How to Protest Harris County Property Taxes (& Beyond)
Whether you live in Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria or Liberty county, you’ve likely noticed that your property taxes seem to increase every year.
The sad truth is your home has probably never been individually appraised by the county unless you requested it. In most cases the “proposed value” of your home is based off of a mass appraisal techniques utilized by each county appraisal district. This practice is common since no appraisal district has the manpower or time available to appraise each and every home individually To manage such a large workload the appraisal district uses a mass appraisal system based on typical property values in your area to appraise your entire neighborhood.
With that said, the appraisal district often decides to raise the tax assessed value of every home in a neighborhood by 1%, 2%, 3%….all the way up to 10% each year. While in the middle of a recession like these days it’s unlikely that the appraisal district will lower your tax assessed value. And if they do, the decrease will be minimal. That’s because the appraisal district places the burden on the homeowner to argue a reduction in their home’s assessed value.
We understand every home is different and when you order a tax protest appraisal you will receive a customized report that illustrates the current market value of your home! The appraisal will include a comprehensive analysis of your neighborhood and comparable properties within your market area. Armed with this report you can devise a strategy and have the proper documentation when meeting with the county appraisal district. Our local appraisers have experience and knowledge in your market areas to provide this service and help you reduce your taxes now!
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Property Tax Protest Methods
The property tax code in Texas allows homeowners to protest their taxes with two methods: Sales Comparable Analysis or Unequal Appraisal.
Sales Comparable Method – With this method homeowners present evidence to the ARB showing comparable homes that have sold at reduced prices. These comparable homes must be similar in size, amenities, acreage, year built, and within the same neighborhood. As of January 2010, foreclosures can be considered comparable properties as well.
Unequal Appraisal Method – With this method homeowners present evidence to the ARB showing comparable homes that are tax assessed at a value lower than others in the neighborhood. Again, these comparable homes must be similar in size, amenities, acreage, year built, and within the same neighborhood. The appraisal district will use these comparable to lower your assessed value to align with the lower tax assessed homes in your neighborhood.
Rising Tax Rates Around Houston
The decline in market values over the last few years forced taxing municipalities to raise property tax rates to offset the loss in revenue. In some case you’ll pay more in property taxes even if your property value stays unchanged. This is done by actually increasing the “Tax Rate” and unfortunately you have no control or recourse as an individual homeowner.
Fast & Accurate Values By Licensed Home Appraisers Near You
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Houston Real Property Appraisals
As one of the best Texas appraisal companies, we perform over 1,000 property valuations in the Houston market every year. We offer appraisal services and reports for properties across the Greater Houston Metro area including the counties of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria and Galveston as well as parts of Liberty and Chambers. Below are some of the markets within our service area. If your area is not listed, please call us and we will see if we can perform appraisals in your area.