HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott has announced that he will not put a stop to property tax appraisals in the state for this tax year, instead he is asking local authorities to consider reducing their rates.
There’s the option for homeowners to protest, and a new proposal for our most vulnerable populations that could ease the burden.
Many in our area may have already noticed that their property appraisals for 2020 have greatly increased, which means those owners have to fork over more money, while still dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The values are still going up even though the economic conditions are going down, and so you have this inflection that literally is putting pressure on people to whether or not they should protest," Paul Bettencourt, Texas State Senator of District 7 tells FOX 26. "Well, the obvious conclusion is they should.”
Senator Bettencourt is encouraging every property owner to do so. But the deadline to protest is fast approaching.
You have until May 15 in Harris County to do so online or by mail.
“They can get a lower value, and then because of the laws that were changed in the last legislative session, as values go up tax rates are supposed to come down, and that will grant some relief, too,” says Bettencourt.
You need to gather your research like comparable properties in your neighborhood, you can consult a realtor or a property attorney, but the important thing is to appeal by the deadline.
Glenn Goodrich, Founder of PropertyTax.io suggests “If you’re just kind of rushing and want to get it filed, you can file the protest without having your evidence, and then work on backfilling the evidence later on, but the bottom line just get the protest filed on time as a priority, and if you can get the evidence submitted at the same time.“
Meanwhile, Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia is proposing property tax relief for seniors age 65 and older, and for individuals with disabilities. The exemption would be for those whose homes are valued at $260,000 or less. This could potentially save those people $350 from their property tax bills.
He tells FOX 26 “Property taxes could make them have to decide between medicine and food and pay the property taxes, I don’t want to see that happen.”
CommissIoner Garcia is hoping that his tax proposal will pass on May 19 at the next CommissIoner’s Court Meeting.
As for those property appraisal protests, head to your countys appraisal district and fill out the protest online.