Text PROTEST to 512-785-5246 with your v-card for help!
For the past several years, I have helped homeowners in our area protest their property tax values for the Williamson County Tax Appraisal District and Travis County Appraisal District. This article was written to help you understand the process and help you decide whether you should dispute your property tax value.
Why is Williamson county/Travis county tax-assessed value different than market value?
The tax-assessed value is what the county appraisal district believes your home is worth using a database of sold homes of similar criteria during that tax year. The appraisal district attempts to set their values at a market value. However, they do not evaluate comparables or perform an individual market analysis on every home. Your property tax valuation may be too high or low, depending on the size, location on street, amenities and condition of your specific home.
When should I receive my WCAD or TCAD property valuation and how long do I have to protest?
WCAD and TCAD mail the majority of their property valuations on or around April 1st . Most homeowners should have received their Appraisal Notice on or around April 5th . You will have until the deadline listed on your Appraisal Notice to dispute your value.
Should I dispute my property tax value?
If the market value on your home is lower than your tax-assessed value then you should protest. If your value is higher or correct then do nothing unless there are corrections needed. You may need to file for addtional exemptions such as disable person exemption, over 65 homestead exemption or homestead exemption. If you have just purchased a home, the homestead expemption is available on the next Jan. 1st that you occupy your home. For example, if you purchased in June of 2015, your homestead exemption is available Jan 1st 2016. You may file for this exemption beginning Oct. 1st 2015 but will not recieve it until Jan. 1st 2016. (See the Texas Property Tax Code sec. 11.13 & 11.14 )
How do I determine my market value?
Visit the Warrington Real Estate website and click on Whats Your Home Worth. This tool will show you the recent sales in your area. Or, just text PROTEST to 512-785-5246 along with your v-card ( contact card) if you have one. I will happily guide you through the process of determining what your home is worth and help you decide if you should protest the value. I will do a professional Comparable Market Analysis of your home and provide lot’s of neighborhood info and even visit your home if needed. I do this for people yearly to build long term, trusting relationships since I realize choosing a Realtor is a big decision and trust is essential when the time comes to buy or sell a home.
How should I protest?
There are 3 ways to protest. Online, By mail and In Person. You have until the end of May to protest online or by mail. Check the deadline on your appraisal notice. It could vary. You have until the deadline listed on your appraisal notice to protest in person. Whatever tax district you are in do NOT forget to ask them for your INFORMATION PACKET. This pack will include the list of homes they used to value yours. Link for Travis County Info Packet no link for Wilc0 that I could find ;(. You have to ask them for it at either TCAD or WCAD. If you mail in your protest put a big note in highlight or in marker across your protest form saying” SEND INFORMATION PACKET”.
- In Person: If you go in person, you will leave the same day with either an offer or resolution. You may accept the offer or decline it. If you decline the offer you may appeal the decision. An appeal date will be set. Be sure to ask for a copy of the Comparables that they used to value your property at the time of your visit. Don’t forget to ask for your INFORMATION PACKET!
- Online: You may upload your documentation or proof online. You will receive an offer or resolution online. You may accept or decline. If you decline, an appeal date will be set. If you protest online you will get a copy of the Comparable Homes they used to set the value your home the same day.
- By Mail: There is a Protest Form on the back page of your Appraisal Notice. Fill out this form and send it to WCAD or TCAD by the deadline indicated on your appraisal notice. Include all documentation that may prove the reason for your protest. You will receive a certified letter within several weeks with a scheduled hearing date. If you mail in your request, be sure to include a written request for the Comparables that were used to value your property.
*Professional Help: If you plan on paying a professional tax protest company be sure to call them before you do anything at all. Some companies will not help you if you have already started the process.
Whether you protest by mail, in person or online, be sure to include or bring your Protest Form and all documentation which supports the reason for your protest that matches the box you checked on your Protest Form. This documentation may include but may not be limited to Comparative Market Analysis, Photos of damage to property, Google Map printout of street location if home is located along a busy street, train track or anything unpleasant like a junk yard or even junky neighbor, Exemptions, Settlement Statement or HUD (for recently purchase homes), Pictures of comparable Homes , repair bids and any other documentation you have gathered that supports your protest.
If You Decide to Appeal:
The Appraisal District is responsible for setting appraised value. They have nothing to do with the tax rate. You are only appealing the assessed value of your home. Most importantly, be polite and courteous and be prepared. Do not go in appearing stressed out or defensive. Make a point of relating to the appraisal board members. Have a copy of your documentation for each of the 3 board members and one for yourself to refer to. If you are well prepared and have a positive attitude you are much more likely to win your case. I am willing to go with you to your appeal meeting if you feel you need the support. Just give me plenty of notice since this will be a very busy time of year for me.
If you’ve found this article helpful please send this link to your friends and family.
For further guidance or a professional Comparative Market Analysis to send as your documentation simply text PROTEST to 512-785-5246 Send a contact card or v-card if you have one. If you are not protesting and just want to know what your home is worth Text VALUE to 512-785-5246 You may also click on the Whats Your Home Worth tab on the Warrington Real Estate website.
Have a blessed day! I am always here if you need me!