April 18, 2014

Tarrant residents still have plenty of time to protest property valuations

Tarrant County property owners, take note.

Tarrant County property owners, take note.

If you want to protest your most recent assessments from the Tarrant Appraisal District, you have until June 2 to do so.

One part of the appraisal notice form sent to property owners this month erroneously listed a May 1 deadline.

State statutes require that protests of property valuations be filed by May 31 or no later than 30 days after owners receive notice from the appraisal district, whichever is later, explained Jeff Law, TAD executive director and chief appraiser.

Because May 31 falls on a Saturday this year, property owners have until the following Monday to submit their objections in writing — by mail or online.

On the home page of TAD’s website, the deadline is prominently displayed, and Law points out that those wishing to file protests can find other information, such as sale prices of homes in the neighborhood, that would be used by the appraisal district in any protest hearing.

There are no plans to send out individual notices about the correct deadline to the 300,000 homeowners who received the incorrect information.

Law said that would cost about $150,000 in postage alone, since the district is required to mail correspondence first class.

He said he hopes the website and news media will get the message out.

The important thing is for residents to know they have the right to protest if they disagree with any of a number of findings from TAD, including the value of their property, whether the value was compared properly with property in the area, and if they failed to receive a proper exemption or agricultural appraisal.

Property owners protest about 70,000 valuations each year.

About 10,000 of those are withdrawn before there’s any action, Law said, and of the 60,000 remaining, about half receive a settlement after talking with district representatives.

Of the 25,000 to 35,000 left, about 55 percent of the valuations are sustained and 45 percent are lowered, Law said.

The district reports that Tarrant County total property values are up about 5 percent this year.

But no one wants that increase to come at the expense of owners whose property was incorrectly appraised.

For more information, go to www.tad.org.

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