By Jason Allen

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FORT WORTH (CBS11) – The cost of higher home values started appearing in mailboxes in Tarrant County this week.

Values are up almost across the board for 2017, according to the chief appraiser, sending a stream of owners into the Tarrant Appraisal District office to protest.

Homes, apartments, warehouses and office values are all increasing according to Jeff Law. Retail shopping centers were the only segment he said remain somewhat flat.

The increase comes a year after values were up in the county by 12 percent. It triggered more than 105,000 protests last year, a number Law wrote in an email that he expects to be repeated this year.

Tuesday, the district offices were full with homeowners like Sara Costellow fearing the values were wiping out the affordability of her home in Fort Worth.

“My actual taxes are going to go up $1,500 a year, which is more than $100 a month in payments,” she said.

Costellow said she failed in an attempt to protest her valuation last year, but was trying again.

Property tax consultant Jack Simmons said too often owners are not prepared for their protest.

“They show up with nothing,” he said. “And that’s just not going to work.”

Simmons’ office handled more than 800 residential protests last year. His advice was to know the property and neighborhood well, use any evidence and pictures to illustrate value, and present it succinctly.

Law encouraged homeowners to protest values early, before the May 31 deadline for anyone receiving a notice now.

Residential owners can also use an online option, that allows them to receive a settlement offer without going through the formal protest hearing process.

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