How to protest your property taxes and save money in central Texas

With one of the highest property tax rates in the country, Texas homeowners may experience significant financial strain when it comes time to pay their taxes every year. For many Texans, property taxes represent a significant portion of their overall expenses, and an increase in property taxes can significantly impact their financial well-being.

 

Fortunately, Texas property owners have the right to protest their property taxes, which can help save them money. Here are a few helpful tips on how you can protest your property taxes and potentially reduce your tax bill.


  1. Understand the Property Tax Process

Before you begin the protest process, it’s essential to understand how property taxes are assessed in Texas. Property taxes are calculated based on the value of your property, which is determined by the county appraisal district.

 

The appraisal district will evaluate your property and provide you with a Notice of Appraised Value, which will indicate the value of your property and the taxes you owe. You have a limited time to protest this value, typically 30-45 days from the date the notice is sent. If you believe your property is being overvalued, it is important to act quickly as the protest process is time-sensitive, and missing a deadline can result in an even higher tax bill.


2. Gather Evidence

To successfully protest your property taxes, you will need to provide evidence to support your claim that your property’s appraisal value is incorrect. This evidence can include recent appraisals, photographs of your property, and documentation of any repairs or renovations you have made. An additional step you can take is to research the values of comparable properties in your neighborhood to determine if your property is being overvalued.


3. File a Protest

Once you have gathered your evidence, you will begin the protest process by filing a written claim with your county appraisal district. Typically this can be done online or by mail. Be sure to include all of the evidence you have gathered to support your claim. The appraisal district will then schedule a hearing to review your protest.


4. Attend the Hearing

At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your evidence and argue your case. Be sure to bring copies of all of your documentation and be prepared to answer any questions the appraisal district may have. 


5. Negotiate a Settlement

If the appraisal district agrees that your property is overvalued, they may offer a settlement to reduce your tax bill. Be sure to review any settlement offers carefully and consider your options before accepting or rejecting the offer. If you are unable to reach a settlement, you may be able to appeal the decision to the State Office of Administrative Hearings.


6. Consider a Payment Plan

If your appraisal district does not agree that your property is overvalued, and you are unable to pay your property taxes after protesting, you may be able to set up a payment plan with your county tax office. This can help you avoid penalties and interest charges and make your tax bill more manageable.

 

By understanding the property tax process, gathering evidence, filing a protest, attending the hearing, negotiating a settlement, and considering a payment plan, you can reduce your tax bill and put more money back in your pocket.