A property tax consultant must be an expert in real estate valuation, property tax laws and property tax appeals. A strong knowledge of these three aspects is what makes a property tax consultant valuable.
In real estate valuation the three approaches to value are the Income Approach, Cost Approach and the Sales Approach. In Texas property tax appeals we use a fourth approach know as the equity approach. The equity approach compares the values of similar properties to determine a median level of appraisal. A property tax consultant should understand each approach and know which approach is most appropriate and beneficial for the owner. Each county in Texas has an Appraisal District that is responsible for valuing real and personal property, property exemptions, ownership records among others. While each county must follow the Texas Property Tax Code, each jurisdiction will have different procedures and classification systems. It is important to know how properties are classed and the effect on value. When using the income approach the property class could effect the cap rate which may result in a higher valuation.
A property tax consultant will prepare property tax estimates, review proposed values, file protests, prepare valuations, negotiate value reductions, attend Appraisal Review Board hearings and recommend appealing board decisions when necessary. By taking on these responsibilities we allow property owners to concentrate on growing their business.
One of the biggest mistakes property owners can make when representing their own property tax interests is missing deadlines. Missing an important deadline will limit the options to protest a valuation, result in late fees, penalties and interest and possibly all of the above. In Texas, value notices are mailed on or around May 1st of each year. The protest deadline is May 31st or 30 days after the notice of value is mailed. If the value notice goes to the wrong person in the organization it could easily be over looked. As an authorized representative value notices are mailed directly to the property tax consultant to ensure protests are filed in a timely manner.
For a complete list of important dates and deadlines please see our tax calendar.