Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How to Succeed When Protesting Your Property Taxes


In my previous 2 posts, I discussed ways to improve your results when protesting your property taxes.  I'm a Texas Property Tax Arbitrator and would like to help you save money with professional advice. 

Here are several hints: 

  • Bring something to read when you go to your protest.  They get behind.
  • Do not start the conversation with "My taxes are too high", or "There have been no services for taxes paid.”  Those are not their concern.
  • Market value is a topic on which reasonable people can disagree.  The property owner has a significant advantage since they have personally inspected the subject and all the comparables.  The appraiser has only the data provided by others.
  • Do not let a sale that you did not find upset the process.  You have many other sales to present and your home is unique.
  • Do point out if your house backs up to an apartment complex, a car dealership, a thoroughfare, trashy homes, etc.
  • Point out if any flaws exist in the home itself.
  • Read the remarks on the comparables. The sold home features might be better than yours, such as granite, wood floors, covered patio, etc.  This knowledge will help lower your valuation.
  • Appraisers do this day in and day out.  You are there because you really believe that the sales show that your home is worth no more than the other homes.
  • Speak softly and be pleasant.
Others have done quite well on their protests in the last few years, and so should you.  Good Luck!

If you have any questions about any of this, call or email me at RichardSkotak@remax.net or 713-894-9410.   

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Hints for Protesting Your Property Taxes

In my last post, I discussed some things you should know if you want to protest your taxes.  I'm a Texas Property Tax Arbitrator and would like to help you save money with some professional advice about property tax protests. Here are three tips to help you improve your results.

First, you can discuss your valuation with a county appraiser in an informal meeting where you, as the taxpayer, provide evidence for your protest.  Use the individual sales sheets and take photos from your car window (no need to alarm neighbors) to attach to the sales.  By showing the appraiser you have evidence (homes that are closer in square footage, and lower in price than the masses of computer data would denote) that was not considered, the appraiser could agree with your evidence.  You must be prepared so you’re able to convince him or her that you are correct.  The appraiser most likely does not know your neighborhood as well as you.  A cooperative dialogue will disclose this and other advantageous information.  This shows that you put forth effort and are serious.

 Second, if differences cannot be resolved at this level, you can appear before a three-person Appraisal Review Board (ARB) in a formal hearing.  Bring copies of your data and give one to each board member.

Third, there is a new binding arbitration law passed by the Texas legislature that settles disputes between the Appraisal District and Homeowner.  It is binding without possibility of a District appeal.  I am an appointed State arbitrator and can explain this process to you if you’d like.


If you have any questions about any of this, call or email me at RichardSkotak@remax.net ot 713-894-9410.  Coming later this week - I'll offer hints you can use when you protest.