by Peter Stern
At least for the past 7 years many homeowners have been over-appraised and therefore overtaxed by local districts.
Homeowners do NOT have to accept the [first] proposed value increase.
The best thing to do first [once you received your proposed appraisal] is to phone and/or meet with your district’s appraiser to discuss the proposed increase. You are legally entitled to ask for the 3 comparables used by the appraiser when computing the appraisal. When meeting with the appraiser be sure to bring to the meeting ANY documents, photos, etc., to show why your home/property is NOT valued at the proposed increase.
If you can’t work things out to your satisfaction, you have the right to file a formal protest with the ARB. Be aware that you must file the formal protest WITHIN 2 WEEKS OF RECEIVING YOUR PROPOSED APPRAISAL INCREASE STATEMENT.
Along with the district’s statement mailed out each year is a copy of your rights and the steps you need to take to work out an agreement or to file a formal protest with the ARB.
Lastly, and very importantly, speak to your district office without anger or emotions. Provide ONLY the facts, documentation, photos, and at least one good reason why your property value should be less than the one proposed. Most of the time you will receive a positive outcome.
Of course, the last option is to hire a reputable attorney, with successful experience in your district, to represent you before the ARB.
There is still one more option available to you after the ARB hearing. You may file a case in county court. Do NOT do this without an attorney.
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