Alvin Lankford – Chief Appraiser of Williamson Central Appraisal District
When you’re analyzing the market value of your home on your appraisal notice, and you have made the decision to protest, you have evidence to show that the market value that you see on your notice is inaccurate, the deadline to protest is May 15th, or 30 days after the date we mail the notice. Most properties, about 99% of the properties will be mailed out this Friday March 31st. It’ll be 30 days or May 15th whichever is latest in that case so May 15th is your deadline.
There’s a few ways to protest. You can drop it off at our office. I do not recommend it because there will be lines. Don’t waste your time come by the office. There is the post office. You can actually mail the protest in. Again, a very slow process, it causes you time, or you can get online and protest on our website. Highly recommend it, It’s much more efficient for you and much more efficient for us. We can process those protests quicker. We can get you a scheduled hearing a lot quicker if you go through the online process. It is not intimidating at all. You look up your property and there will be a protest option when you look up your property, follow the prompts, and you’ll have a protest filed within no time.
What Is The Process To Protest?
One of the things I would like to point out is you will have several dollar amounts that are on the front of your notice. Again, look at the market value of your property. That is the one thing that you can protest on here as far as value is concerned. The other thing I would like to point out is that on your notice of protest, if you’re looking at filling it out, down here at the bottom we’re going to ask you what is the value of your home. What do you believe the value of your home should be. You can insert that there, but one of the things that will ask you is that you will need to provide evidence to show that your market value should be less than your assessed value in order to get a reduction in the amount of tax you pay. It’s an important point to make because most homes, if you you’ve been in a home for a while, are going to have a homestead cap on that property, which the assessed value, which that which is after that cap has been applied will actually be much less than what the full market value of your property will be. If you cannot show evidence to reduce your market value below your assessed value, it will do you no good to protest. It will not lower the taxes which usually is the reason people are there. They want to lower their assessed value in order to save money on their property tax bill.
To continue discussing the ability to protest on our website, or on paper, there are going to be multiple options to protest. The most common of which are market value protests. That’s what we were describing when you’re looking at the value that we’ve placed on your property, and you believe it should be something less, then you can protest market value. There’s another option that is called value is unequal compared with other properties. That second option is looking around your neighborhood at other properties that are like yours. You feel that they are valued less than yours. Then you might want to protest because you feel that you’re being over appraised compared to these other properties. Keep in mind though, what we’ll do is very similar to a market value protest. We’re going to pull up those other properties, we’re going to put them into a grid, and we’re going to adjust for differences. For instance, if you have a pool and they do not, then what we’re going to do is adjust the value of that other property up by the amount of your pool, which then should come very close to the value that we’ve placed on your property.
In Residential Properties it’s rare that you see a large adjustment utilizing what we call an equal and uniform protest, or my value is unequal compared with other properties, but it does happen, so you can take a look at that as an option. Online you have those two options or a third option, which is the combination of those two. You can look at market value and you believe your home is unequal. You have that option as well.
The other options that are on there are based on things such as exemptions and other attributes of your home you may feel are inaccurate. If your exemption, let’s say you filed for a homestead exemption and it’s not showing on your appraisal notice, that does not mean we haven’t received it. That just means it was not processed and time to put it on the appraisal notice. One of the things you can also do is when you go to our website you look up your property you can actually see the status of your exemption on our website. You can see that we have it in our hands, that it hasn’t been processed yet. so that will keep you from having to call up to our office, or file a protest just looking for your exemption. You should be able to see that status usually we’re able to process most exemptions within 30 to 60 days, so you may give it a little bit of time for us to go ahead and process that exemption and get it on the website, so just check back on the website and see if that exemption has been placed on your account.