How to Contest Your Property Taxes Effectively

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With tax season here we thought it might be a good opportunity to give you some valuable tax advice. In Williamson and Travis Counties here in Austin, it’s estimated that between 50 to 60% of properties were appraised at higher values than they were actually worth. 

The problem with tax appraisers assigning values to homes is that they cannot go inside and look at your home, so they’re not seeing the entire picture. This is why a tax appraisal is often incorrect.5.9

When you go to your county assessor’s office to contest the value of your home, you will need to know what your home is actually worth and also what the size of your house is. If you still have your lender’s appraisal that will tell you your square footage and it will also give you a good ballpark value of what your home might be worth. You can also contact me for comparable sales data, which could prove very helpful.

Now, when you go to the assessor’s office you have to remember to be extra polite. You will meet with an appraisal expert and he will look at your list of comparable sales and then compare them to the county’s list of comparable sales and decide if an adjustment may be made.

I have even prepared a script of what you can say:

“I appreciate your time and I know that your goal is to appraise properties fairly, and that’s my goal as well. Here are my comparable sales. Based on these sales my house should be priced at X______. What do you feel about that?  How close can you get me to my goal of X______?  Can you get me a little closer, please? Thank you so much for your time and I appreciate your help.” 

After the assessor looks through the comparable numbers, they generally have the power to change the value by 10 to 20%. The key here is to be polite, and not to fight with the assessors because that will not get you any further.

We’re always happy to help you, so please feel free to contact us with any of your issues.

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