"Note: Collin County government posts this article on behalf of the Collin Appraisal Review Board (CARB) for the benefit of property owners here, who will be receiving appraisal notices from the Central Appraisal District (CAD) in mid-April, and may consider informal or formal protests of those appraisals. To be clear, county government does not determine property appraisals, and the CARB and CAD are not departments of county government."
I just received my notice of re-appraisal – now what?
First, read it carefully and completely. Know that the appraised value may not be the amount upon which you will be taxed if you have a homestead exemption, are over 65, are disabled, or property qualifies for an agricultural exemption.
Second, if you believe the appraised amount is too high, go to the appraisal office at 250 Eldorado Parkway in McKinney, and have an informal meeting with your appraiser. You do not need an appointment; it is first come, first served – don't wait until May, go now before it is too busy. The last day to do this is May 15, and the doors close at 5 p.m.
But be prepared to present evidence that the appraised value is too high and/or that you are being appraised unequally when compared to the appraised values of your neighbors.
Remember that the date of appraisal is Jan. 1; what was the condition of your property on that date? What have similar properties in your neighborhood sold for around that date? Ask a realtor to prepare a Comparative Market Analysis for you.
Know that the cost per square foot does not take into consideration a number of other factors that affect the value of your property. Some of those factors are age, condition, location, quality of construction, size of your land, etc. Many property owners get relief through this process.
If you are not satisfied with the results of your informal meeting or if you did not have one, file your protest before May 15. Don't wait until the last minute, you may miss the deadline. Your appraisal notice tell you exactly how to file a protest. Check both boxes for (1) appraised or market value, and (2) unequal appraisal. There are other boxes to check if your protest is for other or additional reasons.
If you file a protest, you will receive a letter telling you the date and time of your hearing. Be prepared to present your evidence. All written and image evidence must be scanned in when you arrive for your hearing or at any time before you hearing. Images on phones, tablets, etc., cannot be introduced into evidence by simply showing them on the electronic device; they must be on a thumb drive or printed out and scanned.
At your hearing be prepared to present your evidence in a short, organized fashion. Concentrate on your main point or points. If you have damage to your property, bring estimates to repair or replace the damage. The same is true for your informal meeting with your appraiser.
This article is just an overview of the process. You should read all of the material you receive with you appraisal notice and, if you file a protest, all of the material you receive with your notice of hearing.
For more information on the Collin Appraisal Review board, please visit their website.
-- Robert Philo, Chairman, Collin Appraisal Review Board