Every year your property is assessed and the taxes that you pay for the year are determined. This magic number comes from multplying your property tax rate and your assessed value. What do you do when you feel that your property is being taxed too high? You protest the value. But how?
The County Appraiser’s Office usually outsources the task to to come up with how much your property is worth. This number is usually way off and not often in your benefit as a homeowner. Many people incorrectly assume that when their property has increased in the tax assessment that it also means their property has appreciated. In reality, the assessed value and your market value are completely separate valuations.
Your property value in real life can be determined with a properly-prepared CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). A CMA is a good measure of how much your property should be assessed for because it will show the value which “will bring a ready and willing buyer” and it will show recent comps (real estate that is comparable to your property that has sold within the past few months.) That is very important and has to be taken in consideration during assessment protests.
In Travis County, you can protest your property taxes using two arguments: by citing the valuation of “equity” or the valuation of comps. A good example of how to win your tax protest based on the “equity” argument would be if you live in a condo, and your neighbors unit which is exactly identical to yours was appraised for a lesser value.
To protest your taxes based on market value, you will need a detailed CMA with recent comps (homes that are comparable to yours that have sold as recent as possible to the tax period.)
As a Texas Realtor, I will always will prepare your CMA for free to determine the real value of your property. This is a great investment because it has the potential to save you hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars every year in excess property taxes.
Read this article on how I managed to save 225% in property taxes for my own business: