Today and tomorrow (May 30th & 31st) are the BEST days to send in your Notice of Protest in Travis County!
The Blessing Team recently hosted a Tax Rant with Jeff Bullard of Tax Remedy (who has 28 years experience in contesting property taxes). Here are a few tips on protesting your taxes that I learned from the seminar:
1. Wait till May 30th or 31st to mail in your Notice of Appraisal (drop it off or get delivery confirmation). Worst thing you can do is receive your notice and mail it back in immediately. You will have more of a chance for success if you are the last dog in the fight (and hopefully the appraiser has denied enough people to make the budget for the year and you are not one of them!)
2. When filling out the form, do not give facts or put in what you think your property value is in Step 4. Fill in "Request Tax Payer Information Packet" and nothing else. When you do this, Travis County is required to send you a packet containing information on the homes they used to value your home. Also check in Step 3 that "Value is over market value." and "Value is unequal compared with other properties."
3. Consider hiring a professional to represent you. After listening to Jeff Blullard of Tax Remedy describe the convoluted grid system they used to value homes, it was apparent to me that this task is not a smart DIY. Travis County values your home 5 different ways. Do you know what a multiplier leveler is? Or how your "Grade" is established? The professionals at Tax Remedy do not get paid unless they lower your taxes, and the fee is going to be 1/3 of the amount that you save in taxes that you would have paid for that year. SO worth it in my opinion to have Tax Remedy represent you every year.
4. If you still want to give it a shot on your own... When you get back the Tax Payer Information Packet. Call Tax Remedy to enter that info in to their system and ask them to provide you with a summary info sheet that will help you make sense of the information. Jeff said he would do this for people that attended the Tax Rant (which you can "attend" on Youtube.com). And after you watch it, I think you will be agree with me and hire this wonderful gentleman to save you money on your taxes!
The Tax Rant had other great tips to share, yet these were the strong take aways for me. I hope they help you save money on your property taxes this year!
Laura Ivy Blessing blogs about the Austin and Cedar Park known and lesser known happenings with a splash of real estate savvy for today's buyers and sellers. Please call her today to consult and advise you through your next real estate transaction.