The April surprise for most property owners in North Texas this year was not their IRS bill it was the Annual Appraisal Notice. This property tax increase impacts all of us.

It is time for you to learn how to do the “New Texas Two-Step – File and Protest”


The Who

We need everyone in “Whoville” to protest.  That means you, your neighbor and everyone you know.  

The Why

Filing and protesting is not a win or lose proposition.  If you can dent the increase this year, then next year your tax burden is smaller.   If you sit out the file and protest it costs you money this year, next year, and forever.

The strategy is about chipping away at the appraised value every year. Property owners need to play the long game and not focus on winning entirely this year.3

The goal is to lower your value.

The What

What do I protest?  You are protesting the market value.  You cannot protest the appraised value.  

The value that you are protesting is the improvements on the property. The land value cannot protest the land value.

A key component of the appraised value is the condition of your property.  Each of the appraisal districts has a rating system for your property.  You can find your rating on your appraisal notice and on the appraisal district’s website.

This is from the Dallas County Appraisal District:

DESIRABILITY: This field contains the eight Desirability ratings that can be established for a residential improved property as determined by an appraiser. The Desirability rating is building class and neighborhood-specific, and a subjective opinion made by an appraiser. The Desirability rating allows an appraiser to recognize (through depreciation) a property’s economic life, environmental influences, and overall usefulness.

Their ratings are: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Average, Fair, Poor, Very Poor, Undesirable

Make sure your house fits your rating.

The How

A saying about real estate is location, location, location.  

To protest, you need pictures, pictures, pictures.

Focus on your property and not the others in the neighborhood.  The value is all about your house. The pictures you are sending are showing the deferred maintenance on the property; the property that is in disrepair and the pictures of the inside of your house that show it has not been updated. Still have the kitchen from 1970?  Show them the dated appliances, and the cracks in the wall and foundation. Your evidence needs to be persuasive.  Do not just send a couple of pictures.  Send 25 if you can.  Make your evidence conclusive.

FILE ONLINE at your County Appraisal Districts website.

Still need to know how? Watch this video by Dave Lieber, The Texas Watchdog

Take the step today to save your property tax dollars this year and for the years to come.


Michael Tannery CPA CDFA® AIF® ● CEO
Registered Principal | Tannery & Company
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 The opinions expressed in this material are for general informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional advice.  Individual circumstances do vary. Independent Financial Group (IFG) does not give tax advice. IFG Registered Representatives (RR) do not give tax advice while acting as a RR. These matters should be discussed with your tax professional. IRAs are not suitable for all investors. Distributions made prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to a federal income tax penalty. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. 

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