logo-updated-012918
Property Tax Inquiries Call 713.290.9700

The Informal Hearing on Property Tax Appeals

For many homeowners, the property tax appeal process can seem too difficult and therefore only about 8% appeal even though 70% of those who do appeal are successful. Most homeowners also do not realize that their appeal can be resolved at the informal hearing.

Here are some tips on attending an informal hearing for property tax appeals:

  • Before you attend the hearing it is important to make sure you are prepared and can provide evidence to back up your request for a property tax reduction. Homeowners who do not provide evidence and just tell the appraiser “my taxes are too high” or “statistics show homes in my area went up 3% last year, but my assessed value went up 10%,” will likely not be successful.
  • Texas law provides homeowners the right to request House Bill 201 informationfrom their local appraisal district. House Bill 201 includes essential information to prepare for a property tax hearing. Requesting a House Bill 201, 14 days before the hearing, limits what information the appraisal district can present at the hearing. If a homeowner does not request their information prior to the hearing, they can use any information available to them at the hearing. However, if you request the appraisal district information using a House Bill 201 request, they may only use information previously provided to you.
  • When you receive the appraisal district House Bill 201 information, start by reviewing the appraisal district’s description of your home and ask yourself these questions:
  1. Is the size accurate?
  2. Is the year built accurate?
  3. Are the qualities and amenities accurate?

If the appraisal district overstates either the quantity or quality of improvements to your property, this is an excellent means to reduce your property taxes both for the current year and subsequent years.

  • At the hearing you will first meet with the appraiser. Spend three to five minutes of polite conversation developing a level of rapport. The appraiser is not opposed to reducing your property taxes, so think of the meeting as a bridge. You need to provide the appraiser a basis for adjusting your assessed value. The appraiser does not mind adjusting the assessed value; he just does not want to get fired or reprimanded for making an inappropriate adjustment. Act as though the appraiser is your friend and not an enemy.
  • You will quickly learn the lowest value the appraiser is willing to accept. At this point, you need to either agree to that value or proceed to the formal ARB hearing. If you settle the appeal at the informal level, you will not be able to pursue an ARB hearing, binding arbitration or a judicial appeal. However, it does resolve the issue in a timely manner.

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

Property Tax Protection Program™ Benefits

  • No flat fees or upfront costs.  No cost ever unless your property taxes are reduced.
  • All practical efforts are made every year to reduce your property taxes.
  • Never miss another appeal deadline.
  • Property taxes protested for you annually.
  • You do not have to accept the appraisal district’s initial guesstimate of value.
  • We coordinate with you regarding building size / condition to avoid excess taxes.
  • Free support regarding homestead exemptions.
  • Some years are good – typically 6 to 7 out of 10 will result in tax reduction for you.
  • The other 3 to 4 years out of 10 we strike out. Most often due to people issues in the hearing process. Some years we get an easy appraiser at the informal; some years someone who is impossible to settle with.