Property Tax Inquiries Call 713.290.9700

Do CADs Consider Unequal Appraisal?

Just like everything else in the Lone Star State, property taxes tend to be a bit bigger in Texas. There’s also a lot of confusion about how the property tax system works. While most property owners would like to avoid the nuisance of paying the taxes, there’s typically no getting around it. County appraisal districts like the Harris County TX Appraisal District are responsible for appraising property. But, how exactly do they operate? And, do they take unequal appraisal into consideration?

Basic CAD Operation

Before we go too far, it’s important to understand how these governmental institutions operate. A county appraisal district (CAD) is governed by a board of directors. This board of directors is appointed by taxing units within the county. Municipalities, counties, school boards, conservation areas, and reclamation areas are all allowed to help choose the board members for the CAD. The Harris County Appraisal District board of directors is chosen by taxing units like the city of Houston, the Katy Independent School District, and Harris County itself.

The board of directors hires a chief appraiser who is largely responsible for appraising every property in the county. The chief appraiser and their staff must abide by several rules when appraising properties. Of course, fairness is vitally important to the success of any venture undertaken by the chief appraiser.

What is Unequal Appraisal?

Unequal appraisal essentially occurs when the chief appraiser’s assessment of a property is not consistent with similar properties in the area. For instance, let’s say you lived in Houston’s Spring Branch neighborhood and your property was appraised for $300,000. If all of your neighbors and people on nearby street blocks had property appraisals around $200,000, then that would be an example of an unequal appraisal (unless your property had $100,000 worth of improvements). The Harris Co. Appraisal District (under the auspices of the chief appraiser) should account for this problem.

What Happens when Unequal Appraisal Isn’t Fixed?

Every CAD and chief appraiser tries to avoid unequal appraisal, but sometimes they get things wrong. If this happens to you and your property, then you should contact the CAD directly. They may have simply made a mistake and could be willing to fix it in short order. In certain cases, however, they will not budge. They may think that their assessment of your property’s value is accurate even if it does not correspond to other property appraisals in the area.

If this occurs, then you have the right to file a notice of protest with the county appraisal review board (ARB). The ARB is an independent review board in charge of keeping the CAD in check. Unequal appraisal is one of four generally accepted reasons to file a protest with the ARB (the other 3 are overvaluation, lack of notice from the CAD, and declined exemptions). When the ARB accepts your protest, you will be granted a protest hearing where you can argue your case. As with most things, it certainly helps to have some professional guidance on your side.

Contact O’Connor & Associates today for more information on property taxes in Texas.

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.

Property Tax Protection Program™

No cost to enroll

Recents

The Residential Property Protection Program™
is powered by O’Connor
  • Enter your information below and your documents and enrollment information will be emailed to you within one business day

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Call 713.290.9700 to discuss with a representative.

    Please monitor your E-mail and spam filter. If you don't receive your enrollment documents within 24 business hours, call 713.290.9700 8am - 5pm CST

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

When you submit your enrollment, you understand this is a risk free offer to you. If your taxes are not reduced you PAY NOTHING, and a portion of the tax savings is the only fee you pay when your taxes are reduced.

Property Tax Protection Program™

You pay nothing unless we reduce your property taxes, and then only a portion of the savings. There is no flat fee, no sign up fee and no setup fee. We protest your property taxes aggressively every year, and you only pay if and when we reduce your property taxes.

O’Connor is the largest property tax consulting firm in the U.S. Our licensed tax consultants and administrative support team benefits home and property owners by reducing property tax assessments, filing personal property renditions, reviewing tax statements, protesting over-assessed property values, and attending informal tax hearings and appraisal review board meetings.

 

We work tirelessly to protest and lower your taxes with:

  • Informal hearings
  • Appraisal Review Board (ARB) hearings
  • Coordinating judicial appeals