Anytime you have some sort of issue with your property taxes, you are entitled to protest it to the ARB (Appraisal Review Board). You can protest against the appraisal district value if you disagree with it. You can also protest against ANY of the actions of the Appraisal district concerning your property.
Once you protest and have had a hearing, you can then appeal the decision if it was not in your favor. Depending on the type of property and the facts of the case, you might even be able to take your appeal to the state court right there in your county, to the SOAH (State Office of Administrative Hearings) or to an independent arbitrator who will be appointed by the office of the Comptroller.
Expect to not protest the tax itself
A common misconception when people protest this type of thing is that they are protesting the amount of the tax itself. This is simply not accurate. What you are protesting is actually the value that the assessors have given your property.
When you go before the board if you start protesting the tax itself and how you can’t afford to pay it, they will shut you down instantly. They have no control over the amount of taxes you owe. What they do have control over is the assessed value of the property involved.
In order for your protest to be effective you need to gather information on houses that are comparable in your area and have recently sold. Another important thing to do is to ensure that all of the information that the tax office has on your house is correct. If, for example, your home has 2 bedrooms but the tax office says it has 3 then your house is probably assessed at a higher value than what it actually has.
Expect to Spend Some Serious Time on This Quest
Gathering all of the facts and information will end up taking quite a bit of your time. You will be dealing with government offices and as such you need to be prepared to deal with the inanities that go along with ALL government offices. There will be forms that need to be filled out, fees to be paid, and other red tape to get through.
Expect To Spend Some Money
Those fees that were mentioned above are just some of the money that you will spend. You may also want to pay the money to have an independent property appraiser come out and write up an appraisal for your property. While this isn’t cheap; it is not that expensive either.
If you have a regular day job, you will be missing work a bit so don’t forget to calculate the loss of that money into your financial equations.
Let the professionals handle all this for you!
For more information on property tax protest, contact O’Connor today. One of our property tax experts will answer any concern or questions you may have.