Can I do this myself?
Yes – and many individuals do! Of course it would help if you were an experienced real estate agent, with a spouse that is an attorney and you have a cousin or uncle that works at the appraisal district. But seriously, it involves making an appeal, presenting an appraisal, and presenting a convincing argument with supporting evidence to the taxing district. It may involve a hearing where you must appear before the county tax appraisal districts appraisal review board and can even go as far as a jury trial or binding arbitration. PropertyTaxManagers.com helps you sort thru the process and decide the best course of action, using our experienced team to protest on your behalf. Wouldn’t it be worth your peace of mind to know that you’re not paying more than your fair share in property taxes?
How can my Property taxes be lowered?
Example: If you purchased your home for $300,000 during the real estate boom and now the current market value of your home is $240,000. With this 20% reduction in market value, or $60,000 less, this will save you approximately $60,000 X 2.5% = $1,500 per year in savings!!
Can you guarantee a reduced value?
No, but PropertyTaxManagers.com will research your property and surrounding properties and report back to you one of two things. Either we feel your property is being taxed at or below fair market value, in which case you have the Peace of Mind that you’re only paying your fair share, or we’ll tell you that by our experienced estimate, you are paying more than your fair share and we will prepare a protest and represent you all the way through the process.
Can you help me with my commercial office building and warehouse?
PropertyTaxManagers teamed up with Alliance Tax Advisors to handle all types of commercial properties. From a small apartment complex to a mega shopping center we can assist you or your advisors. ATA handles a wide range of properties including Office Buildings, Strip Centers, Marinas, Golf Courses, Apartment Complexes, Warehouses, Retirement Centers, Showrooms, Movie Theaters, Country Clubs, Hotels, you get the idea. Contact us for more information about services and fees.
Contingency Based, how does that work?
If we agree that your property is valued higher than other comparable properties and you want our professional help, we would have you complete a PROPERTY TAX SERVICE AGREEMENT and an APPOINTMENT OF AGENT form allowing us to represent you in all matters regarding your properties value. In some instances we come and visit the property and take photos. Instead of charging you by the hour or a flat fee, we charge you a percentage of the tax savings if we’re successful.
What if my taxes are escrowed with my mortgage payment?
PropertyTaxManagers.com will guide you on the easy process of having your new tax assessment filed with your current mortgage company to help have the payment reduced. Your Mortgage company will perform an Escrow Analysis in February or March that will reflect the savings and give you a choice of lowering your payment of receiving a refund of the overage.
Why Should I file an appeal this year?
Real estate values are continuing to climb and the appraisal districts are hungry. Your property taxes are broken down into two parts: the valuation of your home, also known as the assessed value, and the tax rate. Your Notice of Appraised Value is prepared and mailed to you sometime in mid-April by your county property appraiser’s office. Once you receive that Notice, it will be time to consider filing a property tax appeal. But you must act quickly, the deadline to file an appeal is May 15th of each year. Better yet, sign up for our service and RELAX knowing that we will review it every year!
I’ve got several rent properties, can you help with them?
Yes, we work on all types of residential properties in the following Texas counties: Bexar, Brazoria, Collin, Comal, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Fort Bend, Galveston, Guadalupe, Harris, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Montgomery, Rockwall and Tarrant counties, including single family, duplexes, condo, townhomes, lake houses and vacation property.
What if I’ve refinanced my home?
Refinancing does not affect your assessed property value; however an appraisal may help your case. The assessed property value is based on the purchase price or market value of the home.
How is a property tax reduction negotiated?
Your property appraiser in the county in which your property is located, is responsible for assessing your property fairly. That doesn’t mean they always do it. Properties purchased during the downturn have increased in value. Our job is to make sure the increase if fair. You need to file a property tax protest each year once you receive your Notice of Appraised Value if the assessed value is even just a little higher than the actual value of your home. We compare your property to recent sales and surrounding properties. Our goal is to make sure you are not paying more than your fair share.
Why are property taxes so high?
The main reason is that Texas doesn’t have a state income tax, and rely on property taxes. The property tax provides more tax dollars for local services in Texas than any other source. Property taxes help to pay for public schools, city streets, county roads, police, fire protection, and many other services. All items we need and want.
Why doesn’t the county just assess me properly?
The simple answer is the county needs money. While their responsibility is to assess properly, imagine the impact if every property in Dallas or Tarrant county were assessed to its current market value on county revenues. Many counties are already upside down.
I own a small office building that’s taxed too high, can you help?
Yes, while the focus of our business is residential, we do work commercial properties thru our association with Alliance Tax Advisors. Call or email us the details by clicking on Contact Us, and we will get in touch with you to discuss your commercial property.
Why is reducing the assessed value of my home so important?
Because the assessed value along with your counties tax rate determine what you will pay in annual property taxes. While some homeowners take pride in seeing the taxable value of their properties increase, in many cases they are paying more in taxes than they should. Could you sell your home for what the county has it appraised for? Are you sure? That’s where PropertyTaxManagers.com comes in. With nearly 20 years of real estate and property tax experience we can tell if you’re paying more than your fair share in taxes and help you lower your property tax burden.
How long will the appeal process take?
Your county will schedule hearings beginning in June and continue through July and August based on when we turn in our protest. If we are happy with the value following the initial phase – we’re done. If not, we would schedule a meeting with the Appraisal Review Board. If we reach an agreement were done, but if we still feel the value is too high, we can file for Binding Arbitration which is usually held within 60 to 120 days.
Why do I need to take responsibility for negotiating a fair value on my home? Shouldn’t my county assessor be doing this?
