Wednesday is deadline to protest property tax appraisals in Lubbock County

Though the area real estate market has remained relatively flat, many Lubbock County property owners saw an increase in their property values when they received their tax appraisals from the Lubbock Central Appraisal District in April. Property owners have through Wednesday to protest those valuations in an effort to lower property taxes for the next year.

Property owners can file a protest on their valuations online, by email or mail, or in-person — and there’s no reason not to, according to one property tax consultant.

The Lubbock Central Appraisal District began mailing notices of appraised values for real property in April.

“Protesting is the property owner’s right to establish the fair market value each year. The (appraisal district) is doing hundreds of thousands of appraisals each year, and they only have so many resources,” Charles Denson, a partner at Gill, Denson & Company, told the Avalanche-Journal. “When they’re doing that, there’s going to be error because there’s so much at once. So as a property owner, it’s your right, and the way I look at it, your obligation to challenge that and make sure that you’re not over-appraised.”

“There’s no downside,” Denson said. “Your value cannot increase, so it’s risk-free.”

Denson said home appraisals in Lubbock are up this year.

“We are seeing increases in values across the sample we have reviewed,” he previously told the A-J. “This is surprising given the real estate market has generally flattened or declined in many areas.”

He noted that when markets decline but tax valuations remain the same, it amounts to a “hidden tax increase” for property owners.

Charles Denson

“If your value remains the same, but the real estate market’s going down, that’s a tax increase,” Denson said. “As you see these declines, it becomes the most important time to protest and to look at your tax bill, because they’re not going to capture the full decline, or the full leveling off.”

Representatives from LCAD were not immediately available for comment.

According to the appraisal district’s website, property owners can file a formal protest online at www.lubbockcad.org by locating the property in question and entering the ID found on the mailed notice. Protestors can also mail their forms to P.O. Box 10542, Lubbock, TX 79408; email them to [email protected]; or drop them off in person at 2109 Ave. Q in Lubbock.

Denson said property owners can choose to hire a firm to handle the protest for them, or initiate the process themselves. Homeowners will need to submit evidence showing why they feel LCAD’s appraisal is inaccurate, which could include valuations or sale prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood, current building costs for similar new homes or major building maintenance issues.

The deadline to file a protest is Wednesday, May 15.

“There’s really no extension, so you have to file a protest or hire a firm to file it for you before May 15, or 30 days from your notice,” Denson said.

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