PROPERTY TAX PROTEST FAQ

 

Will my property value increase again 2021?

  • I fear that tax values are going to skyrocket this year. 
  • I recorded a video on my blog to share what you need to know.

Will you protest for me this year?

  • Go to our new website, freetaxprotest.com, to register, check your status, upload evidence, and track the progress of your protest. 
  • Chandler cannot guarantee any level of success. His only payoff is your satisfaction. 

 

Why can’t I find my property on your protest list?

  1. Chandler will only protest for property in Tarrant County. 
  2. Chandler cannot protest for property that is confidential or contains split accounts. 
  3. If the deed changed for any reason, including but not limited to marriage, divorce, refinance, or death, TAD likely reset the account. Please sign up again for Chandler’s protest service at freetaxprotest.com

 

How do I protest on my own?

  • Chandler shows you how to protest on your own with videos. Watch the basics

  • You can find more information on Chandler’s YouTube channel

  • Please do not protest on your own online if you want Chandler to protest for you. This could cause errors in your protest.

  • TAD will allow in-person and remote protests for 2021

     

How do I cancel Chandler Crouch’s service?

  • If you signed up but changed your mind about using Chandler’s free protest service, you must cancel by May 14, 2021
  • Log into your account on our new website, freetaxprotest.com
  • Do NOT email Chandler to cancel your protest. 

When will I receive my blue value notice?

  • The appraisal district will send value notices only if a property's value increases by more than $1,000.
  • The appraisal district will send the blue value notice to your property tax agent. You may view your value notice and other important documents on your TAD account or when you sign into Chandler’s  new website, freetaxprotest.com
  • Unfortunately, you will need to revoke Chandler as your protest agent if you want your value notice to be mailed directly to your home. 

 

How do I interpret my value notice? 

  • Chandler explains your value notice in this video.
  • The protest deadline is 30 days from when the value notice was mailed. 
  • The top left of the grid shows the previous year’s Market Value and Appraised Value. Directly below is the previous year’s taxable value, which was calculated with your exemptions, for each taxing entity. 
  • The top middle of the grid shows the proposed Market Value and proposed Appraised Value for the current tax year. 
  • The top right of the grid shows the current year’s proposed taxes, which is totally misleading because it’s based on the previous year’s tax rates. Tax rates are adjusted every year by each taxing entity.  
  • The bottom of the grid shows your exemptions applied or canceled. It also shows the value used to calculate your Appraised Value. 
  • This TAD video also explains how to interpret your value notice. 

 

What is the difference between “Market Value” and “Appraised Value?”

  • This can be pretty confusing, but the explanation is simple. Chandler explains it all in this video.  
  • Market Value: This is the value the appraisal district concluded was the value of your home as of Jan. 1 in the current tax year. Since this is just an opinion, this is the value you are allowed to protest. It is the only value you are allowed to protest each year. 
  • Appraised Value (homestead capped value): This value has nothing to do with an appraisal. It is calculated using the Market Value and your exemptions. You cannot protest this value because it already includes your tax breaks.
    • The government provides protection to certain homeowners by limiting how much your Appraised Value can increase each year. If the property is your primary residence and you file a homestead exemption, your Appraised Value cannot go up by more than 10 percent year to year, no matter how much the Market Value increases.

How does TAD determine the Market Value?

  • The appraisal district uses a mass appraisal analysis to create a statistical bell curve of values. This video explains.
  • It compares homes in your neighborhood based on comparable sales and several other variables, such as square footage, a pool, lot size, etc. 
  • The values are adjusted to reflect current market trends. The value of the home is also separate from the value of the land when making adjustments. 

 

How to File a Protest Without Your Blue Value Notice

 

How does an exemption help me?

  • An exemption removes part of the value of your property from taxation and lowers your taxes. 
  • Tax Code Section 11.13(b) requires school districts to offer a $25,000 exemption on residence homesteads. 
  • Tax Code Section 11.13(n) allows any taxing unit the option to decide locally to offer a separate residence homestead exemption of up to 20 percent of a property's appraised value. 
  • Check here for the additional exemptions offered locally.
  • Chandler explains the homestead exemption in this video.

 

What is the homestead exemption cap?

