Brooks Property Group
5 Steps to lower your property taxes
Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Yes, it is possible to trim your property tax bill by appealing the value the taxman assigned to your home. That “assessed value” is what’s used to calculate how much tax you owe.
One way to lower your property tax is to show that your home is worth less than its assessed value. You can do the initial research online in just a few minutes or by making a quick call to your real estate agent.
Here's how to appeal your property tax bill, step by step:
Step 1. File a Protest
Mail the formal protest form, file an online protest or call for an informal conference. The deadline to file a protest is either May 15th or 30 days after the date of the notice was delivered.
We recommend protesting online - http://efile.brazoriacad.org/
Protest the value based on either it Q01: (Incorrect appraised (market) value) - condition concerns (condition is determined as of January 1), or,
Q02: (Value is unequal compared with other properties) Here's where I recommend reaching out to a local realtor to get a comparative Market analysis as evidence of unequal appraisal prior to protesting.
Step 2. Research CAD records
Request the “appraisal card” and validate information. If you recently purchased the property for less or have a recent appraisal with a lower value, you are ready to go. If you paid more and discovered problems later or if repairs are needed, take photos and obtain estimates. Provide information at the informal conference or submit with online protest.
Step 3. If held this year, attend the informal conference.
Request the documents and review information provided. If you attend the informal conference (where most protests are settled) without filing the formal protest, ask to be scheduled for the ARB at a later date! YOU MAY RESCHEDULE THE ARB HEARING ONE TIME.
If you protest online, this is considered to be the Informal conference. You will be provided with a settlement offer online that you can accept of reject. A rejection will automatically schedule a formal hearing before the appraisal review board at the appraisal district's office. At any time prior to your formal hearing you may come in and speak with an appraiser about your protest as a walk-in protestor
Step 4. Appraisal Review Board (ARB) Hearing
The ARB is a three member citizen panel appointed to hear protests. Also in attendance is a CAD appraiser and a hearing clerk who records the proceedings. Bring four copies of your evidence. You will be sworn in. The CAD appraiser will present its case, you will present yours and the ARB will announce its decision.
Step 5. Arbitration or File Lawsuit in State District Court
ARB decisions can be overturned in binding arbitration or by filing a lawsuit. Arbitration requires payment of a $450 fee (amount varies). If you are successful (meaning the arbitrator determines the value nearer to your estimate than the CAD’s), all but $50 will be refunded. Most lawsuits do not go to court but, before taking this step, consider the cost versus savings.