Property Tax Protest Anyone?

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Homeowners throughout the country have seen their property values skyrocket over the past decade. Higher property values go hand-in-hand with higher property tax bills.  Although it may be top of mind to appeal (fight) property valuation(s) for tax purposes in a rising market, it is just as important to do so when the market swings the other way.  

With the news focused on the historic rise of property values in recent years, many homeowners may not have noticed a correction in their particular area. One example comes from one of the largest cities in Texas. According to the Wall Street Journal, ‘home prices and apartment rents in Austin, Texas, have fallen more than anywhere else in the country’ (1).

For those that live in Texas, new laws were passed near the end of 2023 to provide additional relief to homeowners and other property owners. For residential homeowners, the homestead exemption on school district taxes has increased from $40,000 to $100,000. On top of the increased exemption amount, the new law has ‘compressed school district tax rates by an additional $0.107 for the 2023-2024 tax year’ (3).

Not to be excluded from tax breaks anymore, ‘owners of commercial, mineral and residential properties — like rental homes and apartment buildings — that don’t receive a homestead exemption and are valued at less than $5 million now will have a 20% cap on their value growth each year for the next three years’ (2). To determine how your specific situation may be impacted, please consult your property tax professional.

Depending on the area you live in, your Astoria Strategic Wealth advisor may have resources to help you get started. Although it is possible to appeal your property tax valuations yourself, hiring a professional can save you time and potentially increase the amount of the reduction you may get.  Many work on a contingency basis meaning they they keep a percentage of what they save you – if the appraisal is not reduced, you don’t owe them anything.

Key Dates –  Texas

Some key dates to keep in mind in the state of Texas – if you do not live in Texas, feel free to reach out to your ASW advisor, as we can help you think through how this tax impacts your plan, and what steps you might want to take per your state’s timeline:

  • January 1st – Appraisal districts begin calculating the market value through various means including sending around written queries to property owners regarding recent sales in the county you live in. 

NOTE: You have NO obligation to respond to these queries in Texas – the State of Texas is a non-disclosure state for all real estate transactions including leases and sales. However, some districts have access to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data. You also DO NOT have an obligation to let appraisers into your home/property if they come in-person. 

  • April 1st – Property value notices to be released by the State of Texas for all properties, including the value of one’s home and the exemptions that apply.


  • April 15th – Business property returns are due (without extensions).


  • April 30th – Generally, the deadline to file an application for over 65 years old and/or disability exemption(s).


  • May 15th – Extended business property taxes are due and deadline for all “Notices of Protest” to be filed with one’s appraisal district.


  • June – Appraisal districts will send dates for an informal meeting and a formal hearing with the Appraisal Review Board (ARB).


  • January 31st – Paid in arrears, property taxes for the prior year are generally due by January 31st, but one does have the option to make monthly payments to lessen the financial strain.