What can I do if I do not agree with the District's value?

Before the Protest Filing Deadline (May 31st or the Deadline Date on Your Notice of Appraised Value)

(Modified in part from Taxpayers’ Rights, Remedies & Responsibilities as published by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.)

TO LEARN HOW TO PRESENT YOUR CASE AT AN APPRAISAL REVIEW BOARD HEARING, CLICK HERE WATCH A PRESENTATION FROM THE PROPERTY TAX ASSISTANCE DIVISION OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER'S OFFICE

CLICK HERE for a Notice of Protest form

What May I Protest?

The right to protest to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) is the most important right you have as a taxpayer. You may protest if you have a concern about:

  1. The market value placed on your property:

    Ask one of the District’s appraisers to explain the appraisal. Be sure the property description is correct. Are the measurements for your home or business and lot correct? Gather blueprints, deed records, photographs, a survey, or your own measurements.

    Are there any hidden defects, such as a cracked foundation or inadequate plumbing? Get photographs, statements from builders, or independent appraisals.

    Collect evidence on recent sales of properties similar to yours from neighbors or real estate professionals. Ask the Appraisal District for the sales that it used to determine your value.

    Consider using an independent appraisal by a real estate appraiser. Insurance records also may be helpful.

    If you decide to use sales information to support your protest, you should:
    • Get documents or sworn statements from the person providing the sales information.
    • Use sales of properties that are similar to yours in size, age, location, and type of construction.
    • Use recent sales. Sales that occurred closest to January 1 are best.
    • Weigh the costs of preparing a protest against the potential tax savings. Preparing a protest may not be worth the time and expense if it results in only a small tax savings.
  2. Is your property valued unequally compared with other property in the Appraisal District?

    Determine whether the property value is closer to market value than other, similar properties. A ratio study or a comparison of a representative sample of properties, appropriately adjusted, for determining the median level of appraisal must be prepared to prove unequal appraisal.

  3. Did the Chief Appraiser deny you an exemption?

    First, find out why the Chief Appraiser denied your exemption. If the Chief Appraiser denied your homestead exemption, get evidence that you owned your home on January 1 and used the home as your principal residence on that date.

    If the Chief Appraiser denied a homestead exemption for part of the land around your home, show how much land is used as a yard.

    If the Chief Appraiser denied you an over-65, a disabled person’s, or a veteran’s exemption make certain you qualify by reading the requirements under "JCAD/ARB, About JCAD, Exemptions"

  4. Did the Chief Appraiser deny agricultural appraisal for your farm or ranch?

    First, find out why the Chief Appraiser denied your application. Agricultural appraisal laws have specific requirements involving ownership and use of the property. Contact the Appraisal District for information on eligibility requirements.

    Gather your ownership records and management records or get information from local agencies that provide services to farmers and ranchers.

  5. Do the appraisal records show an incorrect owner?

    Provide records of deeds or deed transfers to show ownership. If you acquired the property after January 1, you may protest the property’s value. The law recognizes the new owner’s interest in the taxes on the property.

  6. Is your property being taxed by the wrong taxing units?

    An error of this sort is often simply a clerical error. For example, the appraisal records show your property is located in one school district when it actually is located in another school district.

  7. Is your property incorrectly included in the appraisal records?

    Some kinds of taxable personal property move from place to place quite regularly. Property is taxed at only one location in Texas. You can protest the inclusion of your property in the appraisal records if it should be taxed at another location in Texas.

  8. Is there any other action the Appraisal District or ARB took that affects you?

    You have the right to protest any Appraisal District action that affects you and your property. For instance, the Chief Appraiser may claim your property was not taxed in a previous year, and you disagree. You may protest only actions that affect your property. 

Filing a Protest

Once the current year values are set (typically the end of April each year), you must file a written Notice of Protest in order to discuss your valuation with an appraiser or to schedule a hearing with the ARB.  If you received a Notice of Appraised Value, the  Notice of Protest form was enclosed.  Click here  for a copy of the Notice of Protest if you did not receive a Notice of Appraised Value.  You may also file a protest by email protests@jcad.org.  If you do not attach a copy of your protest form to your email, then you must include your PID or Account Number, name and mailing adress, telephone numbers(s), your opinion of value of the property, and the reason for your protest (value too high, value not equal with other similar properties, exemption denied, etc.).  You do not have to file a protest on the form provided. A protest in any written format will suffice providing it provides the requested information.  Your protest must be filed with the Appraisal District by May 31 or the deadline date indicated on your Notice of Appraised Value if you received one.

 If you file a protest, you will receive written notice of the date, time, and place set for the hearing at least 15 days in advance of your hearing. At the time you receive notification of your hearing date, you will also receive a copy of Taxpayers’ Remedies, a copy of the ARB hearings procedures, and a statement that you have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the data, schedules, formulas, and any other information that the Appraisal District plans to introduce at your hearing. There is a charge of $0.10 per page for any information you may request in addition to any postage.

Informal Review

Once the District receives your protest,  an appraiser will contact you for an informal review.  The informal review is intended to allow you to provide more detailed information on your property that may not have been discovered due to mass appraisal restrictions.  It is the intent of the appraisers to make any necessary value adjustments at the informal hearing to avoid the necessity of a formal protest hearing before the ARB. If you are able to resolve your potest during the informal review, your hearing with the ARB will be canceled.

Review by the Appraisal Review Board

If you cannot resolve your problem informally with the Appraisal District staff, you will have your case heard by the ARB at the date and time scheduled..

The ARB is an independent board of citizens that reviews problems with appraisals or other concerns allowed by protest. It has the power to order the Appraisal District to make the necessary changes to solve problems.

The ARB holds four, two-hour sessions for protest hearings each day:  8:00am, 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm.  The ARB will hear protests on a first-come, first-served basis.  Protest hearing registration will be open for the first hour of each session. 

The hearing will be informal and will last approximately 15 minutes, or longer if the protest covers 3 or more properties or involves complex property. You or a designated agent may appear in person to present evidence or you may send notarized evidence for the ARB to review at your hearing instead of appearing in person. The Appraisal District representative will then present evidence about your case, and you may cross-examine the Appraisal District representative. The ARB will then make its decision based on the evidence presented. The Appraisal District has the burden of establishing the property's value by a preponderance of the evidence presented.

You should not try to contact the ARB members outside of the hearing. The law requires the ARB members to sign an affidavit stating that they have not talked about your case before the ARB hears it.

 

For more information on protests, please click the link to the Property Tax Assistance Division of the State Comptroller's Office.