PROTEST PROPERTY TAXES
How To Protest Your Property Taxes
In Texas, the taxable value of a residential property is 100% of its "market value"—basically, what it would sell for on the open market. The 100% figure is also known as the assessment ratio. The taxing authorities multiply the taxable value of your property by the tax rate to arrive at the tax you'll owe.
PROPERTY TAX = ASSESSED VALUATION X TAX RATE
Home values have risen by an average of more than 50% in the past five years and especially from 2019 through 2021. The median property value increased in the DFW metroplex by an average of more than 18% from 2020 to 2021 - so naturally the local property appraisal district will be notifying homeowners of their increased home assessed valuation as required for the 2021 to 2022 tax season. This has given the local county tax appraisal districts the opportunity to raise property assessments materially based on the increase in value of the property. With approximately 2 million single family homes in the DFW metroplex it is impossible for the County Appraisal Districts (CAD) to use a home-by-home evaluation.
So, there are two ways a home assessed valuation increases: 1) when the property sells the selling price becomes the assessed valuation and 2) through what is known as Mass Appraisal which looks at defined ‘neighborhoods’ and ‘assesses’ the increase in market value in that area by the homes that were sold in the past year. This ‘broad brush’ approach is clearly prone to error – of course, that error can be too high or too low. Consequently, one of the very first elements of documentation that is needed to protest a high assessed market value is a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) that should be performed by a Realtor.
January 1 begins the new tax year and your property assessed valuation for the 2021-2022 tax season will be mailed on or about April 30. You have just 30 days from the postmarked date to protest the assessed valuation of your property. Remember…
So even if the tax rate did not go up, but your assessed valuation increased, then your tax bill will increase. However, you can protest your property assessment! The following paragraphs discuss the steps to take to accomplish the protest.
One of your rights as a property owner in Texas is to protest the local assessment review boards assessed valuation of your home. You should receive your property tax bill each October.
When Should You Consider a Property Tax Protest?
Let’s start with what a property tax protest is. A protest is a formal protest of your property’s appraisal district value. Some circumstances that may call for a protest include:
- An appraisal value of your property that seems excessive
- An appraisal that seems much higher in comparison to properties around yours
- Having your exemption application denied by the chief appraiser
- Not receiving notification about a significant change in your property’s value
- Receiving a property assessed valuation that increases more than 10% from the previous year if a general homestead exemption was in place or not receiving a notice of assessed value increase of more than $1,000
If any of the above scenarios apply to you, consider filing a property tax protest.
Property owners are entitled to notice from either the appraisal district or the appraisal review board for many actions that affect the property owner. These include increasing the assessed value of property (by more than $1,000), a notice of an appraisal review board hearing, notice if the property has been reappraised and revocation of an exemption. The appraised home value for a homeowner who qualifies a general homestead exemption in the preceding and current year may not increase more than 10 percent per year under Texas Property Tax Code.
Appraisal districts are required to give the property owner notice of assessed value when the value increases by more than $1,000. Property owners are not required to notify the appraisal district when they sell the property or when they acquire a property. Owners of recently acquired property frequently do not receive a notice of assessed value from the appraisal district. However, a recently purchased home will be reviewed by the county appraisal district and the property assessed value will typically be increased to the sale price of the property which is the established current market value.