How to protest a property tax increase in San Antonio
Because the state of Texas has no income taxes, the state needs to ensure they are getting tax money from other places. Due to this, the government looks to collect these taxes from property taxes, sales taxes and vehicle taxes. This explains why Texas has the 4th highest rate of any state. It has been argued that property taxes in San Antonio are rising almost three times faster than the median household income.
San Antonio follows the tax rate for Bexar County which is an average rate of 2.097%. Home values are rising in San Antonio as well which adds to this figure. Bexar County had an average 11 percent increase in home values last year. Rising home values are a double-edged sword for homeowners. It’s great to find out that your home has appreciated in value, but when it comes time to pay the tax man, rising home values can hurt your wallet.
It is understandable that many homeowners will feel the shock of property taxes at one point or another. Fortunately, homeowners who do not agree with their property tax statement can file a protest with the Bexar County Appraisal District. The process can be somewhat time consuming and confusing, which is why some homeowners decide to hire a third-party company to take care of the details for them.
How to appeal your property tax assessment in San Antonio
- Read your notice. Your property assessment is an estimate on the appraised value of your home at full market value on January 1st. If the Brexar County Appraisal District appraises your home at a higher amount than it was previously, you will be sent a notice in April or May.
- Check for errors. Pay attention to how your home is classified. Look closely at the listed lot size and home square footage. It is also good to check bedrooms, bathrooms, purchase price and upgrades for accuracy. If you believe there are inaccuracies, you will want to file an appraisal protest form, also known as Property Tax Form 50-132.
- Compare your home to similar homes. Try to find homes in your neighborhood that have a similar square footage and layout. Some people use real estate agents for this process, but there are also resources available online such as Zillow and Trulia. It is also a good idea to contact contractors and get estimates for any repairs or remodeling jobs that would be needed for your house to be comparable to similar homes. Print off any supporting documents you have and take pictures of the current condition of your home.
- Prepare for an informal review. The appraisal board will send you a notice letting you know the date and time of a meeting they have scheduled with the appraiser. You will want to be prepared for this meeting. The appraiser will expect that you have done your research and have come to the meeting with evidence. Most of the time, these informal meetings will lead to a conclusion or reduction in your tax assessment.
- Meet with the Appraisal Review Board. If the informal meeting does not conclude your case, you can be heard by the Appraisal Review Board. This is an independent group of citizens that can make changes to decisions made by the County Appraisal District. In some cases, this will be done by a scheduled hearing.
Keep in mind that if you plan to protest your property taxes in San Antonio, you will only have 30 days from when you receive your notice to file the protest. This means you must act quickly and follow up often with any business that may be helping you with the process. It is also important to remember that while protesting your property taxes is your right, you are dealing with professionals and they should be treated with courtesy. The best policy is to present the evidence in a non-confrontational manner and avoid accusations.