Property taxes are real estate taxes calculated by local governments and paid by property owners. The property tax bill is the current value of the property (including land) multiplied by the tax rate. Texas State has no personal income, and therefore the reason why property taxes are very high. Homeowners should ensure property taxes are paid on time by consulting with property tax experts to avoid fines and penalties.
8 Ways to Lower Property Tax
Property taxes are one of the most significant expenses commercial property owners incur in Texas State. Most homeowners do not understand tax issues and relevant tax dates.
1. Understand Property Tax Calculations
Homeowners can save a few dollars if they understand how assessors arrive at a property tax bill. For example, if the property’s value is $300,000 and the tax rate is 2.5%, the tax bill will be $7,500. The District collector’s office sends this bill to the homeowner to pay.
2. Do not Build
Before an assessment, property owners should avoid making any property improvements, increasing property value. Avoid cosmetic alterations like a pool, revamping the kitchen, and other permanent fixtures.
3. Get the Property’s Tax Card
Tax cards have all the information on the property, for example, the size of the plot, precise dimensions of the rooms, number and types of fixtures, etc. The property owner can review this card, note any discrepancies, and immediately contact the assessor. The assessor can make corrections or conduct a re-evaluation, leading to a property tax reduction.
4. Research Neighboring Home’s Value
Homeowners can get information about neighborhood assessments in the offices. Make a comparison and report any discrepancies to the assessor. For example, the assessor evaluates your neighbor’s 3-bedroomed house at $400,000 and your 2-bedroomed house at $440,000; a mistake!
5. Participate in the Assessment
Please do not allow an assessor to walk alone on the property because they tend only to see the improvements. Homeowners can point out both the positive and negative features of the home and help the assessor provide a more accurate value estimate.
6. Get a Second Opinion
If the homeowner disagrees with the assessor’s evaluation, they can hire a private assessor. A low evaluation report from an independent appraiser means homeowners can benefit from reducing their tax bill. Remember, the reduction saves a few thousand dollars each year!
7. Apply for Property Tax Exemptions
Exemptions that a homeowner can apply for fall under these categories:
- People with certain disabilities
- Agriculture properties
- Homestead exemptions
Check with the taxing authority to see whether you qualify for homestead exemptions.
8. File a Property Tax Appeal
Homeowners should not panic if they have tried all other ways to lower tax bills without success. Provide details about the current condition of your property – even take photos. The Board will review this information and compare it to the most recent assessment tax bill and decide.
If the Board approves the appeal, it will lower the tax bill.
Should Homeowners Engage Property Tax Experts?
The process of property tax assessments and appeals is quite laborious and painstaking. Homeowners who fail to pay property taxes will lose their property to tax foreclosure. Let’s discuss lowering your property tax bill and save you the headache.