Need to protest your property taxes? There's a service for that

Jeff Ehling Image
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Property taxes: Protest yourself or hire a pro?
The deadline to protest your property taxes is May 17. While you can protest your tax valuation yourself, you can also hire a company to do it for you.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The deadline to protest your property tax valuation is May 17. While you can do this yourself, you can also hire a company to do it for you.

But are you better off going at it alone?

We talked to a data science consultant who has looked at this issue in the past. He has some new numbers that may surprise you.

The Harris County Appraisal District does a pretty good job of providing homeowners the information needed to mount a successful protest.

Most of the information you'll need can be found on the agency's website to help determine if your home has a higher value than your neighbors.

RELATED: Deadline coming to apply for winter storm exemption that could save you money on property taxes

While the process can be simple, it does take time, and that is where property protest companies come in.

They can do it all for you for a fee.

But are they more successful?

Data science consultant Jeff Reichman with January Advisors crunched the latest numbers for us.

He took a look at Sharpstown and found 300 homeowners in that neighborhood used an agent to protest their property taxes recently. Around 600 homeowners did it themselves.

The results?

"The agents got an average reduction of about $8,000, but the owners got an average reduction of about $11,000, and those stats don't even account for the fact that 55% of the time, agents got no change at all. That number is just 25% for homeowners," said Reichman.

Remember, with HCAD's I-file and I-settle feature, you can protest the appraised value and get a result without ever having a face-to-face meeting.

SEE ALSO: Property tax protest deadline nearing and here's what you can do

If you are hiring an agent to save time, that makes sense. But remember, homeowners, on average, see bigger reductions in their tax bill.

Check out January Advisors blog for more info.

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