Question about contesting property taxes

I have a property that was my former residence. I’ve asked about it on here a few times. It’s a “problem” property because it’s located in a small town and there are a ton of foreclosures there. I have it steadily rented to a couple.

My problem is taxes. It’s appraised a hair over 100k. I think if I had to sell it I’d be looking at $65-$70k just because of all the foreclosure activity there. Even then it might be a hard sale. There are really not even any comps to use. I contested last year, and they said they use a three year running average and had to use data from several other towns just to get three appraisals to justify where I’m at. This year the three year running average should be set at 2009-10-11, so I should be in better shape to contest. I intent to appeal their decision and am considering hiring a lawyer or appraiser to help my case.

Which is better? What’s the best strategy to use? Taxes are $2000/year so my budget for contesting this isn’t really high.

Hiring a lawyer is useless because the a property tax assessments is not a legal question. I’ve wasted money on these appeals before without using the proper documentation. An appeal to mercy has never worked for me. The only thing that can change that assessment is a tax assessment appraisal from a certified appraisalist. Not a bank appraisal. You need to get an appraisalist to write up a tax assessment appraisal report with different comps for the disputed years and how those comps are similar to your property to show the adjudicator that the appraisal the municipality or region hired someone to do missed important data that should have been used in your assessment.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are trying to save $600 per year in taxes? The appraisals will cost more than that.

Unrelated but something to ponder:
I have an acquaintance who has four identical buildings. Three buildings of the four were assessed lower than the 4th building. He contested that the fourth buildings assessment be lowered to match the other three. To make a long story short, instead of lowering the fourth buildings assessment the city raised the other three!!


You’re not wrong. My last appraisal cost $425. I was actually thinking that this wouldn’t require a “full” appraisal like when buying a house. I was hoping a guy could throw a few comps together and a cover sheet.

that’s MY $600/year. It’s 100% profit.

If they did that to me, I would appeal to a higher court/tribunal because that’s an outrageous abuse of due process. There are a few higher courts he could still appeal to and he should. I would never let the city get away with that.

I have successfully appealed my property taxes with a list of comparative sales from a real estate agent. Full-on appraisal was not required.

I agree with mcwagner. It is probably state dependant and we are both in Texas (I can’t figure out why people live in those other states with those problems). I protest my property tax value every year and use a service to do it. They take a percentage of what I save and nothing if they don’t save me anything.

Well my insurance guy pulled comps there for me. He said there was one similar house that wasn’t distressed in the last few years, and it was 84k. There were three similar properties in town in the 80’s, so I’m going to try to claim it’s worth 75k and see if I can’t use these comps to get 85k. That’s a few hundred a year.

I told him about the comps they used last year and he said it would be unethical for a profesional appraiser to try to use them. I’ll appeal the decision this year if they don’t give me 85k.