valuation seems excessive, you can file a notice of appeal by filling out the form on the back of the appraisal notice, or the appeal can be filed online.
In most cases, you have until May 15th or 30 days from the date the appraisal district notice is delivered to file for an appraisal. Once you file, you can expect a letter from the appraisal district with your informal and formal hearing dates with the Appraisal Review Board in June.
Step 3: Informal Meeting
In most cases, you can schedule an informal meeting with your district appraisal office to discuss your situation. This is where you will present evidence such as neighborhood market data and photographs that show the condition of your home to back up your claim.
During the informal hearing, an appraiser reviews your property value and proposes a reduced value. In most cases, the value is accepted, and the case is settled. If you are not happy with the outcome of the informal hearing, you can move on to the formal hearing.
Step 4: Formal Hearing
The formal hearing, much like a court case, is where you have a final chance to present your case to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB), which is a citizen group that determines the outcome of a protest. You should bring printed documentation for each of the appraisal district representatives to review. After you’ve submitted your evidence and presented your case, the panel will come to a determination.
If you would like to learn more about the process of protesting your Texas property tax bill, the Texas Comptroller’s website is a great resource.