Property Tax Protesting, Part 2

If your property tax online protest is unsuccessful, you will want to schedule an in-person Appraisal Review Board (ARB) hearing,

In preparation for this meeting, you will need the following:

  1. You will need comparable sales of properties in your immediate neighborhood that are similar to your own.  Find a Realtor® who can give you a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for your community. The CMA will list the actual sales prices and square footages of the houses sold.  Plan to get a CMA for the most recent 12 months.
  2. You should arrive armed with the knowledge of your own property. While the appraisal district (CAD) will produce these same statistics, they may likely “cherry pick” the higher property values. Knowing your own home’s stats will be essential as you approach the property tax protest.
  3. Compile a list of assessed values directly from the appraisal district’s own online database. Notice the tax values of surrounding properties. You can often identify nearby properties valued at a lower $$ per square foot. Use this in combination with the comparable sales analysis as a strong basis for protesting.
  4. Most importantly, take lots of pictures that magnify the flaws or areas of disrepair of your home to support your lower value. Remember, the CAD does NOT know the condition of your home. The CAD assumes that every home is “sales ready” and can compete with those comparable sales as if a buyer was making an imminent offer.  Your home may need a paint job, replacement of a HVAC, an old roof, outdated kitchens, bathrooms, floors, etc. You should be prepared to discuss these negative aspects of your home. Make written estimates to quantify repairs, maintenance or improvements required to compete with those properties sold.

The ARB may just “rubber stamp” the CAD’s value, giving little consideration to your arguments. In many cases, these ARBs in recent years have unfortunately become kangaroo courts for the CADs to keep the values high. In addition, the ARB may be dismissive of your case simply because they are trying to get through the large docket of cases.

If you need an ally to work with you on your finances, contact us.