  • Texas Property Tax Code Sec 23.23 limits increases of the total assessed value, also called the Appraised Value, to 10 percent from year to year if the property is under homestead exemption. This 10 percent increase excludes any improvements added by the property owner. This section does not limit Market Value increases. Chandler explains it all in this video.

 

What is the 65 and over exemption?

  • Homeowners will qualify immediately during the current tax year in which they reach age 65. 
  • Texas law requires school districts to offer an additional $10,000 residence homestead exemption to persons age 65 or older. 
  • Other taxing entities may offer additional benefits, such as a cap or freeze on the amount paid. 
  • Check here for the exemptions offered locally
  • If it says “yes” in the column labeled “Ceil,” the tax amount is frozen in the year you qualify for the exemption. 

 

How do I submit evidence for my protest?

  • Please upload evidence for your protest by logging into your account at freetaxprotest.com. Do not email your evidence to Chandler Crouch. Evidence the appraisal district will accept includes:
  • Professional repair estimates
  • Photos of damage
  • Professional appraisal
  • Refinance appraisal
  • Closing documents

 

Will protesting hurt my property value?

  • There are no consequences for protesting. Watch this video. The Market Value cannot increase once the appraisal district proposes the value at the start of each tax season. You are encouraged to protest every year, even if you are 65 and over, because it’s the only way to verify whether your proposed Market Value is correct.  

 

Should I protest if my tax value went down?

  • Yes, you are encouraged to protest every year, even if you are 65 and over, because it’s the only way to verify whether your proposed Market Value is correct.  

 

When will my results be confirmed?

  • Chandler works with the hearing schedule determined by TAD. He cannot predict when your results will be available. Please view your protest results by logging into your account at freetaxprotest.com. Chandler cannot guarantee any level of success. His only payoff is your satisfaction. 

 

What do I send to my mortgage company?

  • The appraisal district automatically reports the results to the tax assessor, which sends the tax bill to your mortgage company. 
  • The bill is paid with funds you paid monthly into your escrow account. If your escrow account is short, your lender will ask you to make up the difference. 
  • You may pay in one lump sum or spread the payments over 12-24 months. Talk with your mortgage company.  

How do I calculate my tax bill?

  • Two major components of your property tax calculation are exemptions and tax rates, which are each determined by your taxing units (school district, county, city, etc.).
  • Your tax bill is calculated using this formula: Appraised Value - Exemptions x Tax Rate = Tax Bill
  • If you want to calculate an estimate using last year's tax rates, you can use this calculator. I demonstrate how to do this staring at 5:48 in this video
  • You won't be able to truly calculate your new tax bill until this year's tax rates are set, which is usually after the protest. 
  • Track your taxing units with Tarrant County’s new website, tarranttaxinfo.com, to find out about public hearings, exemptions, or even leave comments for officials. 

What is a tax deferral?

 

  • The tax deferral does NOT change the appraised value or tax bill.  
  • A tax deferral is a request to defer, or put off, paying your taxes. 
  • A 5% interest is charged on the unpaid taxes.  
  • You may still pay your taxes when a tax deferral is in place if you prefer, but if you are unable to pay taxes, the 5% interest more beneficial than the late penalties that can be imposed.

How do I contact TAD?

 

How do I contact Chandler Crouch?

 

Did your protest raise my taxable value?

  • No, your taxable value is called the Appraised Value.

 

Why did my tax bill go up when I got a reduction on my property value?

  • If you have a homestead exemption, your Appraised Value can still go up by 10 percent year to year, no matter how much your protest was able to reduce the Market Value

 

Why didn’t you protest the Appraised Value?

  • You CANNOT protest the Appraised Value because it already includes your tax breaks.
  • The Appraised Value has nothing to do with an appraisal. It is calculated using the current Market Value and your exemptions
  • The government provides protection to certain homeowners by limiting how much your Appraised Value can increase each year. If the property is your primary residence and you file a homestead exemption, your Appraised Value cannot go up by more than 10 percent year to year, no matter how much the Market Value increases.

 

Will the appraisal district raise my property value if I make any updates to my property?

  • The appraisal district will track the permits pulled for major improvements to your property, such as adding a pool, a new structure. They will not track cosmetic improvements, such as fencing, flooring, countertops, etc. 

