property taxProperty tax bills will be hitting mailboxes this month, and if you’re like many homeowners in Texas, you might experience a bit of sticker shock.

And you might even think about protesting that valuation to get a lower bill, but where do you start? After all, the deadline to file a protest is May 15 — which is not too far away.

Luckily, one local business has made it quite easy to gather the evidence and file a protest — PropertyTax.io.

We first told you about PropertyTax.io last year, but for the uninitiated, it’s a web-based product developed by Goodrich Realty Consulting, first as a tool for their tax consultants to use in the company’s property tax division. Last year, they released the tool to the general public, and it is really shaking up the way people appeal their property tax bills. (more…)

Protesting property taxes is global. Landowners in India take to streets.

Around the time property tax appraisals are mailed in April, I think every address in Texas gets a flurry of postcards from property tax protest firms.  They all seem to have some combination of “property” “tax” and “protest” in their names. Searching Google for “Texas property tax protest service” nets about 25 million results.  Clearly, Texas property owners are unhappy with their biggest state tax. By comparison, the next highest Texas tax is sales tax, but its protests net only about 773,000 results on Google. If the first few pages of results are any indication, sales tax protests are pretty much a business-level expense, not consumer.

Anyway, after a few years of big increases (remember, I’m up 53 percent in five years) I decided to put all those postcards in a drum and pick one (not really). My initial plan was to out the one I used, but in speaking with others who have performed the same experiment, my results are typical. So why point to one firm when my experience is far more widespread?

(more…)

Special contributor Lydia Blair with Mary Doggett, VP of National Investors Title Insurance

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Property taxes are the talk of the town right now. Municipalities all over the Metroplex are proposing tax rate increases on top of the frequent increase in property values. This year’s tax bill may be a double whammy for our already steep homeowner taxes. If you’re thinking of avoiding those taxes, here is your warning.

“Texas is pretty efficient with collections or foreclosing because our property taxes are high,” says Mary Doggett, VP of National Investors Title Insurance.

Despite our strong homestead rights in Texas, you can lose your home if you don’t pay your property taxes. Rest assured that the taxing authorities will collect their money one way or another. There is no escaping it.

(more…)

property taxLast month, we told you about a service that makes filing a property tax protest a ridiculously simple process. Tuesday, I road tested it myself, and it was even easier than I thought it would be.

If you’ve been putting off filing because you’re worried it won’t be worth it, or because the idea of starting the process sounds daunting, I wouldn’t put it off any longer. The deadline to file a protest is May 15 (May 18 if you’re in Denton County), which is — eek! — next Tuesday. (more…)

Dallas Central Appraisal District staff saw Stephen White a lot last year. The founder and president of Sentry Real Estate Advisors spent hours in the musty DCAD building researching property appraisals. His goal was to help clients fight their perpetually increasing property tax bills. He expects to be even busier this year.

“With the new tax laws that are out there, it is important that people keep focused,” White said.

Homeowners were previously allowed to deduct property taxes from their federal income taxes. Under the terms of the new tax code, that amount is now capped at $10,000, increasing the financial burden for those with large property tax bills.

“A lot of the ramifications have not been realized because people haven’t felt the pain yet,” he added.

White, a Park Cities-based agent for Allie Beth Allman and Associates, founded Sentry last year on the premise that he could generate business by providing a service that nobody else would offer for free.

(more…)