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5 Elements of Your Property Tax Appeal To Watch For

Filing a property tax appeal 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 appeal 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 of 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 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 an appeal. 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 appeal 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 appeal 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 appeal. In most instances, you will be appealing an appraisal from the current year. For instance, if it’s 2018 and you are protesting a 2018 appraisal, then you would write in 2018 as the tax year. For some appeals 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. An extenuating circumstance to file a late appeal is a substantial error appeal.

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