Texas Property Tax Appeal Process

5 Replies

Hey fellow Texans - have a few questions about the appeal process. I searched the existing threads and got some info, but still want to clarify a few things:

- How long do I have to appeal?

- When/where do I go to appeal?

- If I fail to get a discount, can I go back and try again?

- From what I've researched, I take current pictures, run comps, create an official document with all the info, and present it to somebody in person?

- When running comps, do I show that comps have appraised for less, or sold for less than my purchase price? The appraisal amount seems to make more sense, just wanted to check.

- Besides standard comp stuff (br/ba, garage size, sq ft, porch/no porch, pool, etc), is there anything else I should look into to fight my case?

The property has gotten a standard flat 10% each year since 2012 when it was bought by the family selling me the house, so I figure they've never appealed it. Hopefully that indicates I can get some amount of a discount.

Thanks in advance

In Harrison county, I believe the appeal has to be complete by May 31st for the tax year. I don't know if this is county-specific or Texas law. Pull all your info together, but call the assessor first. They'll likely offer an initial discount just to appease you. I was at least able to stem the tide of rise on my previous residence. If you don't get what you want, you'll have to go thru the appeals process. I don't have experience with this. I bought two houses at 2/3 and 1/2 of assessed value last year. Gregg county had no problem dropping assessed value to purchase price for 2015 when I sent the HUD-1 in. Doubt it's like that everywhere though.

@Benjamin Ouderkirk

I think you have missed the window.  Most counties require the appeal to be filed with the county Appraisal District by May 31. 

In addition to the things you mentioned, condition of the property is very important in an appeal.  Deferred maintenance can lead to excess deterioration.  This can be used to reduce the current appraisal, at least until the rehab occurs.

It's likely too late in the year; it's not my practice area but I think end of May is the deadline in most counties. 

If you're not comfortable fighting them on your own, there are lots of law firms out there that handle the appraisal issues and take a percentage of the tax decrease as their legal fee.