There are also several good reasons to dispute county values beyond the usual “That value is too high”. You may find that your home is smaller than what the county records have you taxed at. Your house may be under construction or in below average condition. Your neighborhood could be experiencing a decline and now your market value is below what the county is taxing you at. Whatever the reason, whether you are in Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend or any other Texas county, the process for protesting your tax assessment is the same and typically goes as follows:
Once the taxing district has received your protest they will schedule an “informal hearing” in which you will meet with on of the appraisal district’s staff appraisers to state the reason for your appeal. If your dispute deals with the value of your property then the first thing the appraiser will ask you is “Do you have an appraisal”. At this point you will present the appraiser with the appraisal report you have received from Choice Point Appraisals. Since our appraisals are performed by Texas licensed appraisers, the staff appraiser will not have much room to argue our conclusion of value.
Unfortunately it seems that there is a limit to how far the value can be lowered at this informal hearing, it is usually a percentage of the already assessed value. If you are unsuccessful in lowering your taxed value to where you feel it should be, you can escalate the appeal process. The next step will be a “Formal Hearing” before a three or four member panel to discuss your protest further. Once again you will present your appraisal along with any other evidence to this panel and state your case.
Protests that involve incorrect square footage or overall property condition are usually easy enough to prove a case. Our measurement service would provide you with a sketch and calculation of your homes actual size along with our signature attesting that the measurements were performed by a licensed real estate appraiser using ANSI standards. When dealing with condition, we include several interior and exterior photos in our appraisal report as well as call out any deficiencies we found with the property.
The cost for any of these appraisal services is far outweighed by your yearly tax savings. And keep in mind that if your property is a homestead then the max value it can be appraised at is capped at 10% a year. This means future savings year after year. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to call our office and speak directly to one of our appraisers!