Protesting property tax appraisal

Discussion in 'Horn Depot' started by Dionysus, May 7, 2014.

  1. Dionysus

    Dionysus Admin Admin

    Does anyone have experience in successfully protesting property tax appraisals?

    Mine jumped $15,000 from last year, although the current appraisal is still way below market value for comparable homes in the neighborhood. My next door neighbor just sold for $30,000 more than my current appraisal, and I know my home is worth more than theirs.

    I'm just trying to minimize the tax burden, obviously.

  2. busterbrown16

    busterbrown16 1,000+ Posts

    I do have some experience with this and was a bit surprised by my experience. First off, I am in Dallas so dealing with DCAD. I went last year to protest and got comps from a real estate agent. The immediate comps did not support my protest so I got a couple houses from the general area but across a major dividing street. I was really surprised when I got with the appraiser and he was prepared with all direct comps within the 2 streets on either side of my street. Obviously, the comp discussion did not go my way. About halfway through we figured out that I went to high school with his brother and asked if he would do me a solid, so he dropped the appraisal from a $30K increase to a $20K increase. Not much, but something.

    It is all coming back this year though as the appraisal went up $37K. I went through the same process to have comps run and found I have an even worse argument this year so I am not going to bother.

    He told me that the easiest way to get the value decreased is to challenge the condition of the house (Very good, good, poor). He said if you came with pictures showing damage to the house, they could decrease that designation and that would lower the appraisal.

    I always felt uncomfortable challenging the condition of the house because it would seem difficult to undo and that would stick with the property if you ever tried to sell. Maybe not. Just not sure.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me if you want more details. Tried to be short and concise.
  3. Dionysus

    Dionysus Admin Admin

    Good insight, busterbrown16 — thank you.

    To be perfectly honest the appraisal on my house is way below what I could sell for today, so I don’t really have a legitimate “complaint” except that I don’t want to pay more taxes.

    I suspect that I am in the same position as you are, with little or nothing to protest about. Our HOA won’t let things be neglected but ultimately that's a good thing.
  4. yelladawgdem

    yelladawgdem 2,500+ Posts

    In the 1990's when the housing market was on fire, my Mother went every year to protest her taxes and the apprasial was lowered EVERY time. Not by much, $2,000 to 3,000 or so was about the average. This house is still appraised at less than others in the neighborhood. I think they just dreaded seeing her come in the door with her 6" think file folder! BTW this is Tarrant County.
  5. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    Kind of along the same lines as yelladawg, it's more about your ability to wear them down with tons of paperwork (of which they have to go make copies) than actually getting a ton marked off your appraisal. I don't think I've ever gotten what I've asked for, but that's why I lowball it on purpose.

    I've only helped with appraisal protests in cookie-cutter neighborhoods on purpose... because I can go through the neighborhoods, find the comparable properties, and go nuts printing out everything about the other property's appraisals, averaging them together, showing the condition-to-dollar ratios, etc. It's tougher in older neighborhoods because it's hard to compare properties that don't "look" similar. Our appraisal district (Collin County) likes to keep the protests to 15 minutes. If you get to the end of the clock, they'll usually knock another grand off.

    I also never bother with land value. Not much you can do about that.

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