1) Appraisal district values are not reliable. The average error rate for houses in Harris County is 14%.

2) State law requires you protest to obtain the appraisal district’s evidence.

3) You need to check the appraisal district’s detailed information regarding the size, grade, condition and level of remodel for your house. There are some errors for most houses.

4) Most property tax protests are successful. A 10% reduction for a $200,000 house would typically generate savings of about $500.

5) The property appeal process is arbitrary, depending on the appraiser and the appraisal review board panel. In some years when you have limited evidence you obtain a great reduction.

6) The appraisal district’s evidence often supports a reduction. Since appraisal districts target 100% of value for houses, and error rates are about 14%, half of all houses are over-taxed.

7) Even if your value is below market, you can protest based on unequal appraisal if your neighbors have a more favorable level of assessment.

8) Home owners and small business owners pay more than their fair share of property taxes, and the burden is increasing with time. They subsidize the property taxes of trophy properties.

9) Mega-properties such as Greenway Plaza are often assessed at 50 to 70% of market value, versus 100% for houses.

10) Appraisal districts cater to owners of $100 million-plus properties because they know they face a fierce battle if they have the courage to attempt to fully value these buildings. Only by protesting in volume will home owners send a clear message that all property should be assessed fairly.

For more information contact Patrick O’Connor at 713 822 8613 or poconnor@poconnor.com.