The Common Law

High Property Taxes

High Property Taxes

I want to challenge my high property taxes, but I think I missed the deadline. What is the deadline to protest my property taxes?

You are required to file your notice of protest by May 31 or no later than 30 days after the appraisal district mailed a notice of appraised value to you, whichever date is later. This means that if your property-tax notice form was mailed to you sometime during the month of May, then your deadline will extend beyond May 31.

Don't give up just yet even if you missed the deadline. If you file a notice of protest before the Appraisal Review Board approves the appraisal records, you may still be able to get a protest hearing if the board decides that you had good reason for failing to meet the deadline. You will lose the right to appeal the taxable value of your property if you don't file a notice of protest before the Appraisal Review Board approves the appraisal records.

How do I protest high property taxes?

File a written protest. An easy way to file a written protest is to download and submit the protest form provided by the Travis Central Appraisal District (www.traviscad.org/forms.htm).

Not sure whether you want to protest your property taxes? Some of the factors the Texas comptroller's office suggests a property owner should consider to determine whether a protest would be appropriate include:

• Is the property valued unequally when compared with other properties in the appraisal district?

• Did the appraisal district deny a relevant exemption (homestead exemption, disabled veteran exemption, etc.)?

• Do the appraisal records show an incorrect owner or identify the wrong property?

• Is the property being taxed by the wrong taxing units (i.e., the tax records show the property in the incorrect school district)?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the property owner may want to give consideration to protesting the property's value for property-tax purposes.

Please submit column suggestions, questions, and comments to thecommonlaw@austinchronicle.com. Submission of potential topics does not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information submitted is subject to being included in future columns.

Marrs, Ellis & Hodge LLP, www.jmehlaw.com.

The material in this column is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute, nor is it a substitute for, legal advice. For advice on your specific facts and circumstances, consult a licensed attorney. You may wish to contact the Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas, a non-profit public service of the Austin Bar Association, at 512-472-8303 or www.austinlrs.com.

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