Travis County has just released it’s updated property appraisal values, and the complaints are already being heard in the streets. In an attempt to avert an Austin Tea Party, here’s how to protest your property tax bill.
- Know your appraised value. This is as simple as going to the Travis County Appraisal District website and searching for your home address. Or your neighbors address if you’re curious about their appraisal value.
- Find your actual value. The appraised value and market value are two totally separate numbers. Getting an estimate of your home’s value by asking an appraiser or Austin Realtor ® to provide comparable sales data will give you some reference data points.
- Register a protest against your tax appraisal value. You typically have until the end of May to file a protest (unless you haven’t received your appraisal by that point, in which case the deadline extends). You protest to the appraisal review board who will review your case based on the evidence you bring along to the hearing.
What many people who haven’t bought or sold a home in the last 4 months might not appreciate is that house values in their neighborhood may have gone up or down since they last assessed their own home’s value.
The tax assessment may be wildly different from the fair market value of your home (the price at which a buyer and seller would agree if neither were under duress), and you can save on your property tax bill if you quantify that and protest it.
Garreth Wilcock is a Realtor ® in Austin, Texas and regularly assesses the value of homes in Travis County.