You may be getting an estimated property tax statement by mail, typically before May 1st. If you’re like the vast majority of homeowners in the greater Houston area, your property values as assessed by the local appraisal district have gone up—way up!
Here’s the most proven way to go about protesting your property tax values:
Your first step is to complete an online protest. You typically have until May 31st to file a protest.
The efforts of your protest today will impact multiple years of property values and therefore serve to reduce your overall property tax burden for years to come.
Just staving off a 10 to 15% increase in an appraised property tax value today will save thousands of dollars over the long run.
For example, the FBCAD proposed a 21% increase in market value on my home in 2015. After the 2015 protest (and ultimate arbitration results), I was successful in dropping the increase to 2% over the previous year (19% value drop effectively yielded close to $900 in property tax savings in 2015).
Going forward, that final value becomes the baseline of property values for future years. Even though by law the “assessed value” is capped at an annual 10% increase, the effect of tax savings from a successful protest in the current year has a long term cumulative effect.
If I had NOT protested, I would in effect be paying that same $900 every year thereafter! My actions today will save me $9000 over the next 10 years!
Here are the recommended steps:
- Locate your Notice of Appraised Value by the appraisal district. You likely received this on or before May 1st, and it contains important information like your online protest ID and the entire protest process. If you can’t find the Notice, go online to the local CAD website, look up your property. Then file an online protest. The links and information for filing online protest are usually easy to find. (This step is all you need to do TODAY to lock in your protest).
- The appraisal district will then typically get back to you shortly by mail or email with a lower proposed value. Chances are they will be giving you just a token reduction (1 to 3% off the proposed market value). If you decline their offer—which I typically recommend– you will be assigned to a Appraisal Review Board (ARB) hearing sometime in June or July to protest in person.
If you want help with understanding property taxes and other topics that affect your financial well-being, visit our website and sign up for a free 15-minute call or a two-hour Financial Health Assessment. We are here to help!
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR ONLINE PROTEST IS NOT SUCCESSFUL? Read our next article.