Protesting Your Property Taxes In Collin County

When you receive your appraisal notice...

Many of my clients receive their Notice of Appraised Value from the Collin County Appraisal District (CCAD) and they immediately want to protest their taxable amount. As a courtesy to my real estate clients, I will represent them for free when protesting their taxes. Before we storm the evil tax barrons we need to do our due diligence first.

You see, many times you are better off letting sleeping dogs lie. The worse mistake you can make is to protest your taxes and you inadvertently point out to the taxing authority that your taxable value is too low for the market. So how do we keep that from happening?

Its a very simple process for a real estate professional to do a quick market analysis for your home. This document will tell us within a margin of error exactly what your 'market value' is for the current real estate market. This value is one of four techniques we use to protest taxes.

So in conclusion, if your taxable value is lower than the market value, keep quite. If your taxable value is equal to the market value keep quite. If your taxable value is higher than the market value, fight!

Determining if you should protest...

If you believe the appraised amount is too high, your first step is an informal meeting with the county appraiser. Meetings are on a walk in basis. There office is located at appraisal office at 250 Eldorado Parkway in McKinney. Do not delay in dropping by, go now before it is too busy. The last day to do this is May 15, with no exceptions.

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.

Methods Of Residential Home Valuation

  • Comparative Market Analysis
  • Replacement Cost
  • Price Per Square Foot
  • Purchase Price vs. Taxable Value

Comparative Market Analysis

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a document typically produced by a REALTOR®. REALTORs typically have access to the multiple listing service data which shows all the sales data in your area. This document is part science and part art form. It contains recently sold homes, pending sales data and homes currently for sale similar to your.

This is the industry standard for showing the current value of a home.

Replacement Cost

When you are trying to establish the value of a home, calculating the replacement cost at current labor and material prices can be very effective. You will need to leverage home estimating software typically used by home builders. This is usually not an effective method when attempting to lower the appraised value, since it is typically more expensive to rebuild a home at current prices.

Price Per Square Foot

Establishing a valid price per square foot for the subject property is relatively straight forward. Finding comparable properties to use in your comparison is much more difficult. New homes will typically be much more expensive than your home. Existing homes will be more difficult to compare against due to a variety of reasons. The strongest reason for to avoid this techniques is the inconsistent calculation of a square foot price.

Purchase Price vs. Taxable Value

This is quite possibly the simplest and most effective technique to use if you have closed on your home within a year or so. Texas is a non-disclosure state for real estate sales prices. The only entities that know your purchase price 

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.

I want to protest, now what...

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. 

You must file a written protest. The Collin County appraisal district has protest forms available, but you do not need to use a form. A notice of protest is sufficient if it identifies the owner, the property that is the subject of the protest and indicates that you are comparable with a decision made by the Collin County appraisal district. Protests are to be sent to the chief appraiser at the Central Appraisal District of Collin County.

What to do at your hearing...

I highly recommend you dress professionally, behave in a respectful manner and stick to facts. Introducing emotion or hyperbole is not effective. You can follow the following bullet points to ensure a great presentation:

  • Do not contact Appraisal Review Board members outside the hearing
  • Be on time and prepared for your hearing
  • Dress in business casual attire
  • Stick to the facts of your presentation
  • Present a simple and well organized protest based on clear evidence
  • Accept the panels decision with calm

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