How to Protest Property Taxes

Article by Gina Warrington

I have been a resident in the area for over 30 years , successfully helping both buyers and sellers as a Realtor since 2005.

For many 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.   I am a seasoned Realtor with extensive knowledge of the local market and would love to become your lifetime real estate resource to help with yearly tax protests, homes sales or purchases.

When should I receive my Williamson Co. or Travis Co.  property valuation and how long do I have to protest?

Both Travis County and Williamson County Appraisal districts 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.  Tax Protest Deadline is normally  30 days from the date you receive your notice.

How do I determine my property value?

If you would like personal help with a free professional  CMA/market analysis with documentation and pictures for your tax protest fill out  the Professional Market Analysis form on my website  This form allows you to upload pictures and input specific information about your home that will allow me to perform a professional CMA / market analysis  specific to your home.   By filling out this form, you are requesting my  guidance and the documentation that you will need to protest your county property tax valuation.  I will be in touch once I receive it.    This is a free service.

How should I protest?

There are several ways to protest.   Online, by mail , in person or professional tax service. You have until the deadline listed on your appraisal notice to protest online or by mail.    It is important to request  your INFORMATION PACKET, whichever tax district you are in.   The Information Packet includes the list of homes that the taxing entity  used to value your property.    If you mail in your protest print in bold, marker or highlighted on protest form:  SEND INFORMATION PACKET.  You will not get it unless requested.

  • 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  including pictures 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  INFORMATION PACKET which includes the comps that were used to value your property.

*Professional Help: If you plan on paying a professional tax protest company be sure to contact them before you file your protest.  Most companies won't be able help you if you have already started the process.  The company I am most familiar with is TexasProTax.  They charge  according to the tax savings gained by utilizing their services.  Contact me  if you'd like more information about using professional company.  I will share my own experience.

Should I Protest?

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 disabled person exemption, disabled veteran exemption, over 65 or older 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.  Contact me  if you need my help deciding if you should dispute or fill my professional CMA form to request my help.

Include Documentation!!

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), & very importantly, pictures of the comparable homes your using to protest value.  Include  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 to your appeal 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.   Being well prepared with a positive attitude, you are much more likely to win your case.   Contact me for help or advise about making this decision.

Best wishes on your protest and please let me know how it goes!

Gina Warrington

Call or text 512-785-5246