According to Tiffany Hamil, Tarrant County residents have longer than they think to protest

“It has been common practice in Tarrant and all of the surrounding counties for YEARS that the District will send out their notice of appraised value on May 1st,” says property tax consultant Tiffany Hamil. “Tarrant County has been known to even send their notices out past May 1st, but to my knowledge they have never sent their notices out PRIOR to May 1st … until THIS YEAR.

Some Tarrant County residents may have already received their notices, which were mailed at the beginning of this month. If your valuation is lower or the same, you won’t get a notice at all, Hamil says. Still, you should check your Tarrant County appraisal online with the Tarrant Appraisal District.

“Your notice is going to say that your protest deadline is April 30th, but the law allows a property owner to protest up until May 31st,” Hamil notes.

According to her, the Property Tax Code says: 

Notwithstanding Subsection (a)(1), an owner of property described by that subsection who files a notice of protest after the deadline prescribed by that subsection but before the appraisal review board approves the appraisal records is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest if the property owner files the
notice before June 1.

Tarrant County property owners who wish to protest their appraisal values should do so before the April 30 deadline, Hamil says. However, if you miss the deadline, you still have options. 

Find out more about Tiffany Hamil at DFW Tax Advisor’s website.

by Tiffany Hamil

Each year in Texas, January 31 brings death to savings and escrow accounts to anyone who owns property in the Lone Star state. It is on this day that property taxes in Texas are due. We may feel the pain now, but the time to fight is actually this May. To help you plan, check out the 2012 Property Tax Calendar below to further understand important dates in Texas Real Estate:

January 31st Property Taxes are due for the 2011 tax year.

May 1st The District notifies the property owner of the property’s Proposed Value. The Proposed Value is the value that the District thinks the home is worth as of January 1, 2012. This means that the District used sales primarily from January-December of 2011 in its determination of value. Notice the delay in valuation.

Extra Caveat: the District is NOT required to notify you via mail if the Proposed Value of your home is unchanged or reduced. This does NOT mean that you still shouldn’t protest this value. To check out your value online, go to your local Appraisal District’s website. In Google, search “(your county) Appraisal District). You should then find the official website for your Appraisal District. You can then search by owners name or address and find the Proposed Value.

May 31st: In most counties, May 31st is the deadline to file a protest. The law actually says that the property owner has 30 days from the date of notification of the Proposed Value to protest. Thus, if your county doesn’t notify you until May 7th of your Proposed Value, your deadline to protest is extended beyond May 31st. In the DFW area, Denton is notorious for having a deadline that extends beyond May 31st. Remember, even if the District didn’t notify you via mail, the deadline is still the same. You must stay on top of this issue.

June & July: Hearing dates are scheduled and will occur with the Appraisal Review Boards.

July 20: Certification date. On this date, the ARB must certify the appraisal records, but may not do so if more than 5 percent of total appraised value remains under protest. What does this mean to you? It means that most ARB hearings will be completed prior to this date, and it means that the taxing units have this number available to them when establishing the tax rate.

Sept 29: Last day for taxing units to adopt 2012 tax rates. Ever wonder why even if your appraised value is unchanged, you pay more in taxes? It’s because the taxing units have recognized the shortfall in the appraised values and have correspondingly increased the tax rates. Seems a little unfair, huh?

Oct 1: Tax Bills are mailed for the amount due January 31, 2012.

Jan 31, 2013: Taxes are due from the 2012 Tax Year.

Moral of the Story: Don’t miss your opportunity to protest this upcoming May. If you would like to be emailed a reminder, please send me your name and property address to http://www.dfwtaxadvisor.com, and I will add you to our May Reminder List.

Tiffany L. Hamil is a Dallas tax attorney and consultant. She is an advertiser on this blog, and also someone we have used and rely on for property tax advice. Get your property tax questions ready, because once again, The Tax Doctor, Tiffany Hamil, will be in!