Friday marks deadline to protest property values in Harris County

May 30, 2013 3:54:10 PM PDT
A deadline is quickly approaching for homeowners who aren't happy with their property tax appraisals. Friday is the last day to protest your property taxes, and a few simple steps could save you a whole lot of money.

The appraisals are based on what the county thinks your home is worth on the first of January. If you disagree, you're running out of time to let them know.

Nearly six in every 10 pieces of property in Harris County is worth more than it was a year ago. But maybe you think your piece of the pie shouldn't be as big. And you can fight it.

"I certainly encourage them, if they think we have made a mistake, to file a protest," Harris County's chief appraiser Jim Robinson said.

You can do it online, in the mail, or you can protest in person at the appraisal district headquarters.

West University resident Les Albin says this isn't the first time he'll protest his land's value.

"Last year actually went pretty smoothly. Years past, I think it was one of those things that I think a lot of people would have objections to," Albin said.

Ronnie Goings is fighting his, too, on several of his 10 properties.

"Values went up for about four or five years straight, and the tax rates never went down," Goings said.

Two million pieces of property in Harris County are worth an estimated $386 billion. If you want to protest your part of that, there's no downside. But you do have to be prepared.

"Since we can make a mistake, they need to come in with specific things about their property -- if it needs a new roof -- bring an estimate from somebody. If they've gotten a recent appraisal, bring that," Robinson said.

If you make a protest online, it has to be filed before midnight. If you mail it in, it needs to be postmarked before midnight. If you want to do it in person, you have until 5pm to do file at the Harris County Appraisal District's headquarters, 13013 Northwest Freeway.

Find Tom on Facebook at TomAbrahams or on Twitter at @tomabrahams

Find Tom on Facebook at TomAbrahams or on Twitter at @tomabrahams


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