For residents and businesses of Texas, the changing value of property can impact tax burdens. During regular audits of property values, appraisers can adjust values of home and commercial buildings up or down. Though an upward adjustment can be good for resell value or equity, a large bump in property value can also mean an increase in taxes due.
Individuals who don’t agree with auditors or appraisers have a right to appeal decisions, just as individuals have a right to question other tax assessments from federal and state locations. According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, when appraisals are above the amount properties appraised for during the previous year, property owners must be notified. Notifications are required before April 1 or May 1, depending on the type of property in question, but if notices aren’t sent for any reason, the comptroller’s office says they are required as soon as possible following those dates.
Once you receive a notification that your property has been reassessed with a different value, you can file a Notice of Protest to dispute the valuation. The notice must be filed by May 31 or within 30 days or receiving the new valuation information.
Filing a notice begins a hearing process with the appraisal board. You will need to attend a hearing and present information about why you think the new valuation is wrong. The appraiser may also present information in support of the valuation. Once a decision is made regarding the valuation, it is binding for the tax year in question, though you can appeal a decision to your district court.
As with any tax matter, the legalities and details involved in appealing property valuation can be complex. It’s important to go into any situation armed with as many details about the process as possible.
Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, “Appraisal Protests and Appeals” Oct. 16, 2014