County appraisal districts in Texas have a lot of power when it comes to property taxes. They are responsible for setting the value of every property in the county. In turn, that value is what taxing units (like cities and school boards) will use to levy a tax against your property. Many Texas residents fear that a protest of the appraisal value might lead to retaliation from the appraisal district.
After all, they control the value of your property, and they can certainly make it difficult for you to pay your property taxes in future years. Should you be worried about retaliation from your county appraisal district?
1. It is Illegal
In reality, a county appraisal district cannot legally penalize you for protesting their valuations. It is your legal right to protest any appraisals made by the district board. If a county appraisal district were to try and hit you with huge valuation in following years, then you could simply protest the appraisal again and receive an independent decision from the appraisal review board.
Avoiding any retaliation from an appraisal district is one of the major reasons for the existence of appraisal review boards. Of course, there are situations where you might think the appraisal district is retaliating.
2. Don’t Tell a Sob Story
If you go into the county appraisal district’s office to informally protest an appraisal value, then you should go in with evidence and not emotion. Indeed, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts suggests that appealing to the emotions of the members at the district will get you nowhere. Saying that you simply can’t afford the property taxes if the valuation stays where it’s at is not something that will get the appraisal changed. This is, of course, not retaliation from the appraisal district.
3. Don’t Get Angry
It’s also probably not a good idea to go into the appraisal district’s office enraged. The problem is that the district may be less inclined to work with you on an informal resolution. You can feasibly achieve a resolution without going to any protest hearings before the appraisal review board.
If you approach the board members at the appraisal district with contempt, then they are under no obligation to reach a quick resolution. Of course, they aren’t under any obligation to reach a quick resolution under any circumstance, but anger will probably only make it worse.
4. Greater Involvement from Appraisal District
If your protest makes it to a hearing, then you will likely have to present evidence of your claim. The appraisal district will also mount a case against you and in favor of their original assessment. Of course, the appraisal district may be more inclined to mount a stronger case against property owners that were not initially cooperative with them. This can be a subtle form of retaliation in that they may scout the property and check every detail to bolster their own evidence against you.
While the appraisal district cannot openly retaliate against you, there are certain factors that can make them more or less inclined to pursue a favorable decision. You should always try to work with the appraisal district as best you can before opting for a protest.
Contact O’Connor today to learn more about County Appraisal District Retaliation.