 

How much do I owe you for my protest?

  • Our tax protest service is something we offer for FREE to serve our community. We have the experience to help you navigate the complicated property tax system. 

 

Why do you offer this protest service for free?

  • A lot of people ask “What’s the catch?” There really is no catch. I am leading a movement to help reform Texas’ broken property tax system. When I started this free service in 2017, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But my eyes have been opened. The problem is much bigger than anyone realizes. I get calls into my office on a daily basis because so people are getting taxed out of their homes. I have done a lot to try to end this problem, not only with protesting for people, but with officials on the state and local levels.
    • Our amazing clients make this protest service possible by:
      • Hiring our expert team at Chandler Crouch Realtors to buy or sell a home. Check out our 5-star reviews on Google, Zillow, Facebook, Yelp, etc.
      • Choosing Chandler Crouch Insurance for your home, auto, and bundle discounts. We have a team of expert insurance agents that shop A-rated insurance carriers and get them to compete for you. Just fill out this form for a free quote.
      • Signing up for Energy Ogre through us to reduce your utility bills. By using our link the company will contribute $2 to help fund our free tax protest service.

How can I reduce my housing expenses?

  1. Reduce your utility cost: This company is saving Chandler over $250/mo on average (and it only costs $10/mo!!!). It’s borderline magical. We wanted to offer the same service to you, so we partnered with them. Use this link to sign up, and you get the exact same service paying the exact same as you would if you went directly to them. The only difference is by using our link they agree to contribute $2 to help fund our free tax protest service for every person that signs up.
  2. Ask us for a free insurance quote. Your monthly house payment includes taxes, insurance, principle, and mortgage interest. If your payment has increased, there’s a good chance your insurance rate increased. Many people are significantly overpaying. We have expert insurance agents on staff that shop A-rated insurance carriers to compete for the best quote for free. We save some clients a ton of money. Just complete this free quote request form and we’ll be happy to get you a free quote.
  3. Ask your mortgage company to spread out your escrow shortage over 24 months. If you have a mortgage and your monthly payment has increased in the past year or so, it is likely due to an escrow shortage because your taxes and/or insurance have gone up. Your mortgage company likely uses a 12-month payment plan by default to pay off your escrow shortage. To help lower your payment just call your mortgage company and simply ask them if you can pay out the escrow shortage over 2-3 years. Most of the time they just say yes without any issue or push back. A 10-minute phone call could drop your payment by hundreds.

 

What else is Chandler doing to help fix the broken property tax system?

  • State Level
    People don't realize that their biggest enemy isn't the county appraisal district, it’s the state property tax code itself. And, we have begun to wage war on it! 
  1. In 2019, I worked with state Rep. Matt Krause to write pieces of the major property tax reform bill that was signed into law. You can read the actual bill here, and watch Chandler testify in Austin here
  2. These are just a few of the changes to the tax code as a result of our collaboration with Rep. Krause:
  • It's now illegal for appraisal district employees to work for entities that receive property tax revenue
  • Appraisal districts will now keep a list of licensed professionals willing to help homeowners for free with property tax issues
  • Owners will be able to request tax notices via email
  • If your exemption is getting canceled, TAD must now send out additional notices
  • Appraisal districts are now required to send additional notices if you qualify for a homestead exemption

 

Local Level

  • The Tarrant Appraisal District staff and even high ranking leadership at TAD have treated me well and offered a great deal of support over the years, which I am very grateful for. However, just like every organization, there is always room for improvement. 
  1. Chandler played an instrumental role in the TAD board of directors election 
  2. In my experience, it's futile to expect improvement if the same exact leaders continue to make the same kind of decisions. I discovered this is exactly what has been happening at TAD. 
  • The TAD board of directors remained virtually unchanged for years. After investigating, I found that the election process for the board of directors lacks transparency and has many issues. 
  • Chandler exposed a flawed voting system, which he thinks a lot of it should be illegal. 
  • Thanks to your involvement, there is a completely new 5-member board of directors for the Tarrant Appraisal District. You can read more about what we did to influence the election here.
  • Get additional updates on this and other news by liking our Facebook page & subscribing to our Youtube channel