By Andrea Lucia

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Mariya and Andrew Barnett are first time homeowners who bought their East Dallas home in August.

“I don’t think we had any idea what we were in for,” said Mariya.

After recent renovations, they expected the value to rise, but the county’s appraisal of the property value nearly doubled from $248,000 last year to $486,000 this year.

Their estimated property tax bill is now more than $11,000.

“Yea, it’s a lot of money,” said Andrew.

All over North Texas, homeowners are getting their appraisals in the mail.

“I saw like everybody posting about it within a couple days and freaking out about it,” said Mariya.

State senator Don Huffines says he’s hearing from angry constituents looking for help.

“We’ve seen double digit increases in – for the last three years. Over 20 percent increases in Dallas County, that’s how much we’re paying in property taxes,” said Huffines.

Huffines says his office will help residents filing protests with the county appraisal district, something he does every year.

“We make sure we protest all of our property – my house and my business, absolutely, every year. It’s the best tool we have in the toolbox,” said Huffines.

The Barnetts say they’re hiring a business to protest for them.

“I actually just reached out to the company today,” said Mariya.

Companies offering the service generally don’t charge unless they succeed in decreasing your appraised value.

Don Huffines is planning a Facebook Live Town Hall for Wednesday on property tax issues.

If you do plan to protest, though, keep in mind that the deadline in most counties has moved up this year to May 15.