How To File a Property Tax Appeal in Houston

Reducing Property Taxes How To File a Property Tax Appeal in Houston

How To File a Property Tax Appeal in Houston Effortlessly

If you are a property owner in Houston, Texas, you may need some help paying your property taxes. Houston has one of the highest property tax rates in Harris County. Luckily, there are ways to reduce your property tax bills on your own.

DoNotPay will explain what constitutes Harris County property taxes and give you instructions on how to file a property tax appeal in Houston. 

Houston Property Taxes Explained

Before trying to reduce property taxes, you need to understand how the Houston property tax program works. 

Property taxes are the main source of revenue for local governments in Texas. The property tax for each Texas county is based on two factors:

  1. Appraisal value
  2. Current property tax rate

Each county’s appraisal district determines the market value of all taxable property on January 1st every year. All property from the county is appraised at that value, except for the capped homesteads. 

The property tax rate depends on the annual tax rate set by local government units. When the annual tax rate gets applied to the total appraised value of that district’s taxable property, the result is the amount needed to fund local governments.

Your property tax rate is calculated by multiplying your property’s taxable value by the current tax rate. 

The appraisal district needs to set the appraisal value. Taxing entities can adopt a property tax rate that can either increase, decrease, or keep property taxes the same. Your property taxes depend on your property’s assessed value and on the government body’s decision to grow the total.

Fortunately, there are various strategies you can apply to reduce your property taxes in Houston. 

How To Lower My Property Taxes in Houston

If Houston property taxes are too overwhelming, you can lower your property tax bills in several ways. Check out some of the most effective methods in the table below:

Method of Reducing Property Taxes Details

Reviewing tax bills

Tax bills are public information. Compare your tax bill to those of similar neighboring homes and look for inconsistencies

Checking the tax card

You can acquire your tax card at your local assessor’s office. Check for any miscalculations of your property taxes 

Avoiding home improvements

Adjustments to your home can enhance your property’s value, which will increase your property taxes

Filing a request for an exemption

It is well worth checking if you qualify for any of the property tax exemptions defined by Harris County, such as:

    • Homestead exemption
    • Quarter payment plan—citizens over 65 and disabled veterans can pay taxes in four equal installments 
    • Senior citizens/disabled veterans tax deferral—these two population categories can postpone paying property taxes on their homestead for as long as they own it
    • Active duty military deferral—active duty military personnel are exempt from paying taxes and can have interest and certain penalties waived
  • Disaster installment payment plan—individuals whose property was damaged as a result of a natural disaster can pay property taxes in four equal installments

Submitting a property tax appeal

You can submit an appeal to your county’s appraisal review board and ask for a reassessment of your property

How To File a Harris County Property Tax Appeal 

If you are dissatisfied with your property’s appraisal, you have a right to protest to the appraisal review board (ARB). After they receive your protest, ARB will inform you via mail of the date, time, place, and the subject matter of your formal hearing. Most districts will try to resolve the issue informally before the hearing takes place.

If you decide to go through with the hearing, the ARB will listen to your and the chief appraisal’s arguments regarding the original assessment of your property. Once ARB reaches a decision, it sends a written order via mail or email.

Depending on the type of your property, you can protest ARB’s decision in three ways:

  1. Appeal to the state district court
  2. Protest to an independent arbitrator
  3. Complain to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH)

Reduce Property Taxes in Houston With DoNotPay 

If collecting evidence and preparing for the appeal is too much for you, DoNotPay can help! We created a useful feature that will assist you in reducing your property taxes without hassle. 

If you give us essentials regarding you and your property, we will create a customized guide according to your specific needs. You can use our guide as an all-in-one source of information. 

We can help you request a property tax exemption or file a property tax appeal by:

  • Identifying your exemption category 
  • Presenting forms you need to complete
  • Indicating which documents you need to gather
  • Giving you instructions on how to file a request or an appeal

All you need to do is:

  1. Open DoNotPay in a web browser
  2. Choose the Property Tax feature
  3. Provide answers to a few questions about you and your property
  4. Wait for DoNotPay to generate a customized reduce-your-property-tax guide

If you are thinking about moving to a state with low property taxes, check out our learning center for more info! 

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