NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Property appraisal notices have hit mailboxes across North Texas and in many neighborhoods values are up – way up. Now tens of thousands of homeowners are trying to bring their taxes down.

Each appraisal notice has two prices for your home: market value and appraised value. The market value is what the appraisal district thinks the property will sell for on the open market, while the appraised value takes into account any exemptions and the 10% statewide cap on annual increases.

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“You have to reduce the market value below the appraised value to start saving money on your taxes for that year,” explained Bobby Ola, who makes a living protesting taxes for clients. “We can’t argue that the market hasn’t gone up because those are just the facts. But the appraisal district gets it wrong… they appraise a lot of properties.”

Preparing For Your Property Tax Appraisal Protest Hearing

Most counties have three ways to protest. The easiest method is online: fill out a form, submit your evidence and wait for an answer.

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Want to meet face-to-face? Walk-ins are welcome. Most counties have appraisers on standby these days to meet with homeowners informally.

  • Tarrant’s CAD recently opened up its Express Cafe, so you can look up your account and get your questions answered
  • Denton’s CAD lets you sign up online the day before you come in to cut down on wait time
  • Dallas and Collin’s CADs have extended hours on several days to ease congestion

If none of these methods gets your closer to a tax cut, you can schedule a formal protest hearing. There you’ll get a chance to present your evidence to a three-person appraisal review board. “You have to have the numbers, you have to have statements, pictures, and you have to be prepared,” said Ola.

Wise County Collin County Parker County Tarrant County Dallas County Rockwall County Denton County Johnson County Ellis County Kaufman County

The deadline to file for a protest hearing is May 15.

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Use the map above to click on your county to learn more about your appraisal district and how to file for a protest.