Friday, May 14, 2010

How to Protest Your Tax Valuations

Llano Central Appraisal District (LCAD) mailed over 12,000 notices of increased appraised values to property owners this week. If you are one of the 12,000, there is a process in place that allows you to PROTEST INCREASED VALUATIONS. In anticipation of the protests, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has prepared a video about protest procedures.

In light of our slow real estate market for 2009, a comparative market analysis (CMA) done by a real estate professional could help you verify the appreciation your county is claiming or help you make the case that county records are not thorough enough to support the increase. I highly recommend you CONTACT YOUR REALTOR for a CMA of the property & market in question.

As I explained in last week's blog, if you purchased a new property during 2009 and paid less than the county's appraised value, usually all they require to change the valuation is a copy of your closing statement (also known as a HUD statement) from the title company.

In order to preserve an objection to the district’s valuaton, a taxpayer must file a formal protest within 30 days of the date the appraisal notice was mailed, which will be June 4, 2010 in Llano County. Burnet County mailed its notices on April 30, so protests are due by June 1, 2010 for Burnet County property owners.

Texas state law requires notice sent to an owner whose value increased by more than $1,000 from tax year 2009 to tax year 2010. LCAD sent 19,000 notices of increased valuations last year. If you own property in Llano County and did not receive a notice of appraised value in the past week, then your property has not significantly increased in value, and your tax liability will not increase for 2010.

The county sets appraised value from two components — the value of the land and the value of any improvements on the land. State law requires appraisal districts to appraise property at 100% of its market value. However, after application of factors such as agriculture use, homestead caps, and exemptions such as homestead & over 65, many property owners pay ad valorem taxes on a reduced valuation.

Taxpayers who disagree with the appraised valuation of their property can contact the appraisal district for an informal review which is typically a discussion with a district appraiser who can provide information about comparable sales and how the district arrived at the value.
LLano County Website
Burnet County Website

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