If you are dissatisfied with the appraised value of your property, the first step is to file a protest with the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) in your county. You may protest the value on your property if you think the assessed value is too high; your property is unequally appraised; the appraisal district denied a special appraisal or incorrectly denied your exemption application; the appraisal district failed to provide you with required notices; or for other reasons set out in the Tax Code.
There are significant deadlines to keep in mind when filing a tax protest. Appraisal districts must send a Notice of Appraised Value by May 1, or by April 1 if your property is a residential homestead. The Notice of Protest must be filed with the ARB no later than 30 days after the appraisal district mailed the Notice of Appraised Value. This means that in most cases the Notice of Protest must be filed no later than May 31st.
While the schedule varies among appraisal districts, the ARB typically begins hearings around May 15 and finishes them by July 20. You may request an evening or weekend hearing. It can be advantageous to push your hearing date out as far as possible so that you can benefit from the precedent set by the earlier hearings. The ARB will notify you at least 15 days in advance of the date, time, and place of your hearing.
At least 14 days before your protest hearing, the appraisal district will mail you a copy of the ARB procedures, along with notice that you may inspect and obtain a copy of any information the chief appraiser plans to introduce at your hearing. Be sure to get a copy of this evidentiary material as it will give you a good idea of how the county arrived at your appraised value. From there you can collect your own data about your property or comparable properties, including photos, to support a lower appraised value.
After the hearing, the ARB will rule on your protest and send a written order by certified mail. If you are dissatisfied with the ARB’s findings, you have the right to appeal the decision.
If this is more than you want to tackle, there are numerous companies that will handle the protest for you, usually taking a portion of the reduced tax amount for their trouble.
For more information about property tax protests, please refer to the Travis County Central Appraisal District at traviscad.org.
Best of luck with your tax protest,
PAUL REDDAM | OWNER/BROKER
Homesville Real Estate
Platinum Top 50 Residential Realtor in Austin (2016)
Austin Real Estate Expert with 21+ Years of Experience