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Property Tax Shock

Property taxes are the primary source of revenue for school districts, municipal utility districts (road, sewage, water, etc.), parks, communities, colleges, and hospitals; you get the idea.

Remember, Texans enjoy a significant tax benefit, no state income tax. In exchange for higher sales and local taxes compared to other states charging income tax. Property taxes are ad valorem, "in proportion to the estimated value of the goods or transaction concerned," aka your home. That said, a homeowner should not pay more than their fair share of property tax! Ensure you take advantage of all the ways to reduce your value and that they are reflected in your Notice of Appraised Value.

  • If your home is your primary residence, claim your homestead exemption.

  • You will be given an additional exemption if you are 65 years or older.

  • Others that qualify for exemptions include veterans and/or surviving spouses of veterans or first responders.

  • A solar property tax exemption exists for those with solar or wind energy devices.

  • There is also a school district exemption.

  • Take time to review your property description in the appraisal district records. Paying attention to the land, buildings, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garages, porch, canopy, and other featured listings.

  • Does your home need repairs that still need to be completed? Wear and tear can possibly reduce your property taxes. Obtain three bids from contractors to determine the cost. Take pictures of the area(s). Complete a protest application online and include the bids and photographs.

Properties are assessed on January 1st each year, which is the value the county thinks your property would have sold for in the open market. Texas is a non-disclosure state, so how does the county gather its facts? They purchase sales price information from vendors and use construction cost data which is processed by the appraisal districts utilizing a computer-assisted program. As you may have guessed, this is not always the most accurate number. Congratulations if your number came in lower than expected! For those of you whose number was jaw-droppingly higher than anticipated, decide if a protest is right for you. Review the list of exemptions and other ways to reduce the appraised value. Gather comparable home sales. Now there are a couple of ways you can gather your own comps, hire a property appraiser, and see what the online Realtor sites say. Or let Angela and Rick at Kindred Real Estate evaluate your comps for you. This will give you what you need to file your protest before May 15th! Here is a link to submit the information that we will need. Recap of how to successfully protest your property taxes in Texas:

  • Ensure all property descriptions are correct in the county appraisal records.

  • Claim all eligible exemptions.

  • If your property needs repairs, take photos of the damaged areas and get three repair estimates.

  • Gather comparable sales in your neighborhood; ask your Realtor to do that.

  • File your protest before May 15th!

Don't fight the fight alone; let your local real estate professionals help! Here is a link to submit the information that we will need.

Best Wishes,

Angela & Rick Holt Holt Homes at Kindred Realty

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