Property Taxes, How do I prepare to appeal?

Dated: April 12 2022

Views: 237

Let's face it. It's that season every one of us dread. 

Yeah, that's right. 

It's property tax season. 

If you don't know already, get ready because your home's value is going up according to the tax office here in McLennan County. I to discuss some things that can help you make sure that they've assessed your property the correct way and how you can protest your homes valuation. Before I get into the list, I kinda wanna go into a little bit about how property taxes work. 

1. Know what the rules are for the county or municipality. Some give you a few weeks to protest, some give you a few months, but understand what your rules are and how long you have to formulate and you can start planning ahead. Start planning by doing research on what the comparable homes are in the neighborhood so that you can make sure that they've valued the property where the market shows it to be. 

2. Check on what property tax breaks you qualify for. Here in Texas, we have a homestead exemption. Make sure that that's been filled out and recorded with the county. Military exemptions, exemptions for certain age groups, exemptions for farms. 

3. Check the records and make sure that everything is correct. Make sure that your square footage of land that your house is sitting on is correct. Make sure the square footage and livability of your home is correct. Things happen. Numbers can get put outta place but make sure when you get your assessment, that everything on that list adds up to the correct property, the correct description.

4. Check out the comparable properties. You can go on different places and figure out what's recently been sold in the neighborhood. You can reach out to resources such as a local REALTOR. You can also do searches on the big national websites such as Zillow and realtor.com. You can even go onto the county's CAD website and look up the taxes of different properties and different addresses on your street and see kinda what they've been assessed. 

5. If you do find a huge discrepancy and they've overvalued, you have a case for an appeal, or say they've way undervalued, also make sure that your evaluation is fair. Say your house has issues that these other houses they're comparing it to doesn't. 

6. I know, taxes can be a tricky subject. However, if you go to appeal, always remember, polite and sugar will get you a lot farther than rude and salt. No matter how mad you may be at the tax assessor or the people working in that office, going in with a polite attitude.  A polite attitude, smile on your face, and work toward a solution instead of being combative.

7. At last resort, you may have to consider hiring an appraiser to come out and actually appraise your property. Take it through everything. An appraiser will look at what was going on with the comp, will do an in-depth dive to make sure that your house is what they say it is. But as a last resort, you may have to hire an appraiser to go in and back up your case. Now I'm not an attorney and if you need the help of an attorney, I suggest that you hire a tax attorney that understands this and helps you fight for you.

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Anthony George

Growing up in a family business in rural southern Illinois, I learned the value of making relationships with my clients. Farmers from five neighboring counties knew me by name, and not only did I know....

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