Protesting your property tax bill doesn’t always work, but when it does? It can mean a significant amount of savings — sometimes for many years to come, too.
It’s typically not hard, either. In many counties, your tax bill can be protested online in just a few clicks.
Want to minimize your property tax burden and keep some of that hard-earned cash in your pockets? Here’s what the process looks like:
1. Locate your local appraisal district’s website.
Simply Google “Your county” + “appraisal district,” and the right address should come up. You should be able to find a breakdown of your district’s exact protest process there (it varies from place to place).
2. Gather up your evidence.
The only way to lower your tax bill is to prove to your appraisal district that your home isn’t worth the value they’ve attached to it. In short, you need to make your house seem less valuable.
You can do this in several ways:
- With recent comparable sales. Ask a local agent to pull recent sales data for your area. If homes similar to yours are selling for less than your property’s appraised value, that’s good evidence right there.
- With your sales contract. Did you just buy the home? If you bought the house for $200,000, but the appraisal district has it pegged at $225,000, that doesn’t make much sense. You’d likely have grounds for a successful protest.
- With proof of disrepair or damage. If your house is poorly maintained or was recently damaged in some way, photos of these issues could help lower its value as well.
Fill out the protest form.
This might be online or it may be one you need to mail in. Again, you’ll find this on your appraisal district’s website. You may even be able to add in your evidence directly through the district’s online portal (if they have one).
Attend your hearing.
Not all districts require a hearing, but many do. This isn’t anything intimidating — just a quick meeting with the local review board. You’ll have the opportunity to share your evidence and present your case for a lower value. You might also have a one-on-one conversation with a county appraiser at this time.
Receive your results.
Depending on your location, you might receive your final results via mail or on some digital portal. If your home was given a new value, you can accept this and pay your new property tax bill. If your value was not lowered and you think the decision was unwarranted, you can file an appeal with the local courts.
The Bottom Line
It might seem like a lot of work to protest your property taxes, but shaving even a few thousand dollars off your home’s appraised value can mean serious savings in taxes.
Want to save even more money? With today’s low interest rates, a refinance may be able to help. Get in touch to learn about your options today.
Premier Nationwide Lending is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender. Sponsored by NTFN, Inc. 6201 West Plano Parkway, Suite 100, Plano, TX 75093 | NTFN NMLS 75333.