Appealing Property Taxes

May 5, 2022

How do I know if I need to appeal my taxes?

For Galveston, Brazoria, Liberty, and Fort Bend counties:

Go to your county appraisal district website.

Search for your home

Look at the column that is labeled HS Cap

Every year you want this column to say “0”.

 

Why? Without any new improvements to the property, you cannot be taxed (ASSESSED value) on more than a 10% increase from the previous year’s APPRAISED value. Texas Tax Code Section 23.23

 

APPRAISED VALUE – HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (HS CAP) = ASSESSED VALUE

 

Key point: The Homestead exemption (HS CAP) is the amount that is needed to be subtracted from the current year’s appraised value so that your current year’s assessed value is no more than 10% higher than the previous year’s appraised value.

What now?

If your homestead exemption (HS Cap) is higher than $0, APPEAL your taxes.

 First…

Are you eligible to appeal your property taxes online?

  • Is your property a single-family, residential home?
  • Do you have a homestead exemption on your property?
  • Is your property in a neighborhood that the appraisal district has determined to be eligible to e-file?

STRATEGY 1-

  1. Gather as much documentation showing why your home is not valued as what the appraisal office is saying.
  2. Based on the information gathered, submit your e-file through your appraisal district’s e-file portal.
  3. Suggested verbiage to write in the comment box: (you can get the numbers by gathering neighbors’ information from CAD by doing an Advanced Search and putting in your street only and calculating the range/average/median appraised value or an agent can calculate these numbers through a quick CMA in HAR.  Disclaimer, based on your specific neighborhood and FMV trends based on 2021 sales, pulling a CMA may not be your best option).

Requesting a reduction in total market value due to property, [your address] being valued over the market. Current analysis of similar properties within 1-mile

value in the range of ….

value at an average of …

have a median value of …

 

Requesting a reduction in total market value due to property, [type your address] being “valued over market”. The current market reflects a value of $[same as the 2020 tax value or just a few thousand over]. 

  1. After about 30 min. from submitting your initial protest, log back in and upload your evidence through the “Evidence View”
  2. You will receive a response and, at that time, either accept the offer from the county or reject it and a hearing will be scheduled where you will go in person, bring evidence, and appeal in person.

 

STRATEGY 2-

  1. Submit your e-file through your appraisal district’s e-file portal.
  2. Suggested verbiage to write in the comment box: (you can get the numbers by gathering neighbors’ information from CAD by doing an Advanced Search and putting in your street only calculating the range/average/median appraised value or an agent can calculate these numbers through a quick CMA in HAR.  Disclaimer, based on your specific neighborhood and FMV trends based on 2021 sales, pulling a CMA may not be your best option).

Requesting a reduction in total market value due to property, [your address] being valued over the market. Current analysis of similar properties within 1-mile

value in the range of ….

value at an average of …

have a median value of …

 

Requesting a reduction in total market value due to property, [type your address] being “valued over market”. The current market reflects a value of $[same as the 2020 tax value or just a few thousand over]. 

  1. Your protest has been submitted. You will receive a response and, at that time, either accept the offer from the county or reject it and a hearing will be scheduled where you will go in person, bring evidence, and appeal in person.

 

Evidence Checklist

  • Photos – any part of your home that would show depreciation (aka broken window, wood rot, age of the roof, HVAC, water heater…)
  • Repair Estimates
  • Fire Reports
  • Engineering Reports (aka foundation problems)
  • Measurements
  • Blueprints
  • Sales price documentation if purchased in 2021 (important for the change of ownership and especially if the sales price is less than the current appraised value)
  • Property Survey
  • Take photos of 3-5 nearby homes that are similar to your home that have lower appraised values and state their appraised value as part of your evidence