How to protest property tax in Travis County, TX

Property tax in Austin is high, and appraisal districts tend to put a high value on a house. So they are making people work for them!

How can we reduce appraisal value and thus reduce property tax?

  1. Search your property on Property Search, know your neighbors appraised values

  2. Before May 1st each year, the county will send you a mail with the property PIN on it.
    Here you have two choices,

    1. Ask protest companies to fight for you; the cost is 40-50% of reduced property tax. If I got $1000 off from property tax this year, I have to pay $500.
    2. Do it yourself (continue reading).
  3. File Protest

    1. Go to here, click E-File
    2. Register an account, and add a property; it may ask you for the property PIN.
    3. Click Protest on the left panel; select' Protest Property from the drop-down box on the right side.
    4. Fill in info, upload settlement doc, inspection report (if any), seller disclosure (10 year old roof), any doc you think can prove your house is not worth that much
    5. Take some pictures of your houses that need fixing or improvement, and upload them here
    6. Research your neighbors' appraised values whose property is marked as Certified (right top corner) on Property Search
  4. Informal Meeting

    1. After the e-file, you can schedule an informal meeting on the right side button
    2. They will call you, review the evidence, and see if they accept your proposal.
    3. If both cannot settle, reject and wait for the Formal Appraisal Meeting
  5. ARB hearings (Formal Meeting)

    1. Wait for an email from [email protected], with content like this
      A formal Appraisal Review Board (ARB) hearing has been scheduled for 2022-xx-xx 08:00 AM
    2. Go to (ARB)[], click Instructions are available for property owners that wish to take advantage of remote screen sharing during a telephone hearing.
    3. Note down the phone number from PDF, setup desk sharing if needed.
    4. Wait until that date, call the number 15 mins before the meeting starts, and enter your property ID.
    5. Wait for someone connected, follow instructions, and share your opinions on why you want such appraised value.

Above is what I went through; not an easy but a good experience. We have to have our voice heard, so gov make good use of tax, not waste it.