The Woodlands Property Tax Group Blog

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How to Appeal Property Tax

If you are a property owner in the State of Texas, your local government expects you to pay a property tax. Why are taxes so high in Texas? These taxes fund essential services like schools, roads, police and firemen, emergency response services, libraries, parks, and other services. Here is a guide on why homeowners file property tax appeals and how to go about it.

If you have any questions, contact a company like Woodlands Property Tax Group.

Assessment Process

  1. Your local government engages tax appraisal districts to estimate the value of your property as of January 1st of each calendar year. Appraised value is the estimated market value of your property.
  2. The Appraisal District will estimate the value of residential properties by comparing similar home sales from the past year to establish value. Commercial properties will utilize sales, income approach, and/or cost to construct.
  3. At times, GIS is used to locate the property, although this may not get detailed information. It is desirable to allow the assessor to inspect your property in your presence. This way, you will point out deficiencies in the property that may lower the tax.
  4. If you deny assessors access to your property, they might escalate the estimates from what they perceive from the outside. You do not want this to happen, so be sure to let them do their work.

One thing is clear: you will never stop paying taxes as long as you own a property. Even after paying off your mortgage, you will still pay tax bills. 

Time to File Property Tax Appeals

If you are confident that the assessment of your property was done much higher than it should be, or higher than comparable properties, then it is time to file a property tax appeal. Here are some recommendations that may help you secure a positive property tax protest.

  1. Ask for your property tax card, which has all data on your property. Review the card and raise any issues that are incorrect.
  2. Do some research on properties around your area that are similar to yours. How much are they assessed for? Put down the figure.
  3. Get professional estimates on repairs required to bring your house to the same standards as those within your neighborhood or the sales that you are being compared to.
  4. Ensure you are within the sales ratio for your property tax assessment, as it is about sales in most cases.
  5. Find properties in your area more outstanding than yours, with lower appraisals. Get as many pictures as possible.
  6. Double-check the information on your estimates for any noticeable mistakes. Jot down any discrepancy.
  7. Check if you qualify for property tax exemption as per tax laws.

Note that it is not a guarantee that your appraisal will be reduced.

What Happens if You Do Not Pay Property Taxes?

If you don’t have an escrow account and completely fail to pay your annual property taxes, you run a high risk of losing your property to a tax auction. Filing property tax appeals is a laborious exercise for homeowners. You can sign an Appointment of Agent form to entrust your tax account with a licensed tax consultant. They can present an appeal on your behalf. If you go this route ensure that your chosen agent is a licensed tax consultant in the state of Texas.

Are you a property owner in Central Texas and burdened with excessive property tax bills? Contact The Woodlands Property Tax Group. We are ready to work with you to discuss how you can realize your maximum tax reduction. We have over 40 years of combined experience with property tax appeals, binding arbitration, and litigation. Our team members are knowledgeable and ready to assist you with the property tax appeal process.

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