April 19th, 2017 5:58 PM by Jenny S. Becker
You are not alone if you are still reeling from the sticker shock of your recent year’s Property Appraisal Notice. A few years ago, the majority of Houstonians' started to notice that the era of the appraisal districts underestimating your home value was rapidly changing. In 2016 we started to see the local real estate market drastically come to a halt, however the appraisal districts property values did not follow suit. In the last couple years Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) and Fort Bend County Appraisal District (FBCAD) came under hot water for not lowering the home evaluations to correlate with the local real estate market. I’m not a property tax protest expert, but I can send you comparables to use and outline the steps to protest your property taxes. There are also a slew of companies in the area that will protest your taxes for you (with a percentage taken out for their fee). Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a company to do it for you, it is important to understand the process so you can make an informed decision. In this Blog post, I am going to focus on protesting your taxes on your own using the appraisal districts online system (informal hearing) and making your case in front of the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) in Harris and Fort Bend County.
Submit a written Notice of Protest form by May 31st. Detailed instructions of how to file online can be found in the resources section below. You will need to identify the property being appealed and the basis for your appeal. Pay close attention to the boxes you check off stating the reason for your protest. Your choices will affect the kind of evidence you can submit down the road. If you are appealing because the value is too high, I strongly recommend appealing on both “Assessed value is over market value” and “Value is unequal compared with other properties.” Checking both boxes will allow you to present the widest types of evidence. If the square footage and/or property information is incorrect, be sure to check “Property description is incorrect.” If the property information is incorrect and you feel the assessed value is too high, check all boxes that relate.
Important Information About the Protest ProcessNotice of Protest – Instructions for Filing Online:Fort Bend County Appraisal DistrictHarris County Appraisal District How to Present Your Case at a ARB Hearing: A Homeowner’s GuideThe Texas Comptroller’s Website – Tax InformationProperty Tax Payer Remedies Frequently Asked Questions
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