Property Tax Appeals

The most important thing to know about Property Tax Appeals is the protest deadline.  The appeal process can vary from locality to locality.  So does the amount of time that you will be permitted to make an appeal.  In some jurisdictions, you will only have a few weeks to file your appeal.  In Texas, the protest deadline is May 31st.  Since the deadline falls on Saturday this year, it is extended until Monday, June 2nd.  If you want to appeal the property tax valuation file the protest form before the deadline.  You can always withdraw the protest if you decide not to fight the valuation, but if you miss the deadline the value will remain unchanged.  Once you have filed the protest form now you have to build a case.  Complaining that your taxes are too high won’t help.  What you will need are cold, hard facts about your property and its valuation.   Your assessment can be appealed based on a mistake made in the assessment or an assessment that is considerably higher than the value of other comparable properties. 

Property tax appeals can help resolve any mistakes made in the assessment.  The mistake that is easiest to identify is that your property is over assessed.  The challenge in a property tax appeal is determining what smaller mistakes caused the over assessment. Tax appraisers rely on mass appraisal techniques, applying market rents, occupancies and other information in a submarket to derive values.  These rents and occupancies are often higher than what the property actually collects, resulting in over-assessed property values.  The tax appraiser can also have incorrect information.  Incorrect year built, size and other physical characteristics will effect the property valuation.   

Hiring a reliable, experienced tax consultant can help identify flaws in your property’s valuation and prevent you from being over-taxed.

If the data looks in your favor the next step is to meet with the assessor.  If they do not agree to reduce the valuation or can not meet with you informally then it is necessary to attend a formal hearing.  At the formal hearing, each side is given a certain amount of time to present their evidence to a panel of citizens.  It is very important to be well-organized, communicate effectively and have copies of your materials for each panel member. 

Getting expert assistance to save time and reinforce your property tax appeal is almost always worth the price.  At Property Tax Advocates we are experts in our respective jurisdictions and understand the local markets and effective arguments to make to leverage the best return.  We use our knowledge and expertise to help make your property tax appeals successful.

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