Advice for Filing a Tax Protest in Travis County
(We posted this spring 2008 and re-posted 2009 and now we’re posting it again 04.8.10 with updates!)
I attended a seminar last night (4.7.10 thanks to Austin Title) with Weldon Sikes of Texas Protax Austin. TX Protax Austin is the largest property tax consultant firm in Austin; they will appeal your taxes for you for a 40% cut. They will do a quick phone consult with you to see if they think you have a case. You can do it on your own but you need to be prepared. This article is designed to help you appeal. But keep in mind that you may not want to appeal.
There were 92,000 property tax appeals filed in Travis County in 2009; prior to that, a typical year was 40k-50k.
Austin property tax valuation notices will be mailed this year beginning April 26 and will stretch out for a while (maybe you’ll get yours mid-May?). The deadline to file notice appeal is June 1.
- File your protest as late as possible then request an extension (the later in the year your hearing, the better the results).
- On protest form Step #3 – always check 1st 2 blocks (1 – Value is over market value and, 2 – Value is unequal compared with other properties); check all that may apply … we would hate you to lose on a technicality.
- On protest form Step #4 facts: never put a value in there, instead put “request tax payer info package” (shows the homes they are using as your comps).
- Study those comps … your Realtor can help with this (for the Realtor who helps you, send them some business to say thank you).
- They use only closed comps and the data needs to represent fair market value on January 1 (you can go back 24 months for data but the closer you are to Jan 1, the better.)
- What neighborhood grid are they using? Fight that your house is not typical for your grid.
- Take marginal photos of your home.
- The more you study, the better chance you have.
- You have your best chance with the informal hearing vs. going before the Board (not flexible).
For folks in my Northwest Hills neighborhood, I will do a one hour Q&A on our front porch within a week of receiving our notices. If you’re really extra sweet to me, I may do the same in your neighborhood.
© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.