It’s property tax time in Texas and that means we all get love letters from our central appraisal district to let us know how they’ve assessed our home and to tell us what we will now pay in taxes for the upcoming year.
If your experience is anything like mine, when I received my letter in the mail my assessed value went up the full 10%. With my homestead exemption, the county can only tax me on a value of no more than 10% above my previous years’ value.
If you Google property tax protest you’re going to come up with a ton of consultants who are more than happy to charge you to help you protest your taxes. For commercial properties, this may be a good route to go. But for your everyday residential residence, you don’t need to hire someone to protest your value.
At first you might be thinking, ah, real estate has been so crazy this year, there’s no way I can find sales to bring my value down. Well, here’s some news. The county will accept sales comparables all the way back to January 1 of 2020! Remember that time. Before Covid? Some of us Realtors thought we might actually be going into a Buyer’s market? Ahhh. The good ‘ole days…
For the first few months of the year, real estate sales were, if you can believe it, kind of normal. And there was actually a little blip where you could’ve gotten an incredible deal on your purchase when no one knew which direction things were going to go.
The first step in this process is finding the comps you’ll need to protest your value. In my conversation with my tax district, they wanted comps for 2 properties smaller than mine and 2 properties larger than mine. I happened to have 2 sales that were exactly my size so I included those too.
How do you get the sales data? Well, that’s where a helpful Realtor like me comes into play. I’m happy to provide you with sales comps on your home to help with your protest. It’s totally free. I even throw in a look at what your home could sell for in today’s market. If you’d like those comps, simply go to TexasHomeTaxes.com and fill out the form with your property address, answer a few questions about your house, and then let me know a good email address of where to send the comps. I’ll get those back to you within three business days of receiving your request.
There’s no way to make up the numbers. Either the sales are there to support bringing down your value or they aren’t. So I will let you know that not every house can have the value brought down, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. When I followed this process, I was able to save $413.96 off my tax bill this year and bring my value down 7.4% from their initial proposed value. That’s enough money in my book to make it worth my while and because I’m homesteaded, it means the most they can go up next year is 10% on this lower value, not the initial one they gave me.
The deadline to file your protest is either May 15 or 30 days after your notice of assessed value was mailed to you, whichever is later.
If you have any questions about this or want more information, you can visit TexasHomeTaxes.com or contact me directly by call or text at 214-803-4444.
Jennifer Shannon is a Texas real estate agent and broker, licensed since 2006.