Want to protest property tax amount?
By Elsa Maxey
If you want your property tax bill to have a chance at getting lowered, it will be important to file a protest. The deadline is May 31.
While it was reported that property values in Fort Bend went up by 10 percent, in some cases it was higher. The average overall was a 10 percent increase in Fort Bend County, and there may be some questioning the increase on their property, those who will have to prove they received an overvalued property tax assessment.
Glen Whitehead, Chief Appraiser, recently told the Star, “we’ll have 40 to 50,000 properties protested, and we’ll probably have 25,000 people come through our door.” He clarified that going to the taxing body is different than going to the appraisal district. The taxing body is a city, school district, municipal utility district and other, but not the appraisal district.
The taxing bodies set the tax rates and the appraisal district does the property valuations, said Whitehead. “We don’t do any tax collections, that’s Patsy Schulz’s job.” Schulz is the Tax Assessor Collector for Fort Bend County.
“I want you to leave here empowered,” State Rep. Ron Reynolds’ told participants at a tax information workshop he hosted in Missouri City. “We want everybody to pay their taxes, and not have to pay more than they should be paying,” he said. There are also exemptions that may be applicable, including the homestead and over 65 years of age exemption.
To protest the county appraisal district assessment on a property, filing may be online or in writing by using a protest form. The protest notice about the property in question must state the reason for dissatisfaction with the county appraisal district’s valuation.
There are more tips on the appraisal district’s recorded phone message (281-344-8623). Also, visiting the appraisal district’s website, fbcad.org, shows instructions for filing a protest, including the online protest, considered an informal hearing.
Some filing may do it with a little help from places that will represent them on a contingency-fee basis, which means they accept payment only after a successful outcome.
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