Filing a property tax protest is often a necessary thing to do in the state of Texas. If you feel that the county appraisal district (CAD) has given you an unfair assessment, then you can protest the appraisal with the appraisal review board (ARB).

The National Taxpayer’s Union reports that overvalued and over-assessed land accounts for between 30 and 60% of all land in the United States. That means that between 30 and 60% of all property owners are being taxed too much. If you want to get a fair assessment, then it’s important to file a pristine protest with the ARB.

1. Don’t Be Emotional

The property tax protest form gives the property owner space to provide additional details about why they feel they’ve received an unfair assessment. Property owners tend to make appeals to the emotions the members of the ARB, but those usually fall on deaf ears.

If you indicate that the property has been in your family for years and you can’t afford the property taxes at the assessed value, then the ARB may not give you a fair shot. They can only make judgments based on valid issues with the assessment.

2. Check the Right Boxes

You should always double check to ensure that you have made a clear mark in the boxes that apply to your situation. The official form lists 10 valid reasons for filing a protest. In some cases, you may be able to check off more than one box. For instance, if you believe that your home was assessed above market value and was also unequally assessed compared to similar properties, then you should check two boxes.

3. “Other” Is Not a Good Option (Usually)

Of course, the property tax protest form also gives you a space to check “Other.” Unless you have checked previous boxes with defined issues, then checking the “Other” box might be a recipe for disaster. It had better be a very good reason if you want the ARB to take your protest seriously.

4. Describe the Property in Detail

Some properties do not have a concrete address that can be identified easily on a map. In some situations, the ARB may need to rely on your description of the area in which the property is located and not just a physical address.

The property tax protest form comes with a space to describe your property in full so that the ARB will know what you’re talking about. The ARB rarely (if ever) visits a property, so the description could be important.

5. Use the Right Tax Year

The property tax form provides a space for you to write in the tax year for your protest. In most instances, you will be protesting an appraisal from the current year. For instance, if it’s 2014 and you are protesting a 2014 appraisal, then you would write in 2014 as the tax year. For some protests that have extenuating circumstances, the filing deadline can be pushed back into the next year. Be sure that you understand the appropriate tax year for your protest.

For any questions or concerns about property taxes, contact O’Connor & Associates today!