What do you get when a pandemic hits a growing economy right after property values are assessed?

A record number of propery owners protesting their property taxes.

Terrible Timing for Property Owners

The unfortunate timing (not that there would ever be a good time for a pandemic) of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has left property owners startled at their increased property values.

State law dictates that property assessments are to be based on how the property stood on January 1st of the year in question. On January 1, 2020, nearly 75% of Harris County properties were assessed at a higher value than the previous year. At that point in the year, the area was continuing its decade-long population surge and economic growth pattern.

As late as January 14th, commercial real estate services company, Cushman & Wakefield were predicting a 17.2% increase in the population of Houston from 2020 through 2029. This prediction was based on the trends identified in the last ten years as Houston gained more than 1.2 Million new residents from 2010 to 2019. Few could have foreseen what would happen by mid-March.

As the Harris County Appraisal District’s property values hit mailboxes in April, commercial property owners already suffering from decreased revenues and difficulty collecting rent, were wide-eyed to see an increase in their property value.

47% More Property Tax Protests

Appealing your property valuation is an important way to ensure your property is assessed at a fair and equitable valuation – during a pandemic or not. This year, Harris County has had a 47% surge in property tax protests over the same time last year. That adds up to 97,534 more cases.

We’ve been watching the news for any changes, however, it does appear that protesting your property value to get it reduced, will be the best way to get tax relief. However, we do urge you to keep a close eye on your local taxing entities and get involved in the tax-rate setting process. If rates are reduced, there could be some relief at payment time.

While the Harris County appeal deadline was May 15th, there is still time to file in Dallas where the deadline was extended to June 15th. Our team of property tax consultants is ready to serve you. We can file your property tax protest and attend hearings on your behalf. Just fill out one form and we’ll take it from there. Or call today: 281-880-6500

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