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How to protest your property taxes

If you think that the properties you own shower ever-shining dollar glows to
your valuable wallets, then you are to lament it soon. When its time to pay
your real estate taxes, all those money-rendering glows vanish off with a
glance at the massive tax figures. Its quite a bittersweet situation for
property owners like you gaining and losing at the same time. Please dont
give in. You still have options to ward off those bad lucks coming in forms of
chunky tax dollars. Just count on raising a property tax protest at your
countys appraisal district. Believe it or not, you may turn the tables with a
sound proof.
On what grounds can you protest
Thank goodness! You have too many reasons to jerk up the appraisal district
for property tax reduction. You can raise a protest, on the basis of:

incorrect property value

unequally appraised property
denial of exemption (related to your older age or disability)
wrongly taxed property due to incorrect taxing units
wrong owner name entry in appraisal records
incorrect property inclusion in appraisal records
failure to send lawful notice by the chief appraiser or ARB
Inappropriate actions taken up by appraisal district, chief appraiser or
ARB that are adversely affected you.

Dont dilly-dally and be decisive

The question: Can I do things right to reduce property taxes? often haunts
you. At start, you may find it difficult to take risks to protest property taxes.
Mind that without pain, theres no gain. Be sure that you are the goer and
getter of fruitful results. First up, plan up how to garner attention of staff in
your countys appraisal district. Step in their way for an informal talk, and
ask them why your property tax is overbilled. If you put up a good show, the
staff is likely to show you a way to break yourself free from tax burden.
Walk an extra mile .
If having a word with appraisal district staff is not helping you, then go an
extra mile to the appraisal review board (ARB) or Comptrollers office to get a
property tax protest form. You may also get the form online. Just fill in the
form and if your property is a single-family residence, file the notice of
protest before May 1; and for others, before June 1. However, if you still
prolong the submission date, it calls for a valid reason for legal clearance.
Check for any untimely issuance of tax bills that delayed your filing date. At
best, dont let anything stall your date of filing.

Get in touch with CAD

Wait up for a prompt message from appraisal review board alerting you to
get ready for hearing. Dont run breathless for hearing as soon as you sense
the start signal. Because, you still have 15 more days to prep up for hearing.
Meantime, have a prior discussion with the appraisal district that would send
out essential data such as Comptrollers Property Taxpayer Remedies
pamphlet, ARB procedures, comparable sales data, etc. before hearing date
closes in.
Pick up a second hand
If you are uneasy with the legal proceedings to protest property taxes, then
get a helping hand of an experienced agent to help you gear up for hearing.
Before that, you have to sign an Appointment of Agent for Property Tax
Matters form to declare your new hire. But, this is not normally done in an
informal hearing.

No slip out
Dont forget that you should not talk with ARB members outside the hearing
about the protest. If you do so, it would cause serious problems for those
members. Law has it that both sides have to be served fairly. If you dont act
on par with this legal baseline, its sure to open a Pandora s Box.
Get on time
Dont be in a hurry-burry before heading to the hearing panel. Make your
presence on time; otherwise, you would put a bad impression on the panel
members. To top it all, the members have a lot on their plates, and they tend
to move on to other hearings in roster.
Make it simple
Speak squarely with the hearers and never try to beat about the bush. Do
not take it far beyond the appraisal realm and make them confused. Tax
rates, budgets, and local politics are not their cup of tea and referring to
those quirky terms is like putting yourself in a fix.
Bring stuffs to the table
Do not give out a higgledy-piggledy mess of evidences to the panel. Make
sure everything is organized in a sensible manner for better understanding.
Moreover, it saves precious time and makes way for other proceedings. Also,
dont miss to produce necessary photographs and related documents that

would complement the presentation. Mind that you may get a leg up on
property tax protest with such concrete evidences.

After verdict
If you can hardly go with the final order of ARB, then say bring it on in a
district court or State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). By either
way, you have to write for an appeal within 60 and 90 days respectively after
you receive ARBs order. Binding arbitration also opens the door to lower
property taxes through appeal. Watch out! Only by doling out $450 to
$1,500, this last phase of appeal will kick-start. Doing this at the expense of
spending big time and money may offset more on tax savings. Moreover, you
have to pay up your property taxes not in dispute in advance. Everything
adds up to your money woes, and you really have to think ahead before
taking a leap.
The bottom line is that you can dig up hidden tax savings by raising a prompt
property tax protest if you really set your heart on it.