Harris County property owners are already seeing results from their 2023 property tax protests, with over $254 million saved so far. Each year, Harris Central Appraisal District estimates the market value of real property and personal property in Harris County. It doesn’t matter if the value is up or down from the previous year, each property owner is still able to exercise their right to appeal the assessment.O’Connor has gathered and reviewed the initial and current Harris County tax rolls which are available from HCAD.
Based on Harris County Property Tax Trends analysis of past reductions in property tax, O’Connor anticipates property owners in Harris County will save around $662 million in property taxes for the 2023 tax year.
Harris County homeowners have already recovered around $87 million in property tax protests for 2023. This is based on an assessment reduction averaging $35,652, which translates to approximately $963 in tax savings based on a 2.7% tax rate and without taking into account exemptions. These numbers can be derived from 90,067 homes where appeals have resulted in Harris Central Appraisal District lowering values.
Among commercial property owners, Harris County apartment owners have realized the greatest savings in property tax and the largest saving per tax protest. As of July 1, 2023, an initial value of $34.3 billion in apartment property has come down to $32.1 billion. Year-to-date savings based on the $2.1 billion reduction in Harris County apartment tax assessments are estimated at $58.1 million, based on a tax rate of 2.7%. These numbers are based on hearing results for 1,357 apartments. Of these protests, apartment owners averaged a 6.28% reduction with $42,848 in savings per apartment tax protest.
When evaluating reductions by percentage, land/miscellaneous properties received a 26.2% reduction, which is the largest percentage assessment reduction for Harris County commercial property tax protests, including 8,715 tax protests resolved in 2023. The initial value of $1.4 billion was reduced to $1 billion. For all land/miscellaneous property accounts, a tax savings of close to $9.9 million was reached for 2023 based on a tax rate of 2.7 percent. This comes to a savings of $1,140 per tax parcel.
Hotel owners of 134 properties have already reduced assessed values from $2.151 billion to $1.952 billion through effectively resolved appeals. This comes to a tax reduction of $5.5 million when applying a 2.7% tax rate to the $198 million in hotel property value reduction. Based on completed hearings for 2023 hotel properties in Harris County, there is an average property tax savings of $40,076 per hotel. Hotel property owners are seeing an average 9.25% reduction among the completed protests year to date.
The second highest collective total by commercial property type in 2023 is office building owners who have tax savings totaling $42.29 million for 1,341 office building tax protests resolved YTD in Harris County. HCAD hearings have resulted in the original noticed value of $14.8 billion dropping to $13.32 billion, which results in a difference of $1.56 billion. Harris County office property tax savings averaged $31,538 based on a 2.7% tax rate. Office building owners have attained a 10.52% for office tax protests resolved with a reduction.
Harris County property owners have completed tax protests in 2023 with a reduction for 107,522 properties, reducing the initial assessed value of $131 billion to $121 billion, an 71.5% average reduction. The average tax savings per property protested is $134,029 including protests for houses and commercial properties.
Harris Central Appraisal District has a staff of over 662 professionals who value property in Harris County. When reviewing the currently available hearing results from Harris County, it is clear that there is an enormous potential for property tax reduction when property owners pursue their right to protest.
The 2023 property tax assessment reduction is based on comparing the initial values sent by Harris Central Appraisal District with the most recent tax assessments for 2023. This data does not include properties protested with no reduction, which increases the average reduction. In a typical year, about 39% of Harris County tax parcels will be protested, or about 453,842 tax protests out of a total of $1.87 million tax parcels.
Property owners are encouraged to scrutinize their annual property tax assessments and appeal annually. Well over half of property tax protests in Harris County are successful in a typical year.