Reasons Texans Should Protest Property Taxes Annually
By: Elizabeth Garner
While you might think protesting your taxes is difficult, it is worth the trouble for you and your neighbors. Here's why:
It's your money, and you know your financial situation better than the government. Since the appraisal determines your property's value, subjective factors such as quality of construction, condition, flood status, property type, and upgrades can be protested. Anything that could negatively affect the property value should be protested with the appraisal district.
If we look at Texas Appraisal districts, 21,144,149 property tax parcels need to be evaluated; however, there are only an estimated 2,296 appraisers in all Texas appraisal districts -- 75% of those appraisers working in the field measuring new properties. That only leaves about 574 appraisers to create a mass appraisal model to value the 21,144,149 properties for 2020. This would average 36,836 properties per appraiser per year or 142 properties per day. Does this seem like a reasonable statistic to you?
The answer is no, so what does this mean for you as the homeowner looking to protest their property taxes? Your property probably fell under the "easy button" mass appraisal model. When your home is being mass appraised this way, appraisal factors can fall through the cracks. These mass appraisals are not the same as hiring an appraiser to come and generate a genuine report based on what they see in person and the comparative homes they look at to generate the correct estimated value of your home. They are using whatever information they can find online, clicking that "easy appraisal" button and issuing a value that could be incorrect. This is why it is so important for homeowners to protest their property taxes annually, as it will help you and your neighbors since it will lower their property taxes.
If you fall into the over 65 age group, you need to protest for additional reasons. While the school property taxes are frozen when you turn 65, the county, city, and MUD taxes are not. It will also help avoid having unreasonably high tax assessments in the area because properties that are never appealed can become local outliers providing fodder for appraisal districts to use when arguing higher values for your neighborhood. After all, the value can become excessive when it isn't appealed annually.
My best advice is to find a tax reduction specialist whose entire day is spent looking at taxes and saving their client's money annually on property taxes. The term "leave it to the professionals" has never been more true in this situation. They know the ins and outs of Texas Property Taxes and how to go about protesting and saving you money.
If you are interested in getting assistance with your property tax protest, feel free to visit any of the links below:
Home Tax Shield
O'Connor & Associates
Five Stone Tax Advisers LLC
Platinum Property Tax
Photos by Tyler Franta, Tierra Mallorca & Blake Wheeler on Unsplash