Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Property Tax Assessments and Arbitration

Property Tax Assessments and Arbitration

Most people disagree with the Property Tax Assessment on their property when they're mailed out each year.  Many people don't know that there is something you can do about it.

The first step is to walk into your Appraisal Districts office and ask to speak with an appraiser. This does not usually require an appointment.

If you don't like what the appraiser has to say, the second step is to fill out a form to meet with the county's Arbitration Review Board.  Watch your deadlines because you usually only have 30 days to do both steps 1 and 2.

If you don't like what the ARB has to say, you can then file for Binding Arbitration.  To do this, all you have to do is go to the State of Texas' Comptroller's website and fill out the form

Along with the form, you will need to include a check for $500 as this step is not free.  However, if you file for arbitration and you WIN, you are refunded back $450 of your $500.  Yes, it costs the state $50 to process your claim and send paperwork to people like me who handle the arbitrations.  The other $450 goes to me for my time and effort to hear your case.

When you file for Arbitration, you must have all your ducks in a row.  You cannot present information at the hearing that you have not submitted in for evidence.  You are given two opportunities to submit evidence.  The first one is usually a couple of weeks after an arbitrator has been notified, and the second one is after you see what the Appraisal District is submitting, you can submit rebuttal information.

I will say it again, NO NEW EVIDENCE MAY BE PRESENTED AT THE TIME OF THE HEARING!  If you want to create a huge chart with numbers and such, create a smaller chart that can fit on a regular letter sized piece of paper.

Show up to the hearing prepared. Maybe present your information to a spouse beforehand so you are comfortable saying what you want to say. If I can't make sense of what you're trying to get across, that's not going to help you.

Take advantage of Texas' system!  We have Binding Arbitration for a reason.  If you're confident that your value is too high, $50 shouldn't be a problem (since you'll get the other $450 back).  I welcome any one reading this to choose me when you fill out the form.

Comment balloon 9 commentsDonna Harris • December 19 2008 11:19AM

Comments

Hi Donna... I am confused, are you an arbitrator or do you represent people in their arbitration procedings?

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 9 years ago

Steve, Arbitrators don't represent people.  We're unbiased, third parties.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 9 years ago

It is good to hear if the home owner wins that they get $450 back. In our market..

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) over 9 years ago

Roland, Yes, it's the cherry on top.  Don't bother us unless you really and truly believe you're correct because you'll lose $500, but if you happen to be right, we'll give you back $450, and the appraisal district then pays the $450 due.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 9 years ago

As a real estate licensee in Texas you can become an arbitrator by taking a 30 hour course, usually taught at local boards.  I have not seen one offered in Dallas since I moved here in June of 2007.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker over 9 years ago

Richard, Thank you for stopping by.  However, not "anyone" can become an arbitrator as they have not offered the class or allowed new arbitrators to sign up for about two years now.  The state is being selective, and they've decided they don't need nor want anymore arbitrators for the time being. They may not open it up for more for another couple of years.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 9 years ago

Donna,

Thanks for the update.  Now I know why I have not seen the course offered in a long time.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker over 9 years ago

Donna,

 

I never paid money to have my hearing in Dallas... The most important thing is to come prepared and to come prepared with that years data!  This was the mistake I made when arguing my home values... I was arguing about how the valued my home based on 2007 figures and I was using current info... This is where I messed up... So, anyone going in there for the first time be prepared with the prior years information...NOT current info.

 

Thanks for this great informative blog.

 

 

Posted by Nick Good, www.TheGoodHomeTeam.com (The Good Home Team with Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Nick, As I said, it only costs you money if you don't like what the Appraisal District has to say.  Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 9 years ago

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