If you wish to appeal the appraised value or classification of your real property, contact the appraiser’s office within 30 days of the mailing date of the valuation notice to schedule an informal meeting. All informal meetings must be completed by May 15th.
If the property owner is going to be represented by someone else at the informal meeting, the property owner must complete and file a ‘Declaration of Representation’ form with the appraiser’s office prior to the date of the meeting.
Prior to setting an appeal you should consider reviewing information used in setting your value. This can be accomplished in several ways, but a visit to our office is the first step. You can find out how your property was valued and what comparable sales were considered in setting your values. When property owners do this and see a picture of the comparables and what they sold for, generally no appeal is made. By doing this first you could save yourself and the county a great deal of time and expense.
If you do not appeal the valuation notice, you can still protest the appraised value or classification of your property when you pay your taxes, or by January 31st if your taxes are paid out of an escrow account or by a tax service. By law, you cannot appeal both your valuation notice and then protest when you pay your taxes for the same property in the same year.
What should I expect during an informal meeting?
During the informal meeting, the appraiser will show how the appraised value was determined for your property. During or before the meeting, review the record on your property to be sure all the information such as age, style and size is correct. The county appraiser is interested in appraising property accurately, in a uniform and equal manner and should not be considered an adversary.
What should I bring to an informal meeting or a hearing?
You will want to provide documentation that supports your request for a lower value. Owners who appeal successfully usually do so by finding comparable properties with lower market values or comparable properties that have recently sold for less than the value assigned to their property. Below are examples of documentation that may be used to support a change in market value.
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- Recent sales information about property similar in condition, quality, style, age and location to the property at issue. The appraiser’s office will furnish you with a comparable sales sheet for your property upon request. Allow several days for processing and mail time. The sales contract for the property if it was purchased within the last three years. Photos and contract/engineering estimates of the cost to repair any structural damage if the damage was not fully considered. A recent appraisal report of the property at issue prepared by a professional appraiser. Rent income and expense information if the property at issue is an income- producing investment (example, apartment buildings).
- This documentation is not appropriate for agricultural land and commercial personal property appraisals because, by law, such property is not appraised at market value.
Payment under protest forms are available at the Treasurer’s Office. The protest should state the grounds for the protest, including the portion of the assessment protested and any portion admitted to be valid. Once the taxes are paid under protest, the County Treasurer will make a copy of the form and send it to the County Appraiser. Any supporting documentation can be filed with the protest form at the Treasurer’s Office and it will be forwarded to the appraiser with the protest form. Within 15 days of receiving the notice the appraiser will contact the property owner to make an appointment for an informal hearing or conduct the hearing over the phone. It is important to remember that at the informal hearing the appraiser is only looking at the value of the property and not at the amount of taxes.
What steps do I take to file a payment under protest?
- Timely file a written payment under protest with the county treasurer on a form provided by the treasurer. The county appraiser will contact property owner for an informal meeting with the property owner within 15 days after receiving a copy of the protest. The meeting does not have to be held within this 15 day period, just scheduled within 15 days. After the informal meeting, the county appraiser must notify the property owner of any change in value within 15 business days. A “no change” notice may be received later.
- If you disagree with the county’s final value, you may appeal to one of the following by filing a written request with the Board of Tax Appeals within 30 days of the county’s final value: small claims if the property is classified as residential, or has an appraised value that is less than 2 million and is not agricultural land; or directly to the Board of Tax Appeals (BOTA).
- After a small claims appeal you may appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals (BOTA) by filing a written request with BOTA within 30 days after notification of results of the small claim hearing. If the property owner or the county appraiser is dissatisfied with BOTA’s decision, either party may request a rehearing or reconsideration within 15 days.
- If the property owner or the county appraiser is dissatisfied with BOTA’s decision on rehearing or reconsideration, either party may appeal to the district court where the property is located within 30 days.