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Protest Your Tax Appraisal

protest-tax-appraisal

In shock from your property tax appraisal notice? Think about challenging that appraisal by filing a property tax protest. These annually evaluated appraisals are sent to homeowners with the amount owed and how it was determined, including information like the land value, the type of property and if it had any improvements made from the prior year.

With these values continually increasing, the values set by the government appraisers aren’t always correct and the National Taxpayers Union Foundation even estimated that between 30% and 60% of the taxable property is over-assessed, causing some homeowners to lose hundreds and even thousands of dollars. The bottom line is, if your property valuation is too high then the homeowner may have to pay higher taxes, and no one wants to lose money.

How to File a Property Tax Protest

After receiving a notice of appraised value in the mail, you can either agree or disagree with the value assessed for your home. If you disagree with the value, then a notice of protest needs to be filed. This notice should include reasons why you’re filing the protest and must be filed by the May 15th deadline.

Once this notice is filed, a hearing is scheduled by the appraisal district. This hearing can be either informal or formal. An informal hearing will take place with a representative from the district, an appraisal staffer, while a formal hearing takes place in front of the appraisal review board.

When meeting with the representative, ensure you bring all necessary documents with you, including any independent appraisals, photos, and estimates for repairs, as well as any records showing a devaluation of your house. The district representative may offer to revalue your property after going through the documentation. If you accept this new value then you will not need to appear before the review board.

If you are still not satisfied with the value after reassessment, you can choose to keep your hearing date with the review board to further appeal the decision. Once this hearing is completed, you once again have the option to either accept the value set, have a binding arbitration, or file a suit in the district court.

Important Deadlines for Filing a Property Tax Protest

On January 1st your home value is appraised. This value is based on the condition that your property could sell for on this exact date and any damage or improvements after the first of the year won’t affect the value for the current year.

In Late April or Early May, your appraisal will arrive by mail telling you the home value for your property taxes. Make sure you take a close look at this. If your appraisal looks incorrect, you will want to protest it.

May 15th is the deadline for filing a “notice of protest”. This can usually be done online and by mail. If you received your notice of appraised value after April 15th, then you have 30 days from that date to file a protest. The following month is when homeowners begin to see their letters from the appraisal district to inform them of their hearing dates.

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