How to Protest Your Property Taxes (and Win)

The property tax protest deadlines are fast-approaching, so if you find yourself in need of help or don’t know where to start in protesting, look no further! Last week Republic Title sponsored a webinar with and on How to Protest Your Property Taxes (and Win) to help provide valuable information on protesting property tax appraisals. During this hourlong event, over 350 participants learned the basics of property tax appeals and had the opportunity to ask a property tax protest expert questions. If you missed the webinar, you can view the full recording below and read answers to the most-asked questions and biggest takeaways from the event.

Hosted by property tax expert Glenn Goodrich of and founder and publisher Candy Evans, the wide-ranging discussion focused mostly on how recent property tax reform will impact the property tax protest process.

Top Tips and Q&A from the Webinar:

Q: How do you request the 14-day evidence report?
A: You must provide the appraisal district written notice at least 14 days prior to your scheduled Appraisal Review Board hearing date. I recommend sending in a certified letter right after you file a protest. In the letter simply identify your property and state that you are requesting the evidence the appraisal district will use in the hearing.

Q: Does the circuit-breaker cap apply with investment properties?
A: Yes, the circuit-breaker applies to all non-homestead real estate valued at $5 million or less. This includes investment properties, second homes (i.e. lake houses), and all types of commercial properties such as retail strip centers, office buildings, and industrial facilities.  

Q: How does the appraisal district determine the value of recently purchased properties?
A: Texas is a non-disclosure state, which means an owner is not obligated to share their purchase price with the government. Many appraisals district do have access to sales information for internal purposes though through an arrangement with the MLS providers. Sometimes appraisal districts rely on their party data sources that provide them sales information. 

Q: What is the best way to get comps?
A: If you have not hired a property tax firm and want to handle the protest yourself, it’s probably best to contact a Realtor to provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA is just a starting place though, be sure and pick the properties you think are the most similar and account for differences such as pools, living size, interior finish out, lot (interior vs. creek or backing to traffic), garage spaces, etc.

Q: What evidence works best in a protest?
A: As an agent, most of my cases are won using the “Sales Comparison Approach” where we discuss the best recent sales and how they compare to my client’s property. There is more wiggle room in this argument than most people realize. Besides using sales, photos, and estimates of legitimate issues that have a serious impact on your value (over $10,000) works well. Avoid showing normal wear and tear issues … that backfires and hurts your case for a reduction. 

Q: Can land value be protested?
A: In a protest, you can only protest the “Total Market Value” which includes both the land value and improvement value. In a vast majority of cases, you cannot parse out land value. You must prove the total value is too high. It is possible to be high on the land, low on the improvement, but overall correct on the total value. Stick to recent sales, photos, and estimates (see my answer above).  

Q: How do you confirm that your homestead exemption is valid?
A: You can verify your homestead is still on record by checking the appraisal district’s website. There is a section that discusses exemptions, and your homestead exemption should be displayed there. Your homestead exemption should be valid as long as your current driver’s license address still matches your site’s address and you are not claiming a homestead exemption on another property. 

Source: Top Tips From Our Property Tax Protest Webinar Featuring Glenn Goodrich of –

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