Residents have 30 days from receipt of notice to protest their rating.
SMITH COUNTY, Texas — Kilgore’s Emiley Brown received her evaluation in the mail last week.
“I was shocked because it was $60,000 up from last year,” Brown said.
Her 2,600-square-foot home skyrocketed in value.
“It’s crazy,” Brown said. “I called and spoke to an appraiser in the Gregg County Appraisal District today and he told me he has 1,500 protests ahead of him to go through.”
Smith County’s appraisal office is also overwhelmed. Chief assessor Carol Dixon said her phone didn’t stop ringing.
“Owners say, ‘Hey, how did you guys, you know, come up with that value?'” Dixon said.
She also said a lot goes into your appraisal, including neighborhood sales, real estate trends, and any changes you’ve made to your home. You must be 100% market value in a market that is bursting at the seams.
“So obviously the sellers want to take advantage of that, right? everyone likes money And when everyone hears ‘houses cost 30, 40,000 more that you should sell,’ they sell,” Brown said.
There are a few options for homeowners. Within the next three weeks, homeowners with recent appraisals or documents showing why their home’s value should be lower than estimated should submit it to their appraisal district.
If there is nothing they can do for you, you can also complain to the adjudication panel. Complete the protest form on the back of your notice or online on your judging district’s website.
East Texans may also have been wondering how these estimates will affect their taxes.
Smith County tax collector Gary Barber said contact your assessment district now because once the estimates reach his tax office desk, it’s too late to contest them. He said homeowners want to do this within a month of receiving their notice.
Likewise, Barber wants every homeowner to take advantage of the homestead exemptions. These are essentially tax breaks for homeowners. Usually that’s $25,000 in school taxes, but this year there’s an even bigger break on the ballot. If it passed, the break would increase to $40,000.
“If you want to lower taxes on your home, you will support that. And seniors or disabled people get an additional 10,000 on top of that,” Barber said.
Homeowners in Texas can only apply for a homestead exemption. Barber said if more than one comes to light, the homeowner could return taxes.
The deadline for applying for a household exemption is April 30th.
Homeowners who purchased their property after January 1, 2022 will no longer have to wait until next January to apply for a homestead exemption. Dixon said you can apply the same day you moved in.
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