Protest property tax assessment

13 Replies | San Antonio, Texas

I just got the 2019 assessment for a tri-plex that I bought in SA last year. Last years assessment was 93k and they want to jack it up to 116k for this year. The purchase price that I payed last May was 104k, but when I look at the filed deed, it shows only $10. There are no other tri-plexes in the area that have sold within the last year to compare to.

The increase feels excessive, but I have no experience in protesting assessments. What value would you recommend I should shoot for and with what argumentation?

@Simon Stahl  yes we have all felt huge increases - guess that’s why we are investing here! I have been able to contest my hikes to some degree by showing my Hud statement. Yours shows $104k purchase so that’s a start. Then they will ask you if you did any improvements. They use google maps to check. If you did say put $10k in it then you really don’t have much to contest if their appraisal is $116k. I bought one for $160k and they appraised it the next year for $220k. I was able to get it lowered to $190k. Good luck!

you can contest but using your 10$ deed wont cut it, youll need to show your hud or other proof for purchase of property. and at 104 you could really only contest at the areas or neighborhoods overall appreciation rate, lets say its 3% YoY and you bought it at 104k then it should only be appraised at most 107k

If your property has any issues, make sure you get pictures of them and use that as evidence.  I'd also call them and find out what comps they're using.  You could also contact a property tax consultant to protest it for you but most charge a flat fee plus pct of tax savings if they are able to get a reduction.  

Hey @Simon Stahl ,

I am sure that you know Texas has a higher tax rate because school tax is included with property taxes unlike CA. The tax rate is just under 3% per year in most areas around San Antonio. If you have a triplex that is valued around 100k you are doing FANTASTIC. Stop Complaining. You are probably getting at least $600 per unit or $1000 if they are 2 beds. That has to be 24k+ per year. 

The difference of 93k to 116k per year is about $50 per month for the whole property or about 2.5%. I would bet that you estimated that expenses would go up 3-5% per year. That is right in there. 

When you are in a good market, costs go up and so does the value of your property. Next year you should be able to raise rents a little to offset some of the increase of expenses. This is a longterm game. 

@Rick Pozos I was counting on 2.2% taxes. I got that number from looking up property taxes of a few random properties in SA. So I was aware of the high taxes. What bothered me is the 24% YoY increase in assesses value without any substantial upgrades being performed.

I sent them a protest and hope that they will just reduce it a little bit at least. I read in a different thread that they often just increase the assessed value and hope the owners won't protest. We'll see what happens. Every dollar saved in taxes is a dollar more that I can put into repairs.

Updated over 1 year ago

I meant to write that I was counting on 2.8% taxes, not 2.2%

You can go to the appraisal district to get the actual amount that is being collected. Use the initials of Bexar County Appraisal District and then dot org. They have lots of great information on all properties. Public info.

As I mentioned, a triplex for around 100k is very low, unless it is in a rough area. I would brace myself for next year also. I bet it will increase another 15 to 20% again.

Thanks that is a great site. I have been there before, but never took the time to browse through all the info on there.

I will just keep on protesting. If I can reduce the tax load only by a little bit every year, then that is already good with me.

So, @Simon Stahl , what happened??  Ours doubled in Fort Worth!  So, I will be protesting!  I am so curious how much work it will take and how successful I'll be.  

@Anna Catron I've sent in a protest, but wasn't very formal about it. I never heard back from them, so either I did it wrong or they just silently dismissed it. I never went that far to get a lawyer involved or so.

@Anna Catron you can do it online in Tarrant county but you can't do it online in every county.  @Simon Stahl there are companies that actually do this specifically.  Meaning, they will protest your property taxes for you and they are really good at it.  You would pay for a service like this so if you own 1 property...probably not worth it.  But do lean on other local investors in your area to see how you other have done it successfully.