We’re in 2015 and many U.S. businesses have started preparing their budget for the next business cycles. But if you’re a Houston property owner, then you’re probably wondering about how you’re going to cut your property tax bill. As you might know, property taxes have been rising over the past few years, partly because of the continuous decrease in oil prices. This article offers tips on how to protest property taxes.
How are property taxes calculated in Houston?
Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) handles property valuations by applying the mass appraisal technique. To give sound results, this method needs to be performed on each property, which is often the source of the mistakes made on property valuations since HCAD doesn’t have the ability to send a professional appraiser on every local property.
Bases for disputing property taxes
There are two essential bases to protest your property tax bill. These are:
- Market value at the purchase date
- Revenues generated
When filing a protest to HCAD regarding your property valuation, you should include documents proving that you bought the property at a price lower than the HCAD computed value. Properties that are on sale are listed at their fair market value. This means that purchasing prices are the best indicator of the valuation of properties, especially if they were sold recently.
Another way to protest your property tax bill is by disclosing the revenues generated through tenants’ rental payments. Among the documents that you can use to substantiate your claim, there is the profit loss statement. For example, if you rented your property at an amount lower than the market rent, then you normally recorded a loss at the end of the year that should be included when calculating your property’s valuation.
Regardless of the base that you use to submit your claim, you should always make sure that you send the appropriate documents before the May 31st deadline. Doing so will prevent you from being assessed penalty fees, and you might even have the opportunity to file another protest by the tax delinquency date, which is on January 31st. Please contact us to find out more information on how to cut your property taxes.