If you feel like your property taxes are outrageous then you are not alone. There are many people who feel this way. So many, in fact that the state of Texas actually has a special form for you to fill out in the event that you want to protest the amount of your tax bill. In fact, in July of 2007, 400 people protested property taxes in a demonstration outside the governor’s house.
Does protesting your property taxes help?
In certain cases, it actually does. It may seem like this type of tax is always on the rise but that isn’t always the case. Protesting your taxes will help you assess your property at the right value and therefore save money on your tax bill. While it may seem like a hassle, the process is actually not that complicated. If you follow the important steps you should be able to protest before the deadline.
How do you protest your property tax?
There are definitely steps that need to be taken in this. We will cover them briefly here.
- The first thing that you need to do is to determine how much you think that you are being overcharged for property taxes. Get an appraisal of your property and a current assessment. If these show that you are being overcharged for your property tax then you can protest it.
- There is generally a statute of limitations for filing your protest. This is generally 3 months past the date that your tax bill was mailed to you. Check the deadlines in our previous blog: Don’t miss your property tax protest deadline.
- Build a case for yourself with your home being at a lower market value. Check all the factual info for your home and get any discrepancies corrected. For example, if the tax assessment shows you having a pool and you don’t, get it corrected. Also, find homes that are comparable to yours in the area and see what they sold for.
- Attend a hearing before yours comes up so that you will know what to expect and can cover all your bases.
- Go to the local board first with your property tax appeal. If they deny it then take it to the state level.
How Long Will This Take?
When you’re dealing with the government, you can expect it to take months. There is the general bureaucratic red tape that you will have to go through. The government hopes that you will give up; they do this by making you jump through a lot of hoops to accomplish a task that should be simple.
When you do get through all of their obstacles though, the rewards can be well worth it and can save you thousands of dollars in the end. Keep the faith and keep pushing on and you will eventually see the end of the road on this quest.
If you have any question on how to file for property tax protest, contact O’Connor & Associates today. One of our experts will guide you through the process.