• learn the process.

Commercial Property Tax Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about commercial property tax protest and what Lane Property Tax Advocates can do for you? The frequently asked questions below cover aspects of the protest process and how we can best assist you in reducing your tax bills. Browse these questions to help better understand how Lane helps our clients unburden their business.

Which counties do you cover?

We are currently licensed to cover all counties in Texas, Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, Colorado and Oklahoma.

Can you cover counties elsewhere? 
Reach out to one of our agents and we will let you know if we can expand to your area (we most likely can!).

What are your fees, and how are they structured?

Based on the portfolio, Lane will likely charge a competitive contingency fee. Please send us a list of your properties for a quote. Note that you don't pay Lane unless we reduce your property value and save you money if you’re being charged on a contingency basis. Flat fees may apply in some cases.

Can you handle both commercial and residential properties?

Lane is well-versed in both commercial and residential parcels. All Lane team members handle both commercial and residential protests. Please note that we only accept residential accounts if they are in a portfolio of commercial accounts or a portfolio of other residential accounts.

If my property is recommended for arbitration or litigation, what are the fees?

Based on the portfolio, Lane will likely charge a competitive contingency fee.

When disputing commercial properties, what valuation methodologies do you employ?

We will identify the best possible approach(es) to value the subject property by assessing the income, cost, sales comparison, uniform and equity, land equity and rent equity. Our sister firm MBLane and Associates is a full-service commercial appraisal company that has been in business for over 20 years.

Does Lane handle the filing of miscellaneous forms and correspondence with the county appraisal district? (Ex: agriculture exemption, historical exemption, homestead exemption, etc.)

If notified, Lane will handle all correspondence for filing forms such as name changes, exemptions and all other necessary paperwork to save you time. Please note that there may be an extra fee for filing exemptions.

What does Lane need from me to help reduce my property taxes?

Provide Lane with the most up-to-date property information throughout the year. Examples include property photos, estimates of any necessary repairs, damages to the property, completed appraisals, rent rolls and profit and loss statements. We've made the exchange of documents easy through our client portal. Our team will need: 

  1. Letter of Agreement & Exhibit A
    • By signing this, you agree to the discussed contingency fee for all tax savings
  2. Appointment of Agent
    • By signing this, you allow Lane to be your agent, representing you at hearings and negotiating your property value on your behalf.
  3. Property Information Request
    • Providing annual information greatly helps Lane to achieve the maximum savings. This is not required for Lane to protest and represent you at a hearing

Are you licensed to do qualified appraisals?

MBLane and Associates, our affiliated sister firm, has been preparing commercial appraisals for over 20 years for various counties all over the state of Texas. Michael Lane, the founder, holds the designation of MAI through the Appraisal Institute and is also a state-certified general appraiser. He has appraised commercial real estate in Texas for over 30 years. 

Can the county raise the value of my residential or commercial property by more than 10%?

Yes, the value of a residential or commercial property can increase by more than 10%. The only time the value cannot exceed a maximum increase of 10%, or 30% over a three-year period, is on a residential property with a homestead exemption.

How long until my property value is changed after a commercial property tax protest?

Your property value will be changed after a hearing is attached and certified by the Appraisal Review Board. The timeline for a property value to be changed after it’s protested ranges throughout the year, anywhere from June to October. The deadline to protest your property taxes is May 15th. 

** COVID-19 has affected the 2020 season. Protest hearings are scheduled through December.

What are the important dates to know for protesting my property taxes?

  • January 31st – Property taxes are due for the previous year
  • May 15th – Deadline to protest for the current year (or 30 days after being notified by the county)

What is the process for protesting my property taxes?

Please note that this process changes from state to state.

  • Once Lane is assigned as the agent, we will file your property tax protest.
  • The county appraisal district (CAD) will create an evidence package for the subject property.
  • Lane will obtain the CAD’s evidence and create their own evidence package.
    • This may not be until two weeks before the scheduled hearing.
  • The property will be scheduled for an informal or formal hearing – Lane will attend the hearing(s) and negotiate the property value on behalf of the owner.
    • Informal Hearing – Lane will meet with a CAD appraiser over the phone or in person to discuss the value before a scheduled formal Appraisal Review Board (ARB) hearing.
    • Formal ARB Hearing – Evidence is presented by Lane and the county appraisal district. The ARB board members announce their decision after each case is presented. If this sounds like a standard court proceeding, that is exactly how it works – with the ARB acting as the jury handing down a verdict on whether your commercial property taxes will be corrected for that tax year.
  • Once the hearing is complete, Lane will review the property for arbitration and litigation and notify you of the outcome.

What is the process if I’m recommended for arbitration?

  • Lane will send the client paperwork to sign and send back to Lane.
  • Lane will file the paperwork with the Comptroller and the CAD and pay the applicable fees or invoice the client.
  • Lane and the CAD will recreate evidence packages.
  • The CAD will have 45 days to settle the property informally.
  • If not settled within 45 days, the comptroller will schedule an arbitration hearing.
  • Lane will attend the arbitration hearing on behalf of the client.

What is the process if I’m recommended for litigation?

  • Lane will send the client paperwork to sign and send back to Lane.
  • Lane will engage an attorney on behalf of the client.
  • Lane and the attorney will work together for negotiations, including mediations and settlement hearings.

Why is Lane no longer listed as my agent?

“No longer assigned” means there has been a name change to the business or property owner.

How do I add or remove accounts from my portfolio?

Call Lane and speak to an agent, or add/remove accounts through the client portal on our website.

When is it best to notify Lane of any changes?

As soon as possible, year-round.

What is market value vs. appraised value?

Market Value – The value a property could be sold for on an open market

Appraised Value – The taxable value (market value + exemptions)

Do you have any helpful resources?

Follow the links below for some helpful resources regarding protesting your property taxes.

Texas Comptroller's Guide to Understanding the Property Tax Process

Lane Blog

Ready to Unburden Your Business?

Lane Property Tax Advocates has been serving the greater Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas areas and beyond for over 10 years - and we can help you, too.
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