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3 Steps on How to File a Protest for Your Commercial Property Taxes

In terms of filing a protest for your commercial property taxes, there are actually two ways to accomplish such task. One way has three steps and the other has only one. Here are the steps for the first way:

Step 1: File a Protest

The first thing that you need to do is to file a protest. This can be done by filling out and submitting the form that will be provided by the specific appraisal district. If your business happens to be in the Harris County Appraisal District Houston Texas, you can just fill out a notice of protest with the HCAD.

If neither of those options appeals to you, there is another option that involves your writing a letter and sending it to the chief appraiser at your specific appraisal district, telling him that you want to protest your property taxes.

Step 2: Research the Record Card of the Central Appraisal District

The appraisal district for each county will have a record card for each assessed property in that specific region. This card will have things on it like the size of the lot and any buildings on it, amenities and other relevant information. You will need to pay a visit to the office and pay for a complete record card. If there are any errors on it, this is a sound basis for you to protest your property taxes.

Step 3: Establish a Value

The appraisal districts in Texas will generally recognize three varying approaches to how the property value is assessed. Those are the Cost Approach, Income Approach and the Sales Comparison Approach. That said, the Uniform and Equal Approach is also gaining a more widespread use.

Legalities Involved

Once you’ve filed your protest, you will get a mail notification with the date and time of the hearing. Generally, this lasts only about 15 minutes. By the end of this hearing, the appraiser will let you know whether or not he is able to make the adjustments. This is called an informal hearing.

Sometimes, things are not settled at the informal hearing and there is a need for an Appraisal Review Board Hearing (ARB). Participants in such type of hearing will include the owner or an agent of the property, a hearing clerk, a staff appraiser, and three members from the appraisal review board. The decision made here is not subject to any sort of negotiation although it can be appealed in a district court in Texas by filing a lawsuit.

The Alternative

If all of what had just been described seems like a bit much to handle and you don’t have the time or patience to deal with it, there is an alternative. For commercial real estate appraisal in any part of Texas or commercial real estate appraisal in Houston, you can always find an agent to take care of these things for you.

Most of them will only charge you for their services if they won or if they had exceptional records for things like this. O’Connor and Associates alone reduced the taxes owed by their clients by $46 MILLION in 2013.

Which would you prefer: the hard way that may not amount to anything or the easy way that will save you time, energy, frustration and money?

To learn more about filing a protest for your commercial property taxes, contact O’Connor today.

Blog Author

Patrick O’Connor, MAI, Owner and President
Patrick O’Connor has been active in reducing property taxes, providing expert witness testimony and appraising commercial real estate property since 1983. Pat is active in publishing analyses and data with respect to the real estate market, while being a highly regarded media spokesperson for the real estate community. He holds a MAI, the highest achievable designation from the Appraisal Institute, and is a licensed senior property tax consultant. Pat earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. In 2001, he authored the first definitive consumer guide to Texas property taxes, Cut Your Texas Property Taxes.

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O’Connor is the largest property tax consulting firm in the U.S. Our licensed tax consultants and administrative support team benefits home and property owners by reducing property tax assessments, filing personal property renditions, reviewing tax statements, protesting over-assessed property values, and attending informal tax hearings and appraisal review board meetings.

 

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