How to Dispute Your Property Taxes

How to Dispute Your Property Taxes - The Tuttle Group

Paying property taxes is simply a necessary aspect of being a homeowner. Whether you pay your property tax bill outright on your own each year or you make escrow payments to your lender each month, this is an expense that can truly be a drain on your budget. Many homeowners see a slight adjustment in their property tax bill each year, but some have experienced very large increases. Such large jumps in property value and taxes can be burdensome to your financial situation, and in some cases, these spikes in taxes due may not be entirely accurate. If you believe that your tax bill or property value is not accurate, you can easily file an appeal with your tax assessor’s office by following a few steps.  Note the last day to dispute your property taxes is May 31. How to Dispute Your Property Taxes - The Tuttle Group

Understand What Your Tax Bill Says
There are several factors that come together to determine your total property tax amount due each year. These factors include your property value, your tax rate and exemptions that you may qualify for. You cannot reasonably expect to protest your tax bill by saying the amount is too high without addressing an underlying factor or cause. Did your estimated property value shoot higher than what you believe your property is worth? Do you think your tax rate was not calculated accurately? Do you qualify for exemptions that you did not receive? If so, did you file for those exemptions by the cutoff date? By analyzing each of these questions carefully, you can more easily determine the approach you will take when requesting a lower tax bill.

Find Supporting Documentation in Your Favor
When you request a revision to your property tax bill, you typically need to have supporting evidence that documents your request for an appeal. For example, if you are disputing the property value, you must use the same type of documentation that the tax office uses to determine value. Many tax offices use sold comparables in your area. You can request this information from a real estate agent. Another idea is to order an appraisal. A recent property appraisal will show sold comps as well as a professionally determined value for your property. If you are disputing an exemption status, pull out documentation that shows that you requested the exemption by a specified date.

Follow the Tax Office’s Appeals Process
The property tax appeals process can vary from location to location. Some offices require you to set up a formal meeting with the tax assessor, and you will be required to make a verbal case and to provide your supporting documentation at this time. Other tax offices require you to prepare a letter that describes the reason for your protest and to provide written supporting documentation with your letter. In some cases, you can choose between these two options. Most tax offices have a firm cutoff date that you must meet if you plan to appeal your tax bill for the current year. If you fail to file your dispute by the specified date, you may not be able to appeal the tax bill until the following tax year.

Hire Legal Representation If Needed
Your property tax bill may be a major expense in your budget, and you understandably want the best results. Some individuals are not comfortable making a written or verbal argument in their favor, or they may simply prefer to have legal representation with them. You can hire an attorney who specializes in property tax law to represent your interests, but this is not necessary.

The ability to successfully dispute your property taxes is critical to your finances in the coming year. In order to be successful with your effort, you must provide accurate, detailed supporting documentation, and you must outline your argument clearly and concisely. While not every effort to reduce property taxes is successful, many individuals who devote time and energy into a dispute are able to successfully reach a resolution to this matter.

Resources for disputed texas:
Collin County: http://www.collincad.org/press-releases/137-property-tax-protest-and-appeal-procedures
Dallas County: http://www.dallascad.org/protest.aspx
Denton County: https://www.dentoncad.com/index.php
Tarrant County: http://www.tad.org/

Note the last day to dispute your property taxes is May 31.

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