If we file a timely property tax appeal on your behalf, we will have the opportunity to negotiate and discuss an assessed value reduction directly with the property appraiser’s office in the county in which you reside. If we cannot negotiate a settlement, we will represent you at a hearing held to reduce the property taxes. We present evidence on your behalf and make all legal arguments in favor of a reduction of the property taxes for your home.
Binding Arbitration? Please explain that.
Binding arbitration creates a forum in which both parties to a dispute present their positions before an impartial third party. Generally, in binding arbitration, an independent, neutral arbitrator hears and examines the facts of an appeal and makes a decision that is binding on both parties. More specifically, binding arbitration, in the context of property value disputes, creates a forum in which both parties to a dispute present their positions before an impartial third party, who renders a specific award that is enforceable by law and may only be appealed as provided by Civil Practices and Remedies Code §171.088, for purposes of vacating an award. To file you must be submit a $450 to $1,550 filing fee in the form of a cashier’s check, payable to the Texas Comptrollers Office. If the value awarded by the Arbitrator is closer to your value than the value set by the Appraisal District, you will receive a refund less $50 that the State keeps for administrative charges.
Who qualifies for arbitration?
A property owner may request binding arbitration if:
• the property in dispute is real property;
• the county appraisal review board (ARB) has issued a determination on the appraised or market value of the property;
• the disputed property’s value as determined by the ARB does not exceed $5 million or is over $5 million and Homesteaded;
• taxes have been timely paid; and
• a lawsuit has not been filed in district court on the same matter.
What kind of documents will I need to get the appeal process going?
You will need to provide PropertyTaxManagers.com with your property address, and complete the Protest questionnaire, the Appointment of Agent for Binding Arbitration form 50-791 and our Property Tax Service Agreement. All available online. It’s really that easy!
How are the savings compounded?
If you have homesteaded your property, your annual increase can only go up by 10% each year no matter what the market does, so a reduction now can pay dividends for several years to come.
Are there restrictions on when I can file for binding arbitration?
Yes. A request for binding arbitration must be filed with the appraisal district within 45 days of the property owner receiving the ARB order determining the protest. Please do not file the request with the Comptroller of Public Accounts. If you do you will probably miss the 45-day deadline. Contact us for guidance.
Do I pay taxes while my appeal is in process?
Yes, you must continue to pay taxes as usual while your case is being appealed. Once a reduction agreement has been made, your county will send you a refund.
Why is it so URGENT to appeal?
The notice that you receive with your assessment is called a Notice of Appraised Value. It says, This is not a bill. What many homeowners don’t know is that you only have until May 15th to appeal your assessment. You should receive your Notice of Appraised Value in mid-April. If you do not appeal your property tax assessment by May 15th, your will have to wait until the next year, and you will lose any savings for this year.
So the Notice of Appraised Value isn’t a bill?
No, it is not a bill, but it will turn into one if you don’t appeal your property tax assessment!
What is the Tax Rate?
The tax rate is the rate you are taxed at per $100 of valuation. If the combined tax rate in your county is 2.786% and your property is assessed at $250K, your tax is $6,965/year ($250,000 x 2.786%), less any exemptions. It’s comprised of many parts, including County, City, school and in many areas like Dallas will include Hospital District and College District taxes.
How can I save money?
If your property is assessed at $500k but the CURRENT market value is $450k, your taxes go from approximately $9,500 down to approximately $8,340. That’s $1,160/year savings. At Property Tax Managers our goal is to save you money you might not have even known about.
Will counties be raising taxes?
We believe YES, counties will be raising the tax rate. That is why every dollar of assessment means money in or out of your pocket. The counties, cities, and school districts need money to operate on and they get that money from property owners. Even with increased values the demand for funds is high so the various taxing jurisdictions have been hesitant to lower rates.
Why is filing an appeal in a timely manner so important?
Once you receive the Notice of Appraised Value from your county’s property appraisers office (usually sometime in mid-April), you only have until May 15th to file a property tax appeal. It’s important that you file that appeal within the timeline set forth by the county rules and regulations. If those procedures are not strictly followed, and evidence is not presented within a timely manner in accordance with the rules set by your county’s Central Appraisal District (CAD), you will not have a successful property tax appeal. As a result, we will not be able to get you a reduced assessed value and your property taxes will be higher.
Is there a fee involved for filing binding arbitration?
Yes. Effective September 1, 2015 there are several levels of binding arbitration. The bad news is that the fee ranges from $450 to $1,550 depending upon the ARB property value. The good news is that if you prevail you get back all but a $50.00 administrative fee. You will need Form AP-219 and a money order or a check issued and guaranteed by a banking institution in the proper amount made payable to the Comptroller of Public Accounts. The completed form and funds must be delivered to the county appraisal district within 45 days of the receipt of the ARB order. Regardless of the outcome, $50 is retained by the Comptroller’s office for administrative costs. If the property owner wins the dispute, the owner is refunded the balance. If the arbitrator’s assigned value is not nearer to the owner’s opinion of value than the appraisal district’s value, the arbitrator is paid from the property owner’s deposit.
What appraisal disputes do not qualify for arbitration?
Binding arbitration is not available if:
• the ARB has not heard the protest and issued an order;
• the order of determination concerns a correction to the appraisal roll under Tax Code 25.25;
• more than 45 days have passed since the property owner received the ARB order;
• the dispute concerns anything other than whether the correct value has been assigned to the property, such as failure to grant an exemption or productivity appraisal;
• the property value dispute concerns property other than real property, such as inventory, vehicles and other personal property; or
• the property is not homesteaded and is valued at more than $5 million as determined by the ARB order.