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Why Should You Pay Much More than Your Fair Share of Property Taxes?

If you own any real estate property, then one of your biggest nemeses has to be property taxes. No one likes paying them, but they are just a fact of life for any property owner. In Texas, this fact of life hits property owners a little harder. That’s because a board serving the county appraisal district (CAD) must ascribe value to all the properties in their jurisdiction. Sometimes, the system fails. The CAD can end up overvaluing certain properties. This has the consequence of increasing the property tax on those properties. But, is this something you have to live with no matter what?

Paying Too Much

For some property owners, it might just be easier to bite the bullet and pay the property taxes, even if they know that the CAD’s valuation is too high. In fact, Forbes Magazine reported in 2011 that over 25% of property owners throughout the country paid too much on their property taxes. The problem, in this case, may be ignorance. In Texas, it may seem like the CAD has the power to value properties as they see fit without any oversight. Of course, that’s not true in the least bit.

The Appraisal Review Board

Every county has their own appraisal review board (ARB) which is supposed to provide oversight and equalization in regard to the CAD. The ARB gives you an outlet to challenge the appraised value of your property. You can do this by filing a notice of protest with the local ARB. Make sure that you file within the protest deadline. Otherwise, the ARB won’t schedule a hearing for you unless you have good cause. In any event, the ARB can provide you with a much needed way to protest an erroneous appraisal.

Property Taxes Are Valuable

Even if you know about the ARB and the protesting process, you may still be unconvinced that you should protest at all. You may think that, perhaps, other people are being charged similar amounts with similar properties. The taxes from these properties also go to services that help your cities, counties, and school boards. You can certainly convince yourself that an excessive valuation is okay using these criteria. Of course, in most cases, if your appraisal is much higher than previous years, then it’s likely that you might be the only one. A good way to investigate this is by looking at sale prices of properties in your neighborhood that are comparable to your own. If they aren’t anywhere near your appraisal value, then you may want to protest.

In the end, there are really no reasons that you should be charged higher amounts for your property than anyone else. The CAD should not be able to convince you that an unfair appraisal constitutes your “fair share.” Luckily, there are channels available that allow you to combat high property valuations.

Don’t let the system take advantage of you. If you feel like the assessed value of your property is far too high, then you should seriously consider a formal protest with the ARB.

Contact O’Connor & Associates today if you have any questions regarding the protest of your property tax bill!

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.

 

We work tirelessly to protest and lower your taxes with:

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