The Texas property tax system is flawed in many ways not to mention it is a constant source of aggravation for Texas Homeowners. Every year we feel the burdensome tax and are constantly seeking relief. I will provide a brief overview on what comprises property taxes and how to effectively protest.
Let’s start by breaking down the entities & the percent of monies that they receive from the property tax:
• 55% School District
• 16% County
• 16% City
• 13% Other (Hospitals, Colleges, Water Districts, and the list goes on)
The good news is that I, Tim Byrns with Iron Star Realty, have a plan to lower your 2017 property taxes. My plan is completely legal and requires minimal effort on your part. Note that if you are a client of Iron Star Realty, I will provide these services as long as you are my client. I do not seek to provide tax services outside of my client needs. My appraisal background has given me a great deal of knowledge of the appraisal process.
Here is a quick breakdown of my Tax Protest Plan:
#1. Know when to file. You must file a protest before the May 31st deadline! If you don’t file a protest you can’t reap the benefits of lower taxes. This is that G.I. Joe tagline…”Knowing is half the battle!”
#2. Online Protest. Use the online informal protest tools on the Appraisal District website. Within the property tax notice there will be an access code that you can use on the appraisal website to login and protest your taxes.
Pro Tip: I recommend protesting based on both unfair/unequal appraisal and market value. This will double your chances of winning.
#3. Try talking with an appraiser. If the informal protest fails to yield the desired results it is time to call the district and ask to speak with an appraiser before your formal hearing date. Note that many of the appraisal districts are under the gun to have all their properties assessed by the state’s July deadline. In other words, the appraisers would like to settle cases to meet the state’s July deadline. The tax system is designed so that all protests must be resolved by the end of July.
- Call your trusted Realtor (me) for a CMA in your neighborhood to provide ammunition to lower your taxes.
- Bring/Send photos and invoice/repair bids to the appraiser. This will help substantiate your claim regarding property condition and quality. I can guarantee that the appraiser has never stepped foot into your home and has no idea of what your home looks like.
#4. Hire a Tax Professional. If you are not able to get the results you need, I would recommend hiring a property tax consultant. They can take the fight to the appraisal district. Again, I provide this service to our clients on an annual basis and at no additional cost, so it would save you money to hire Iron Star Realty when you buy/sell real estate.
Now that you understand the process, let’s next discuss some of the misconceptions of protesting taxes:
I will be punished for protesting taxes. “They will paint a target on me for every year going forward!” No No No, you will not be punished. At best you will lower your taxes and at worst nothing will happen and the taxes stay the same. You have more to gain than to lose.
Those workers at the appraisal district are mean and unfriendly. To the contrary, they have always been very kind and friendly. I should know, I have protested thousands of cases with many ending-up in a formal hearing. During all my years the employees and volunteers have been very pleasant. Nobody is going to get angry with you.
It will take too much time! It only takes 2 minutes to lower taxes online. I actually had a client on the phone and walked through the process within 5 minutes. By the end of the call I had lowered his taxable value by $29,000.
Property Tax Protest Facts
Percent of Owners protesting tax appraisals in 2016 by county:
Collin: 13% of all residents protested (31,838 protests out of 246,009 accounts)
Dallas: 12% of all residents protested (78,500 protests out of 650,000 accounts)
Denton: 19% of all residents protested (39,644 protests out of 206,406 accounts)
Tarrant: 14% of all residents protested (80,300 protests out of 590,645 accounts)
To hire a Tax Protest Professional go to the Texas Association of Property Tax Professionals website at taptp.org.
Dallas County: DallasCAD.org
Collin County: CollinCAD.org
Denton County: DentonCAD.com
Tarrant County: TAD.org
Thank you for reading my post on Property Taxes in Texas! Let me know if you have any questions and don’t forget to share.