PROPERTY TAXES AND THE COVID-19 VIRUS
By Chris Becker, President
C.C. Becker Property Tax Consulting L.L.C.
The last thing most people are thinking about during this unprecedented time of upheaval in the world is their property taxes. However, now more than ever is the time to pay close attention and be prepared to take action to minimize your taxes. With many people out of work and financial worries mounting, we are looking to cut costs everywhere we can. Property taxes are a large part of our expenditures every year and unless your mortgage holder is escrowing for your taxes you could have a substantial bill to pay this fall.
Unfortunately, the Chief Appraiser / tax assessor still has a job to do that is mandated by state law. In Texas, the assessment date is January first, so since the virus pandemic didn’t really have an impact until later in the spring, the values will be based on conditions as they were on January first. Notices of Appraised value will be hitting the mailboxes soon and from the information I am getting there will not be any relief from property taxes. Property values are expected to go up in many counties, which in turn could lead to higher taxes. Here are a few things you need to be aware of this tax season:
CC Becker Quick Tips :
• Taxable values could increase this year
• More protests are expected this year due to many factors
• Appraisal district offices are closed to the public so interaction with staff is probably going to be limited to telephone, internet, or email, which could clog up the system.
• It may be difficult to navigate the system since it could be overburdened due to the constraints the social distancing guidelines impose.
• Appraisal district staff will be innovating and doing the best they can, but it will be challenging
• Deadlines still apply, and normal deadlines, appeal dates, procedures, and guidelines could change
Because of all these factors, taxpayers are going to have to keep a close eye on any correspondence from the appraisal district, check the appraisal district web sites to keep up with any changes, and be patient yet diligent if you need to contact the appraisal district. If there is any good news in all of this it is that if you are not working, or working from home, you may have more time to deal with these issues. Many appraisal districts have already extended the deadlines for filing for exemptions and business personal property renditions, so be sure and check on these. Protest deadlines are generally 30 days after the date the appraisal notice was mailed so be sure and check the postmark on the envelope. Best advice at the end of the day is to just pay attention, check on dates and deadlines, and take action if necessary.
How can we help?
The property tax system can be overwhelming in the best of times. If you have a general question and I can help you with a quick phone call, please feel free to call me at (214) 803-2564, (click to call now) and I will help you at no charge. A property tax professional will be aware of what is going on in your area and can help you or even take that burden and stress off you altogether.
If you have more complicated issues and need professional assistance I can work with you and structure our service so that you pay a minimal upfront fee to cover costs and then a percentage of any tax savings we obtain for you, so that you only pay us if we save you money.
In the meantime, I hope you and your family remain safe and healthy.
We will beat this.