How to Protest your Property Taxes
Property taxes are an inevitable expense for homeowners, and while the amount can vary based on several factors, it's important to ensure that the value of your property is accurately assessed to avoid overpaying. You have the right to protest your property taxes if you believe the assessed value is incorrect.
You know we are always here to help with all your real estate-related questions, so let's break down how to protest your property taxes in Harris and Fort Bend Counties (surrounding counties have a similar process, check your CAD website for the details).
Step 1: Understand the Property Tax Assessment Process- The first step in protesting your property taxes is to understand how the property tax assessment process works. The County Appraisal District assesses the value of your property based on several factors, including market trends, property condition, and location. HCAD then sends a Notice of Appraised Value to property owners, which outlines the assessed value of their property.
Step 2: Review Your Notice of Appraised Value- Once you receive your Notice of Appraised Value, review it carefully to ensure that all the information is correct. Check the assessed value, property description, and other details to ensure they are accurate. If you find any errors or discrepancies, you can request a correction.
Step 3: Gather Evidence- If you believe that the assessed value of your property is incorrect, you can gather evidence to support your claim. This is where we can help! We can provide you with recent sold data in your neighborhood to use as evidence to support your protest.
Step 4: File a Protest - To file a protest you can use the online portal, mail a protest form, or file in person at the appraisal district's office. The deadline to file a protest is May 15th.
Step 5: If needed, Attend the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) Hearing- Once you file a protest, you will receive a response from your appraisal district. In some cases, they may ask you to attend a hearing to continue your protest in person. Attend the ARB hearing to present your evidence and argue your case. The ARB is an independent panel of citizens who will review the evidence and make a decision on the assessed value of your property.
Step 6: Review Your ARB Decision After the ARB hearing, you will receive a written decision from the ARB. If the decision is in your favor, your property taxes will be adjusted accordingly. If you disagree with the ARB's decision, you can file an appeal with the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
This process can take a little time, but it's something we recommend you do every year! By understanding the property tax assessment process, reviewing your Notice of Appraised Value, gathering evidence (we'll help!), and filing a protest you can ensure that your property is accurately assessed, and you're not overpaying in property taxes. And keeping your appraised value low saves you money each year so it's worth the effort!