Central Texans are seeing astronomical increases in property taxes, and time is running out to protest.

Gina Pence with the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce forwarded us an email titled "CALL TO ACTION", which provides a summary of the dire situation and provides information on how to fight back.


 

Below is the email as we received it, with one line of text presented in bold for emphasis:

CALL TO ACTION

Bell, Lampasas and Coryell Counties report enormous increases in non-exempt residential and commercial property tax land valuations and property taxes for 2017. Tax Payers report tax increases up to 5,050% over 2016.

It is imperative that tax payers obtain 2017 Notice of Tax Appraisal for immediate reviews. 2017 Protests of Valuations must be mailed to the appropriate tax district not later than MAY 31, 2017. Failure to do so will result in your rights to protest you property values until May of 2018. According to the appraisal districts, it is the tax payers responsibility to obtain their tax statement. Tax Statements may be received by one of the following methods:

  1. You may receive a Tax Statement in the mail prior to May 31, 2017.
  2. You may visit your local Property Tax office or annex and request a copy.
  3. You may visit your local Property Tax website and obtain a copy if published.
  4. You may call your local Property Tax office or annex and request a copy by email or facsimile.

Protest forms are available for Bell County (Bellcad.org) and Coryell County (Coryellcad.org) but must be obtained in person for Lampasas County at 109 E. 5th St. in Lampasas. Following are some suggestions for protesting your tax valuation:

  1. Send your protest certified return receipt AND regular mail, keep a copy of the proof of certified mail AND a copy of the dispute.
  2. On the protest form, check ALL reasons you may want to protest. If you do not check a reason for protest, you cannot later bring that reason up at the hearing.
  3. Follow up on every future correspondence you receive from the tax office regarding that complaint. Responses should be in writing and mailed certified return receipt and first class mail. Keep a copy of all correspondence.
  4. If you agree to an informal conversation to discuss the dispute, PRESERVE your right to protest to the ARB by filing your notice of protest before the deadline.
  5. DO NOT AGREE to any amount less that you ask for in value. You can agree to compromise for a specified amount but do so while maintaining that you do not agree to the value. Once you agree to the value you cannot undo the damage if you decide you are unhappy with the value in the future. This may be very important if values go down in the future.

If you would like more information about protesting your taxes please send a request to: Protest2017taxes@yahoo.com

 


 

Our news partner, KWTX, spoke with property owners in Bell County affected by the recent appraisals.

Harker Heights property owner Raymond Hamden told KWTX his property's appraised value was $16,536 last year, but has now been appraised at $851,731 - an increase of 5,050%.

Property owner and commercial real estate agent Jim Wright said a property appraised at $238,000 last year has now been appraised at almost $1 million. He's hired a tax attorney to address the substantial increase.

We want to encourage every tax payer in Central Texas to protest these appraisals and stand up for their rights. Please forward this information to anyone you know who may be affected, and remember that protest forms must be postmarked May 31.