Will Texans get a property tax break amid COVID-19?

​​​​​​​Here is the big question all Texans have in mind; will I get a tax break in the midst of COVID-19? With COVID 19 affecting the real estate market will there be a break in property taxes in Texas? The sad truth is a BIG NO. Yes, you heard it right, it might sound bitter, but Texas property owners are likely not to see any tax break this year.

Why so?

Here are two main reasons, the first reason being, your property values were set by the appraisal districts on January 1st before the deadly virus reached the pandemic stage. The second reason is the written opinion issued by the Texas Attorney General – Ken Paxton, where he stated any economic damage caused by COVID 19 does not qualify for a tax exemption.

Texans, it’s time to plan!

If you are a property owner who is expecting to see a hike in the appraised value of your property, then it’s high time you plan. Here is a simple plan for you.

First, start off with the documentation. Collect information about comparable property sales, building expenses or modification, and pictures of deferred maintenance. It would be better to produce documents that show anything that negatively affects the value of your property. Without proper documents, it would be really difficult to protest the assessed value of your property.

COVID’s impact on the protest process

Property owners who had opted to protest their property taxes this year are stuck in the middle of the process. Here is an overview of how the protest process usually works:

CAD holds an informal hearing with the property owner. If the owner of the property agrees, the protest is resolved. Otherwise he or she moves on to the formal hearing where a panel of three people appointed by a local judge try to resolve the protest. If the property owner is still unhappy, he can file a case against the CAD.

But, COVID 19 has affected the entire process, informal hearings are now being done via phone or e-mail and most of them are delayed and postponed to the end of August or early September.

 Texans keep an eye on the legislative sessions

The next legislative session is likely to begin on the 21st of January 2021. State lawmakers are likely to discuss the economic recovery and property tax is likely to be a part of the discussion.  In 2021, Texans can expect to see the new tax cap which is 3.5% which will be replacing the old 8% tax cap. However, the new tax cap on an individual tax-on-a-property basis could be of no relief at all. Yes, you heard it right, though the new rule caps the total receipts the taxing entity brings in, it will not reduce the tax burden of an individual taxpayer.

To know more on property taxes and to get regular insights and updates visit my blog Protest For Your Taxes


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