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Why is time running out for you to save money on your property taxes?

Home values are up this year but you can lower your assessment

HOUSTON — It may sound like a boring topic but protesting your property taxes can save you big bucks.

The Harris Central Appraisal District says that home values in the county jumped again this year, up 16 percent on average.

Experts blame the limited supply of homes and the high demand though that is not true in all areas of the county as the real estate market cools. That means it might be a smart move to protest your property taxes and the deadline to do that is fast approaching.

What is the maximum property tax increase in Texas?

Some basics first. By law in Texas, the appraised value of your primary residence cannot be raised more than 10 percent each year. The total market value of your home should be larger than the actual appraised value.

If you qualify for exemptions, like the homestead exemption, that will lower the value even more for tax purposes.

How do I protest my property taxes in Texas?

If you think your appraisal is too high, you can file an appeal, often called a protest.

First things first. Submit the protest form included in your appraisal notice or register online. 

Then you have to gather proof, things like recent home sales in your neighborhood or evidence that your home needs repairs. You can hire someone to do this for you. Often, they are paid a percentage of your savings.

When is the deadline to file property tax protest?

Just remember you have until May 15 or 30 days of receiving your appraisal notice.

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