What Do You Do About Skyrocketing Property Taxes? | USTaxAid

Diane Kennedy's Blog

What Do You Do About Skyrocketing Property Taxes?

Written by Diane Kennedy, CPA on May 30, 2020

Most states weren’t in great shape, financially speaking, before the pandemic hit. Then with weeks of mandatory shut-downs, state income tax and sales tax revenue plummeted. But it’s not just the states that are scrambling for revenue.  

The counties and cities need money too. One of the biggest cash cows for the smaller municipalities is property tax. Already cities in Texas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Nevada and more have begun raising property tax rates. 
It’s not just property owners who will be forced to cough up more money. The cost of property tax will trickle down to tenants as well.  

Some of those hardest hit by the increased cost, the newly unemployed and senior citizens on fixed income, will likely struggle to make the payments. If your property tax jumps, what can you do about it?  

First, look at why your property tax increased. Is it due to a property value increase? That could be due to a number of reasons:  

     1.Your appraisal is too high,  

  1. Your property in unequally appraised,  
  1. The appraisal district denied you a special appraisal or 
  1. The appraisal district failed to provide you with required notices.  

If property values drop in a real estate recession, the appraisal district often lags in changing the appraised value. 

If you don’t feel your appraised property value is correct, you can file an appeal 

 #1:  Know your facts 

Where do you file your appeal? Can it be done online in your area? What is the due date to file an appealDo you have a valid argument? 

#2:Make a proper argument.  

We all know that the real problem is the increased property tax assessment rate, but you can’t protest that. The best you can hope for is a decrease in the appraisal value. Value times the tax rate equals the amount of tax you pay. Get comparative values from realtors in your area and include pictures of your property in comparison with other properties. 
File your protest with the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). They will then send you a letter that tells you your next step. You may have an informal meeting with an appraisal staff member or you may have a more formal hearing with the ARB.
 #3:  The meeting.  

Prepare for the informal meeting by bringing comparable homes information (sales prices) and any other information that will help your cause.  

If instead you are sent directly to the formal hearing or you aren’t happy with the outcome of an informal meeting, you can follow a slightly different process for this step.  You will be mailed a copy of ARB procedures, a letter stating your rights and copies (or access to copies) of the data, schedules, formulas and information that will be presented by the appraisal department at your hearing.  

 The ARB will hear your presentation and the appraiser’s, and notify you of their decision.  

#4: Appealing the decision.  

 If you’re unhappy with the decision, you can next file an appear with the state district court, move to binding arbitration or contact the State Office of Administration Hearing. There are deadlines for these various appeals, depending on your location.  

 Other Options for Reduced Property Tax 

Some states and jurisdictions have reduced property taxes for certain classes of individuals or property. These may include: 

  • Senior citizens 
  • Veterans 
  • Disabled individuals 
  • Agriculture use properties 

Check for details in your area.  

CoronaTax is making changes in how we plan for our taxes. On one side, the federal government is trying to stimulate the economy and on the other, states and local municipalities are trying to stay afloat.  


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