When it comes to property tax law in Texas, you may feel as though you need a property tax glossary to understand everything. Even then, there are bound to be facets of the Texas property tax system that are confusing. One of those confusing facets is business personal property (BPP).
If you’re a business owner, any tangible property like machines, computers or furniture can be taxed based on assessments by your local county appraisal district (CAD). The amount of what you are taxed depends almost exclusively on the value the CAD places on your BPP. Higher values obviously correlate to more taxes. If you feel that the CAD has grossly over-assessed the value of your BPP, then there are a few steps you should take.
1. Research Market Price
If you want to have successful Texas property tax protests, then you first need to do your research. You should take a look at the market price of all the BPP you have in your business. Vehicles, furniture, equipment, machinery and almost anything that isn’t a building or the land itself count as BPP. You should always take a look at the value of these items based on criteria like their age, condition and original purchase price.
2. Seek Experienced Help
Of course, if you want to avoid higher taxes, then seeking a qualified, professional tax company is probably the best option. You can tap into their extensive knowledge of all things tax-related. They may also be able to appraise your BPP independently so that you have a solid idea of how to make your case. The value of having someone who understands the law is enormous.
3. Go to the CAD
In some cases, you can settle your issue informally at the CAD offices. This helps you avoid the necessity of Texas property tax appeals, because you can settle with the CAD outside the appraisal review board (ARB). Sometimes, the only problem with your valuation can be attributed to a clerical error. The CAD can clear that up and you can go on your way. More than likely, however, going to the CAD wouldn’t be that much of a help. They tend to offer settlements that are not good enough for anyone’s standards (if they offer settlements at all).
4. File a Protest with the ARB
If you have run out of options for your over-assessed BPP, then the only choice you have left is to pay the overpriced taxes or file a notice of protest with the ARB. The ARB is an independent review board that will objectively take a look at your situation. Once you have filed a protest, the ARB will send you a notice of the protest hearing. You must come up with your own evidence as to why the CAD’s valuation was grossly incorrect. This is another area where having experienced assistance on your side can help immensely.
Contact O’Connor today to learn more about the steps to take if your BPP is over-assessed!