Excerpts from 04/10/17 Star-Telegram article by writer MAX B. BAKER
For those of you suffering sticker shock after getting your annual property appraisal notice, Tarrant County officials have this advice: Don’t panic.
Tarrant Appraisal District officials mailed out 555,000 property tax appraisals last week. Chief Appraiser Jeff Law estimates that taxable values on Tarrant County homes went up an average of 5 to 8 percent, which has already created some social media howling, especially since it follows a double-digit value jump in 2016.
First, this mailing is NOT A BILL, it is an estimate of the property tax amount you will owe! The actual tax rates for 2017 will be established in September. You can challenge your appraisal values, the deadline for filing a protest for most homeowners is May 31, 2017 but should be done within 30 days of receiving your appraisal in the mail. Chief Appraiser Jeff Law recommends that you first sit back, look at the data and consider what it means before deciding whether to pursue a protest.
Before making a decision to protest your home’s value, Law suggests first using the eAccess feature on TAD.org. By using the PIN number on the notice, homeowners can review comparable home sales in their area to see how TAD came up with their value. The real estate market has been hopping this year and homeowners may be surprised to learn what homes in their area are selling for. The Texas A&M Real Estate Center reports that a lack of inventory — less than a two-month supply of homes for sale, compared to the preferred five to seven months — is driving up prices.
While TAD is planning for another “heavy protest season,” Law expects 2017 “to be a better year than the past two.” Still, it’s never too early to get your place in line. The review board begins hearings April 17.
“Again, we encourage anyone that feels they need to protest their market value to do so early,” Law said.