Property Tax Appraisal Protest Deadline June 1st

May 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Protesting Your Tax Appraisal from West Austin Marketplace on Vimeo.

You only have a few more days to protest the county’s assessement of your property value. The deadline for filing a written prostest of the value is due by June 1.  The 2o11  Notice of Appraised Value for your property should have arrived in your mail box this month from the county tax office where your property is located.  The notice gives you the assessed value for the market value of the land and the improvements or structures on the property breaking out each amount. It also gives you last year’s value so you can see how much it has increased or decreased. Each taxing entity is also listed along with the exemption amount if you qualify for one and the tax rate. For example, I live in the City of Austin, so the tax entities are listed as:
Austin, ISD
City of Austin
Travis County
Travis County Health Care District
Austin Community College

Each one lists the tax rate for last year and the estimated taxes I will pay this year. The lion’s share of tax goes to the school district with city and county making up the majority of the rest.

If you don’t agree with the assessed value, it is really important to file a protest with the county, and it is really easy to do, but you only have until June 1, so don’t delay another day to file your protest in writing with the county. On the back of the notice, fill in the reason you are making the protest by checking the appropriate box. You do not need to give them any more information, like what you think your home is worth at this time. Mail the form back with your signature.

You will be assigned a time for an informal hearing. Gather the data you need to justify your position. We can provide you with comparable sales that support your position if you need them. It really helps to have print outs about each house that you are comparing to yours. You property will be judged by size, location and quality. When you arrive, you will sign in and wait for your name to be called. A hearing officer who is a local appraiser with the county will call you back and meet with you. Ask to see what properties were used in their assessment. Many times the properties they have used aren’t comparable and you can point out the differences. Present your comparables. The appraiser will decide if your value should be lowered and make you an offer. You either sign it, or you are assigned to appear again at a formal hearing. Most of these are settled at the informal stage. I have saved property owners thousands of dollars over the years in these informal hearings by giving data that supported a reduction or correcting errors that the county had made in the property description itself. You just need to be prepared adequately. One homeowner was being assessed with a commercial value formula when his property was residential. His value was lowered substantially.  So, don’t be afraid to protest your tax value. It may save you money short term and long term.

Call any of us at West Austin Properties and we will be happy to assist you in preparing for your hearing. We can pull the comparable properties that we think best supports your position prior to your hearing.

Laura Duggan 512-750-2425 Gail Boston 512-626-5348 Katy Duggan 512-826-4316

About Laura

Laura is a third generation native of Austin who grew up in Tarry Town in Central Austin. She is the owner and broker of West Austin Properties and has been selling real estate in the Austin area since 1979. Laura is married to the love of her life, Brad, and they have two grown daughters. Together, they love to explore all of the fun spots Austin has to offer.