In Texas, the laws and regulations regarding property tax can become incredibly confusing for most people. There are all sorts of boards, districts, deadlines, and dates that you have to keep in mind. Trying to balance everything and ensure that you’ve paid the right amount by the right date is exhausting. For the most part, you won't have to do much until your property tax notice comes. From that point, you’ll have to decide whether you want to protest the amount or just pay the property tax quoted to you. If you decide to protest the property tax in Houston, then you'll need to do it within 30 days of receiving your property tax assessment or by May 31 (whichever is later).
Why Protest At All?
There are a number of reasons to protest, not the least of which is a tax bill that you think is unfair. The County Appraisal District is responsible for assigning value to all the property within their jurisdiction. For instance, the Harris County Appraisal District is responsible for appraising all property in Harris County. In some cases, their property assessments are not going to be in line with the actual value of the property. If you feel that this is the case, then you can informally communicate with the county appraisal district to try to resolve the issue. If that doesn’t work, then you will need to file a formal protest with the Appraisal Review Board (ARB).
If you do not file for a protest by May 31, then, in most cases, you won’t be able to earn a protest hearing from the ARB. The ARB has a tendency to be strict, but there are situations in which they may grant a hearing even if you file after the deadline. According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, you can earn a late protest hearing if you have "good cause" for missing the deadline. Good cause is generally defined as extenuating circumstances like a medical emergency for yourself or a loved one. The ARB will define what a good cause is.
Missing the Deadline
If you miss the deadline and you do not have good cause for a late protest, then you will be required to pay the property tax at the assessed value. This is why it’s important to protest as soon as you get your property tax notice. It’s very easy for 30 days to pass you by, which will make you ineligible for protest. If you have a problem with your property tax assessment, then you should always take the necessary steps to avoid paying too much. Of course, if you miss the deadline for one tax year, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make the deadline for the next tax year. If you have similar problems with your tax bill in the following year, then make sure you file a notice of protest within the allotted time. No one should have to pay property taxes that are too much for them.
If you need more information on property tax protest deadlines, contact O'Connor & Associates today. One of our tax experts will answer any question you may have.
Posted in: Protest Property Taxes Keywords: Texas Property Taxes, Houston Property Tax Protests, Harris county appraisal district