Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Texas Property Tax Arbitration- New Law Opens Up to UnEqual Valuation

Texas Property Tax Arbitration- New Law Opens Up to UnEqual Valuation

Property Tax Arbitration in Texas just got a little more interesting. In the past, someone could file for Property Tax Arbitration after their Appraisal Review Board hearing, when they weren't happy with the outcome for either $500 or Expedited at $250.

For more details on the main process of Arbitration, I encourage you to read the following two posts that I've written in the past:

Texas Property Tax Arbitration- I'm Now Doing Arbitrations Statewide
Texas Property Tax Arbitration- After the Appraisal Review Board Process

When those previous posts were written, and someone would go file for Arbitration, the home owner could only present sold data to fight their case. They could not bring up assessed values of other properties in their neighborhood. As of August 1, 2013, that has changed. A home owner can now argue with UnEqual Valuation.

What does this mean? It means that the home owner can now compare apples to apples with his neighbors' houses as to how they're assessed.  For example, a home owner is assessed at $500,000 but he has several neighbors assessed closer to $450,000. He can now argue the value difference without showing sold data.

Of course, the home owner needs to be prepared with factual information like the size of the property, the features of the property, balconies, covered patios, number of car garage, etc... A home owner must show how their property is like the other properties in order to be valued like the other properties.

Also, the home owner will need to show that the lower valuations are a representation of the entire area. For the same example, if the home owner is assessed at $500k and the vast majority of the neighborhood is also assessed at $500k, but there are a handful of properties that are assessed lower at the $450k, that's not a representative sample of the neighborhood and does not show an UnEqual Valuation. It just shows those other home owners got lucky with their assessments... though, with it brought to their attention, the CAD will likely increase your neighbors' values on the next round, lucky them.

Another change to the Texas Property Tax Arbitration laws is that there are no longer Expedited Arbitrations for $250. The fee has gone back to the original fee of $500 as too many home owners were taking advantage of the reduced $250, and it became "unfair" to the arbitrators spending their time handling these hearings.

By the way, not all Property Tax Arbitrators on the Comptroller's list can do UnEqual Valuation protests. Arbitrators must take a 4 hour course with an emphasis on UnEqual Valuation. I completed the course as soon as it was made available, so if you're anywhere in the state of Texas, please mark me on your form, and I'll give you an unbiased look at your information. I can't promise that I'll rule in your favor, but you'll know that I'll be fair with the information presented as I've been a Realtor for 13 years and have been doing Property Tax Arbitration since it started in 2005.

**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
Regent Property Group

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

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Copyright© 2013 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
*Texas Property Tax Arbitration- New Law Opens Up to UnEqual Valuation
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Comment balloon 2 commentsDonna Harris • August 30 2013 08:15AM


Wow - I sure could have used this in my last home, where the much more expensive homes around me were valued far lower than my newer home.     Great info.  

Posted by Sue Ellett, Marble Falls, & Austin, TX, Lake Travis, Lake LBJ (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate ~ Paragon Property Group) over 5 years ago

Sue, Keep it in mind for your old neighbors if you want to get in touch with them!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 5 years ago