Your assessed value is an annual estimation from your tax district that is used to calculate what you may pay in property taxes. Every Texas homeowner has the right to review their home’s assessed value and consider filing a protest. A successful protest can help to reduce the amount of property taxes you pay for the year.
In this blog post, Will Wiggins, Senior Property Tax Consultant at NTPTS, shares his tips for protesting your assessed value. Wiggins has years of experience representing clients on their appeals and knows what is required for a successful property tax protest in Texas.
1. Know the deadline.
For all counties in Dallas-Fort Worth, the appeal deadline is May 15, or 30 days after receiving your notice of appraised value. Late protests can only be filed when:
- If the appraisal district appraised your property at least one-fourth higher than its market value
- If there are any property or clerical errors in the assessment letter
- If the appraisal district did not mail the notice
Otherwise, appeals filed after May 15 or 30 days after receiving notice will not be accepted. It is best to file as soon as you receive notice. You don’t want to miss out on potential savings because you failed to meet the appeal deadline.
2. Be skeptical of online offers from the district.
You may have the option to file your property tax appeal online. Upon completion of your filing, the appraisal district may send you a proposed online settlement.
Be aware of the online offers from the appraisal district. You can argue for a more favorable reduction at the Appraisal Review Board hearing.
3. Do your homework before your hearing.
Better preparation leads to better results. Make sure you have rational evidence that supports that your assessed value is too high. Such evidence could include:
- Blueprints, engineering reports, photos, receipts or estimates for repairs, deed records, or sales price documentation
- Statements from contractors or independent appraisers that support your claim
- Assessments of properties similar to your property
- Photos and/or estimates of required home repairs
4. Use comparables with adjustments.
This is all about choosing the right properties for your analysis. Texas law requires adjustments to comparable properties. Using a “price per foot” carries less weight than using comparables with adjustments.
This means you need to select properties that are similar enough to yours so ideally the adjustments required are minimal. Such factors include age and condition of the property, land size, construction quality, etc.
Simply using homes that sold at a similar price per square foot will likely not be enough to help your case.
5. Be cautious of appraisal district adjustments.
Be cautious of Appraisal District adjustments. Challenge them. They are not always “appropriate.” Be sure to inquire with the district on how they calculate each one of their adjustments and how they substantiate said calculation
6. Stay on topic.
During your hearing, stay focused. Identify three keys of your protest, and stick to them.
Remember, the appraisal district will have the opportunity to provide evidence that supports their assessment is fair. You should also identify three keys to pick apart from the district’s evidence. Ensure the board is aware of your strengths and their weaknesses.
7. Do not discuss taxes at your hearing.
This may sound unusual. After all, you are hoping to reduce how much you pay in property taxes for the year, right?
Remember, you are filing a protest in regards to your home’s appraised value, not your tax bill. Value is the only thing you can protest. In fact, the appraisal district may think you are appealing for the wrong reasons if you say your property taxes are too high.
Allow a Firm to Protest on Your Behalf
Texas homeowners should review their assessed value annually and consider filing an appeal. NTPTS has outlined the steps you need to take to file an appeal. Use these steps if you want to complete the process on your own.
Alternatively, you can choose to hire a property tax consultant who can review your case and file an appeal on your behalf. NTPTS is a residential property tax reduction firm serving clients in Tarrant, Collin, Dallas, and Denton counties. We work on a contingency fee basis. There is no charge to you if we don’t achieve a reduction in value.
For more information on how NTPTS can help lower your property taxes, register your property with us.