Increased property value is generally good news unless you are the owner or manager of a commercial property with a large tax bill. The Texas appraisal district must repeat its appraisal process for property at least once every three years. If your commercial property or real estate increases, you will receive a notice from the Chief appraiser. A notice of appraised value tells you if the appraisal district intends to increase the value of your property. Property owners that face an unfair increase in property valuation have a small window of opportunity to appeal the Texas property tax appraisal. In order to appeal a Texas property tax appraisal, the following steps need to be taken.
- File a Protest The deadline to file a protest is May 31, or 30 days after notice of your assessed value is mailed to you, whichever is later. You can start your Texas property tax appeal by using the tax appeal form provided by the appraisal district or by simply sending a short letter to the chief appraiser (of the central appraisal district in which your property is located) stating that you are protesting your property tax.
- Attend the informal hearing After the appraisal district receives your property tax appeals form or letter, they will notify you of the date and time to attend a hearing. This meeting takes place with a staff appraiser at the appraisal district office. The meeting is usually very short and perfunctory. At the end of the meeting, the appraiser will let you know if he will make an adjustment or offer to settle by establishing a lower assessment.
- Formal Hearing / Appraisal Review Board Hearing You or your agent must attend the appraisal review board hearing. At the hearing you or your agent will take turns with the tax district’s appraiser presenting evidence to support each side’s opinions of the market value for the property in question. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board members make and announce their conclusion. While the board’s decision is not subject to negotiation, their decision can be appealed in a Texas district court. You will need to hire a law firm to file a lawsuit against the county appraisal district to further appeal the property taxes . You must file the lawsuit lawsuit within 45 days of the date of you receive the formal notice of the ARB hearing results.
The steps above are important procedures that are referred to by many courts as “exhausting your administrative remedies.” Many Texas courts have held that you must exhaust your administrative remedies in a timely manner before you are entitled to file a judicial appeal. The tax savings in filing a judicial appeal of your tax appraisals should be balanced with the costs of engaging an attorney and expert witness. The Tran Law Firm will accept judicial appeals of tax appraisals on an hourly fee and contingency basis in many counties including the following: Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD), Bexar Appraisal District, Travis Central Appraisal District, and Galveston Appraisal District.