Houston Community News >> Houston Appraisal

5/30/2006 Houston-- Think Harris County has undervalued your house in its appraisal? Yeah, we bet you can't wait to correct that one — but you'd better do it soon, because tomorrow's the last day for homeowners to protest their property's appraised value.

"The property tax bill of an average Houston-area home has increased dramatically over the past eight years," Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt said. "A successful protest can save taxpayers hundreds of dollars a year just like a tax cut, and the entire process is free of charge."

You can protest your property appraisal from the Harris County Appraisal District's website, where there are guidelines and a protest form available for downloading. (You can also fill out and submit a protest form at the HCAD office, 13013 Northwest Freeway, but that is so, like, last year.) Keep in mind that you can't protest your appraisal just because you think your taxes are too high — the protests are designed to help people whose houses have been overvalued by the appraisal district, either based on comparable homes or market value.

One benefit of filing your protest online: Once your protest hearing is scheduled, you'll be able to look at evidence the appraisal district will use at the hearing. Kind of interesting, we guess, if you get into that kind of thing.