©By Patricia Feager, 2/1/2017
Ever Wonder How the Appraisal District Determines Appraisal Values?
Here in Denton County in North Texas, I saw a vehicle creeping down the street stopping at every house. Quick! I jumped in my car and took my camera. What was this person doing? I needed to know! I pulled along side the vehicle and this is what I found. The Digital Photography Project Denton Central Appraisal District hardly hard at work. The person never got out of the vehicle except to their credit and physical effort, I did get a palm and a wave!
What Can TaxPayers Expect?
Texas state law requires the appraisal district to send notice by May 1 or April to residential property owners. The notice is an estimate. It will show how much tax you would be"required to pay based on the same tax rate your city, county, school district and any special purpose district set the previous year."
*Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Property Assistance Division.
How To Protest
2016 was a year of low inventory, multiple offers, and many buyers paying over list price. Just because a buyer (many were cash buyers) were willing and able to pay more than list price doesn't mean your property taxes should go up. Read your notice and do your research. Find out how much your neighbors in your subdivision listed their homes for and how much did the buyer pay? Zillow and random Internet searches do not know because Texas is a non-disclosure state. But most likely your neighbors know and only your local Real Estate Agent who has access to the MLS knows how much properties sold.
Per the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in Texas, property owners may file an electronic protest. If you feel you had an "excess property tax increase or your property isn't equal to what your home was appraised for," I recommend protesting. Be a walk in or schedule an appointment but get there as soon as you can. As an alternative schedule an appointment before the appraisal review board. You can do both. File an electronic filing. They may or may not reduce your taxes. If you're still not satisfied, you can still go to a hearing before the review board.
Patricia's advice - Don't let your money fall into the wrong hands for all the wrong reasons!