Texas Property Tax Appeals

Aug 26 09:27 2008 Patrick OConnor Print This Article

 Regarding Texas Property Tax Appeals

Texas Property Tax AppealsSteps to Protesting and Reducing Your Property Value AnnuallyStep 1. File a ProtestTexas property tax appeals can be filed using the form provided by the appraisal district,Guest Posting or the form available on poconnor.com in the property tax section (see Useful Forms Forms in the left column). Otherwise send a short letter to the chief appraiser at the central appraisal district stating that you are protesting your property taxes. You should indicate the basis is both assessed value over market value and equal appraisal. The deadline to file a protest is May 31, or 30 days after notice of your assessed value is mailed to you, whichever is later. Protest annually to minimize your property taxes.Step 2. Research the Central Appraisal District's Record CardThe appraisal district in your county has a record card for each property it assesses. This card contains information such as lot size, building size, amenities, and much more. You will need to go to the district office to obtain the complete record card and there may be a nominal charge. However, you can probably review much of the basic information on the appraisal district's website. Ask the staff if you have questions about the information. Errors in the record card are a sound basis for a protest. It is impossible to maintain correct data for every property in the county.Step 3. Establish Property ValueTexas appraisal districts typically recognize one of three different approaches to determine market value when granting reductions in property tax assessments. Those approaches are Sales Comparison Approach, Income Approach, and Cost Approach. In addition, recent court rulings have paved the way to encourage more districts to also recognize the Uniform and Equal Approach (unequal appraisal) to valuing the property as provided in the Texas Property Tax Code. For a full description of these approaches, click on The Approaches to Establishing Property Value. Analyze both market value and unequal appraisal when preparing for your Texas property tax appeal.Step 4. Journey through the Legal Avenues

  • Informal HearingAfter filing a protest you will be notified of a date and time to attend a hearing. This meeting is conducted with a staff appraiser at the appraisal district office. It typically lasts 15 minutes. At its conclusion the appraiser will either indicate he cannot make an adjustment, or he will offer to settle by establishing lower assessment. In Texas, most residential property tax appeals are resolved at the informal hearing.
  • Appraisal Review Board HearingThis is sometimes called a formal or ARB hearing. Participants include three members of the appraisal review board, a staff appraiser from the appraisal district, a hearing clerk (at some counties) and the property owner or their agent. The property owner or his agent and the district's appraiser will separately present the evidence to support their opinions of the market value and unequal appraisal for the subject property. Afterward, the board members will announce its conclusion, which is not subject to negotiation. However, their decision can be appealed in a Texas district court if a lawsuit is filed against the county appraisal district to further appeal the property taxes .
  • LitigationWhile the results of informal hearings are final for the tax year and cannot be appealed through a lawsuit, the results determined at the appraisal review board hearing can be appealed to district court. Before making a decision to do so, the owner should consider the amounts of any potential tax savings, legal costs and expert witness costs. In Texas, most judicial appeals of property tax assessments are successful.

O’Connor & Associates can represent you at the income tax, tax deduction, property tax, real estate consulting, market research, condemnation appraisals, highest and best use, cost segregation, financial modeling, Galveston central appraisal district, Tips and Tricks for Appealing Your Property Taxes in Brazoria, Brazoria county appraisal and Federal tax reduction.

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About Article Author

Patrick OConnor
Patrick OConnor

Patrick C. O'Connor has been president of O'Connor & Associates since 1983 and is a recipient of the prestigious MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute. He is also a registered senior property tax consultant in the state of Texas and has written numerous articles in state and national publications on reducing property taxes. He continues to set the standard in direction and quality of our appraisal products, adding services ranging from business valuations and business appraisals to cost segregation analysis for income tax reduction.

Patrick C. O'Connor

http://www.poconnor.com/

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