One of the ways to minimize your property taxes is through the appeals process. There are several options available for a taxpayer to appeal their property tax assessment. Here are the three primary steps you can take to appeal your property tax assessment.
1.Informal Hearing. Where Consultants attempt to settle “informally”. Most appraisal districts make a good faith effort to reduce many protests at the informal meeting. This step is successful the majority of the time. Approximate timeframe: May 1 – July 1.
2.Formally. Through the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). Typically the more respected consultants have hearing dates that are usually later in the process allowing them to compare “settled” values vs. comparing to “notice” vales. Results can vary depending on the board members at your hearing. Approximate timeframe: July 1 – July 15.
3(a) Judicially. With a lawsuit. You must file within 60 days of receipt of ARB value. Appraisal Districts are highly reluctant to take a market value or an equity case to court. Almost all cases that end up in court are a result of a law or a procedural situation. Success rate is high when settling a value during this process. Approximate timeframe: Typically October – January (but for Harris County, could take until the following tax year values are debated and/or a two year lawsuit becomes necessary).
3(b)Arbitration. Must file within 45 days of receipt of ARB value and overall value must be less than $3 million. Results are binding and if taxpayer is successful, minimal cost involved. This appeal process has not been used often but with recent changes to the law, will become more prevalent.