Your home is likely one of your biggest financial investments. Like any other financial holding, it is prudent to have a trusted real estate adviser provide an annual review of your asset(s). Maybe it’s time to sell, refinance, or reinvest. Let’s explore and compare against your property tax valuation(s) which likely just arrived by mail. Review the numbers carefully. If your property is not described correctly or if the value looks out of whack, you can protest it. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the key aspects of filing a property tax protest in Austin.
Understand the Protest Deadline
The deadline for filing a property tax protest in Austin is May 15th, so it’s important to act quickly if you want to contest your tax assessment. Note that this deadline is firm and cannot be extended. What’s the best way to file? You have options:
Hire a company to protest on your behalf - Texas ProTax or Five Stone Tax Advisors
Protest yourself with the link below and meet with the appraisal board in June
Travis County: https://www.traviscad.org/eservices/
Williamson County: https://www.wcad.org/online-protest-filing/
Hays County: https://www.hayscad.com/protest-info
Gather Evidence to Support Your Protest
The next step is to gather evidence that supports your belief that your property’s assessed value is too high. You may want to review comparable sales data for properties similar to yours in your area, or have an appraisal done by a licensed appraiser. Additionally, you can request a property value report from the Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD) or your county’s appraisal district to see how your property was valued.
Submit Your Protest
To submit your protest, you can do so online through the TCAD (or your county’s) website or by mail. When submitting your protest, be sure to include any evidence you’ve gathered that supports your claim that your property’s assessed value is too high.
Attend Your Appraisal Review Board Hearing
Once your protest is submitted, you’ll receive a notice of your hearing date from the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). Keep in mind that it can take several months for the Travis County Appraisal District to schedule your informal hearing, so be sure to be on the lookout for the notice in your mail. During the hearing, you’ll have the opportunity to present evidence supporting your claim and explain why you believe your property’s assessed value should be lowered.
Review Your Decision and Appeal If Necessary
After your hearing, the ARB will make a decision on your protest. If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal it to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).
You can watch Travis County webinars about the process to better understand the nuances and to hear from local experts. Also, you can refer to the appraisal district website that you are filing your protest in, like Hays County, Travis County, Williamson County, or Bastrop County.
Filing a property tax protest in Austin can be a time-consuming process, but it’s worth it if you’re successful in lowering your tax bill. By following these steps and gathering the right evidence, you can increase your chances of having a successful protest. If you have additional questions or would like to work with one of our agents to help you protest your property taxes this year, please contact us.