Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

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imkopaka
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Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#1

Post by imkopaka » Wed May 16, 2018 7:37 pm

I just got my county tax appraisal for my home and the appraised value had jumped by 10.5% since last year. I haven't done anything to my home in that time, so I was justifiably appalled. I took to Facebook and asked the town if anyone else had this happen, and the response was overwhelming - some had theirs raised by as much as 70% without reason. I have yet to hear anyone whose appraisals stayed where they were or dropped. Obviously, I'm not happy. I've already scheduled an appointment to speak to the appraiser and appeal this bupkis, but I don't actually have any power in that meeting.

Last year our town's hospital board voted themselves a pay raise in the form of a much higher tax rate for the hospital district, while simultaneously cutting many programs and services from the hospital. When the town found out about it, they held a special vote to repeal that nonsense. The timing of our town's home values being jacked up across the board is too perfect to be a coincidence IMO. But ultimately I'm not sure what to do. Some folks on Facebook have suggested things like protesting, appealing, class action lawsuits, replacing the chief appraiser, and storming the appraising office en masse, but I don't understand any step in the process well enough to form a complete opinion. I'm all for stomping out government tyranny, but I'm not sure about the best process here.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Any information about the tax appraisal process or advice on what to do in this situation would be very helpful.
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roadkill
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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#2

Post by roadkill » Wed May 16, 2018 7:53 pm

You’re not alone. Every year I have to protest mine. Take pics of any damages and get estimates too. Sometimes their estimate on repairs are off.
Also if you can find comparables it will help. The appraisers will find the high ones you need to find the low ones. Bring any and all documentation and try to settle it informally. If your not happy with that meeting then you can move on to an ARB hearing. The ARB hearing will be your final chance at relief short of going through the court system. always try and work it out informally and early so you have a chance to get any estimates or appraisals before the protest goes formal at the ARB meeting.

http://www.kztv10.com/story/38172841/nu ... ome-values

http://www.kztv10.com/story/38187833/ho ... ised-value


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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#3

Post by jason812 » Wed May 16, 2018 7:57 pm

There should be a process to appeal. Problem is the appraisal district just does what they want. I protested 3 acres I'm building a house on. Wanted to say if you can find me somebody to pay what you say it's worth, I'll cash the check. After I was called by the appraisal office, I got the price per acre value dropped from $8k to $3k. Now tell me it's not a racket. It did help that I have 74 more acres around the 3 that is ag exempt.

I really want to see what the appraisal district employees' properties are valued at. It would not surprise me one bit that their values didn't go up as much as everybody else's. I wish the property tax was replaced with a consumption tax.


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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#4

Post by TreyHouston » Wed May 16, 2018 8:06 pm

jason812 wrote:There should be a process to appeal. Problem is the appraisal district just does what they want. I protested 3 acres I'm building a house on. Wanted to say if you can find me somebody to pay what you say it's worth, I'll cash the check. After I was called by the appraisal office, I got the price per acre value dropped from $8k to $3k. Now tell me it's not a racket. It did help that I have 74 more acres around the 3 that is ag exempt.

I really want to see what the appraisal district employees' properties are valued at. It would not surprise me one bit that their values didn't go up as much as everybody else's. I wish the property tax was replaced with a consumption tax.
You can easily looking up. Their names and property records are public information. Same with their tax appraisal year over year
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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#5

Post by imkopaka » Wed May 16, 2018 8:07 pm

Yes I'm going to go through the appeals process, but I'm worried that A) I'll have to do that every year and be a costly inconvenience to me, and B) it doesn't address the much larger concern of seemingly across-the-board increases; that sounds like an unlawful abuse of power, and there should be some kind of recourse for that IMO.
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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#6

Post by jason812 » Wed May 16, 2018 8:10 pm

TreyHouston wrote:
jason812 wrote:There should be a process to appeal. Problem is the appraisal district just does what they want. I protested 3 acres I'm building a house on. Wanted to say if you can find me somebody to pay what you say it's worth, I'll cash the check. After I was called by the appraisal office, I got the price per acre value dropped from $8k to $3k. Now tell me it's not a racket. It did help that I have 74 more acres around the 3 that is ag exempt.

I really want to see what the appraisal district employees' properties are valued at. It would not surprise me one bit that their values didn't go up as much as everybody else's. I wish the property tax was replaced with a consumption tax.
You can easily looking up. Their names and property records are public information. Same with their tax appraisal year over year
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der Teufel
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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#7

Post by der Teufel » Wed May 16, 2018 8:24 pm

jason812 wrote: <SNIP> I wish the property tax was replaced with a consumption tax.


