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How to be Prepared for A Property Tax Appeal

Many property owners have the option of appeal the increased appraised value of their property so they can try and get a lower tax bill for the year. While you might not cut much off your yearly taxes, over time the savings can really add up.

If you keep maintaining an accurate appraised value for your property, you could end up saving thousands of dollars in a few years. Most people can think of much better things to do with a few thousand dollars than to give it to the government!

#1 – What Does the Future Look Like for Property Taxes in Houston, Texas?

Over the next few years, Texas property owners are expected to see an increase in their property values, which means more taxes owed each year. The Harris County Appraisal District gave the following figures, which paints a pretty clear picture of what the future might hold for Houston, Texas property owners:

  • Below $80K – 35 percent of properties to be increased
  • $80k-$149k – 78.8 percent of properties to be increased
  • $150k-$249k – 90.7 percent of properties to be increased
  • $250k-499k – 94.0 percent of properties to be increased
  • $500k-$999k – 95.6 percent of properties to be increased
  • Over 1 Million – 94.4 percent of properties to be increased

If you are thinking of appealing the proposed tax bill, there are several things you need to think about as you move forward.

#2 – Get information By Requesting the Hearing Evidence Packet

This is one of the critical steps you can take to help give you the best possible chance of winning your tax bill protest. This contains the information that the appraisal district is required to reference in order to appraise your property. For property owners in Houston Texas, this packet is available online and you can also request a copy of it to be sent to you prior to the hearing of your appeal. By getting this packet and having access to the information beforehand, you will be able to better prepare for your appeal.

#3 – Pictures are worth a thousand words so make sure they are working for you!

Another way you can prepare for your appeal hearing is to use the power of photos to help you make your case. Taking pictures of your home and the surrounding areas can help you build a case for why the appraised value of your home may not be as accurate as they are saying.

Make sure you document any disrepair or negative features of your home. Also be sure to note how neighbors and other nearby factors can bring down the value of your home.

#4 – Consider the factors that detract from your property.

Is there a landfill or water treatment plant nearby? Are you near a water tower or electrical towers? Look for any factors that detract from the value and appeal of your home and document these so you can build your appeal around them. You can present these during your case and make an appeal proving that these items and conditions make your property worth less than what they are appraising it at.

 

With these steps in place and these ideas in the works, you stand a good chance of building a strong case. You can go into the hearing armed with the evidence you need to try and protest the tax bill that you received.

ENROLL TODAY In the Property Tax Protection Program™

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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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