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Covid-19 Impact on Texas Property Taxes

Property tax deadlines are not changing despite shelter in place orders due to Covid-19. Orders are in place for most of the largest counties in Texas. The exact order and specific exceptions vary by county. April 3 is a typical termination date. However, few expect the shelter in place to end April 3. Best case is two to four weeks after April 3. *EDIT: We know now this has been extended to April 30*

Texas property tax protest deadlines remain unchanged. Be sure to protest each of your properties by May 15, 2020. The deadline is not extended.

Most appraisal districts in Texas are closed to the public but working. Appraisal districts are not likely to reopen to the public until late April or May.

It is not clear if or how the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) hearings will be conducted. Covid-19 will likely impact our environment for 12 to 18 months. There were three waves of the Spanish Flu in 1918. There will likely be more than one pass of Covid-19. The three large waves of Spanish Flu, which originated from the same location, were: July 1918, November 1918 and March 1919. It occurred over nine months; not one or two.

ARB members are typically over 60, an at-risk group for Covid-19. In-person hearings with ARB members seem unlikely during 2020. ARB hearings will likely need to be virtual, or phone hearings, as provided by statute.

Property tax deadlines of April 15 for renditions and May 15th to appeal property taxes are not changed.

Protest deadline: May 15th
Rendition deadline: April 15th, extension available until May 15th

The reason these dates are not changing is the date to certify the tax rolls is July 20. Tax roll certification is a prerequisite to tax entities setting budgets and tax rates. The tax roll certification date will not be extended due to Covid-19. The tax entities have already decided it will not happen.

Most appraisal districts are closed and have on-line options.

O’Connor will handle over 200,000 property tax appeals this year in Texas. Reducing your taxes is our passion. Sign up online in 2 or 3 minutes, and we can take care of it for you.

Following are government and professional service exceptions for Harris County:

Essential Government Functions. All services provided by local governments and municipalities located in Harris County needed to ensure their continuing operation to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public, including law enforcement, jail operations and other services. Further, nothing in this Order shall prohibit any individual from performing “Essential Government Functions”. All Essential Government Functions shall be performed in compliance with social distancing requirements of six feet to the extent possible.

Professional services. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, insurances (sic) services, and “real estate services” when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities or to further Essential Business, Essential Government functions, or Critical Infrastructure.

Most appraisal districts are operating but not open to the public.

O’Connor is working virtually with only a handful of people at the central physical office. The balance have converted to virtual and will likely remain so for an unknown period.

 

Your property taxes will be aggressively appealed every year by the #1 property tax firm in the country. 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! Many FREE benefits come with enrollment.

 

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.

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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.

 

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