What does it take to Protest?
According to the Texas Property Tax Code, property owners have a right to object or appeal to an action of the appraisal review board, appraisal district or chief appraiser that adversely affects or applies to the owner of the property in question. Most of the protests for property tax relate to the actual market value that is calculated by the appraisal district. At other times, protests are filed for things like agricultural valuation, exemptions, unequal appraisal, as well as a variety of other things. Property owners can appeal yearly on unequal appraisal and market value, whether or not the appraisal district alters such market value.
What exactly is the ARB?
The ARB (Appraisal Review Board) conducts the property tax hearings for Texas property tax protests that are not resolved during the conduct of the informal hearing. In most counties, these hearings are conducted by a panel of three members who prepare a recommendation for the entire review board. These recommendations are affirmed formally at periodic meetings of the ARB. The ARB is independent from the appraisal district, technically speaking, but, since the ARB members are hired, paid and supervised by the board of directors for the appraisal district, the ARB is not entirely independent from the appraisal district.
What Evidence Should You Present?
There are some things that can be presented as evidence at the ARB hearing. You can start with addressing any errors that are in the description of the property after a description of your property is read by the appraiser.
Other things that can be presented as evidence include comp properties, errors in the records and even unequal appraisal. All of the evidence you are presenting should be typed out and you need to bring five copies of it to the hearing so that everyone involved will have a copy. Also, make sure that your presentation is no longer than 10 – 20 minutes or the members of the ARB will be aggravated.
In the state of Texas, you can have an agent to handle everything that is involved from step one all the way to the end. These agents or firms will generally not get paid at all unless you win at your hearing, so you don’t have to worry about any upfront expenses. Even when they do get paid, it is only a percentage of the taxes that you saved.
Some of these agents are great at what they do, too. In fact, in 2013, O’Connor & Associates filed over 162,000 protests for their clients and saved them more than $46 million in taxes.
There are a great many appraisal districts, but each district will work the same way. For example, the Fort Bend tax district will function just the same as the Harris County tax appraisal district because they are governed by the same rules and regulations.
That means that the information that you have read here today will be valid across the entire state of Texas.
Contact O’Connor & Associates today for more information on what evidence you should present to the ARB! One of our property tax experts will provide you with valuable advices.