You mean, like a sales tax?
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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#8

Post by rotor » Wed May 16, 2018 8:45 pm

If they don't raise the rate they raise the property values or they do both. Just went through an informal meeting with them. You know how to beat them, hire the same lawyers that Wal-Mart, Target and all the other big corporations use. The big guys fight this every year and I bet they win. The big guys also routinely get tax breaks that you and I don't get, loans that are forgiven over so many years, free money for expansions, etc. I was in business before retirement and never got any breaks even though I employed 9 people. Just depends on how big you are and who you know.
Many of the big companies that were in my area and got all of these wonderful breaks (which of course raised our rates) have moved to the land of gold, Mexico.


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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#9

Post by apostate » Wed May 16, 2018 9:48 pm

Real estate generally appreciates in value over time, and I certainly hope to sell my house for more than I paid. However, I thought there was a 10% annual cap on homestead tax value increases.

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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#10

Post by TexasJohnBoy » Wed May 16, 2018 9:58 pm

der Teufel wrote:
jason812 wrote: <SNIP> I wish the property tax was replaced with a consumption tax.


You mean, like a sales tax?
Yes. If I have to pay a tax it shouldn’t be because I own something, or because I make so much money, but because of how frivolous I get. Buy a Lamborghini, pay tax on that. Personally, I’ll drive my Chevy and spend my extra cash (and sales tax) on ammo and parts.

Obviously this is a more complicated issue than my four sentences above....
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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#11

Post by srothstein » Wed May 16, 2018 10:04 pm

There are a lot of ways to protest your taxes. The protest of the appraisal is the first step. You should have gotten a form on how to protest with your appraisal notice. If you look at the state Comptroller's web site, they have a property tax assistance division which helps with the oversight of the property tax in Texas. They have some information on your rights and on how to protest. The training videos on how to protest explain exactly how to present a valid case to help you win. The link is https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/, look in the area marked Local Protest for the training videos, and under the area marked Resources for the taxpayer's rights and how property taxes work in Texas.

I would suggest bringing photos of anything that would hurt the sale of your house. Remember that the appraisal district doe not go inside your house, they just see the measurements and the exterior view. If you have a cracked slab or the interior is torn up, you can lower the value of your house fairly quickly. Evidence is the key. The other way is to show the value of houses near you that are most comparable. Most residential appraisals are done by using comparable houses that have sold, and it is entirely possible that you can find better comparable sales than the appraisal district did.

But the other half of this is that the appraisal district does not set your taxes, just the value of the house. You really need to become active with your local taxing units when they set their tax rates. The school district is probably the biggest tax you pay (unless you live in Dallas County where the flood control district is the highest tax rate in the state). The city and the county each also set their own rates. And you really need to pay attention to the special districts because they can add up a lot. Most of them are fairly inexpensive, but if there are a dozen, it can add up fast. Even if you missed the deadline for protesting your appraisal (officially May 15, but extended for a lot of people who got their appraisal notice late), the tax rates are not set until late August or so. You can still fight that rate and help cut your actual taxes.
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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#12

Post by Rhino1 » Wed May 16, 2018 10:50 pm

Dan Patrick, our Lt. Gov., got into politics for this very reason. I used to listen to him regularly on this radio show before he was elected. Property taxes can go up 10% per year on appraisal increases. The politicians proudly tell us they didn’t raise our taxes (the rate). Of course not, you just got 8-10% because of the “appraisal creep.” Additionally their lobbyists (Texas Municipal League for cities and Texas Association of Counties for counties) use our tax dollars to go to Austin and lobby AGAINST the issues of the citizens. Why should our property taxes be based on increased property values? If you buy your house and the appraised value doubles over the years (7.2 years at 10% annual increase), you’ve paid that increase all along. If you buy Apple stock and it doubles, you don’t pay tax on the gains until you sell it. Why not limit increases to something based on population growth and that capped at a low percentage? I know he has gotten bills through the Senate to this effect but they never made it out of the House. Maybe with Strauss gone we can get some help next legislative session.
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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#13

Post by The Annoyed Man » Wed May 16, 2018 11:31 pm

Ours went up 33% from last year to this.
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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#14

Post by RoyGBiv » Thu May 17, 2018 5:58 am

31% over the past 3 years.
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Re: Any Recourse Against Sneaky Tax Raise?

#15

Post by magillapd » Thu May 17, 2018 6:46 am

It's too late for this year, but for Tarrant County home owners these people will help for free. Got mine lowered last year, hoping they can do the same this year.

https://www.chandlercrouch.com/protest/
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