Have you received your commercial property tax bill in the mail? Do you believe that bill says you owe more than your fair share? As frustrating as it might be, overinflated valuations aren't just common — they're the norm. But they aren't necessarily the final word. A trained property tax protest team can serve as a valuable resource, helping to lower your valuation to something more accurate.
If you opt to protest your valuation (and Lane encourages every property owner to protest every year), you set into motion a process aimed at providing local appraisers and tax assessors with a clear picture of your property — and ideally right-sizing that assessed value. Here, Lane's commercial real estate experts discuss how the tax protest process works and the benefits that come with having support from an experienced property tax protest team.
How Do You Fight High Commercial Property Taxes?
A commercial property tax protest through your county appraisal district (CAD) is the course of action property owners can take to correct unfair valuations. And, although each protest will vary based on factors such as geographic region and property portfolio, they follow the same basic path:
- Informal Hearing: A meeting with an appraiser where the property owner (or tax firm representing them) presents their case, the appraiser presents theirs and the two sides work to come to an agreement.
- Formal Hearing: When an informal hearing fails to result in an agreed-upon decision, things move on to a formal hearing before an appraisal review board (ARB). Here, both the property owner (or their firm) and the appraiser present their cases. The ARB then renders an order determining value.
- Arbitration or Litigation: If a formal hearing still fails to return a satisfactory result, you have 60 days to begin pursuing last steps — court proceedings in the form of arbitration or litigation. The ideal option is determined by the particulars of your commercial property and case.
Why Work with a Professional Property Tax Protest Team Like Lane?
Seeking assistance from seasoned property tax protest companies is all about approaching your appeal in a strategic way and positioning your case in the strongest manner possible. Here are a few ways a property tax protest team can help.
- Save Time by Allowing Professionals to Manage Paperwork and Deadlines
A successful commercial property tax protest requires submitting proper documentation and evidence on a strict timeline in order for a case to be considered. Juggling those requirements alongside day-to-day business can be time-consuming and confusing, but your property tax protest team can help. When you work with a firm like Lane, there are just two dates to remember: January 31, the deadline for paying your previous year's taxes, and May 15, Texas' deadline for filing a protest with your CAD. We'll take the rest from there.Your commercial property tax protest team files the appropriate paperwork, performs the necessary research and represents you throughout your case's formal and informal hearings — and, if necessary, arbitration or litigation, as well. We act fully on your behalf, fighting to secure the lowest possible taxable value for your property.
- Benefit from Tax Professionals' Firsthand Experience and Industry Insights
If you aren't in the habit of studying tax law and the intricacies behind protesting your commercial property taxes, you aren't alone. Both can be incredibly nuanced and, for anyone who doesn't regularly deal in such work, they can become overwhelming. Trust that professional tax experts are well versed in the processes, proceedings and legislation that guide your protests.At Lane, for instance, our team has more than 100 years of combined experience, and team member knowledge runs deep. Each of our property tax consultants is a licensed real estate agent and state-certified tax consultant who understands every facet of real estate, keeps up with changing laws and maintains long-held relationships with CADs. This wealth of knowledge allows us to position your case in the best possible light by factoring in not only your property's details and market conditions, but the specific individuals who will be making the important decisions.
- Pay Nothing Unless Your Taxable Value is Lowered
Professional property tax protest companies like Lane work on a contingency basis, meaning commercial property owners won't see upfront costs associated with fighting their case. While specific charges will vary, most clients won't pay anything unless the taxable value of their commercial property is successfully lowered. At that point they pay a fee based on the reduction secured.This contingency approach to tax reduction creates a no-risk scenario for property owners that often results in a corrected property value and less money owed to the county tax office. A quality team will be dedicated to doing all it can to reduce your valuation to something fair. Not only is it the right thing to do, but there's added incentive — we don't get paid unless our efforts are successful. Our team is made up of tax professionals who are dedicated to getting our clients the value they deserve. In 2022 alone, we successfully achieved more than $25 million in estimated cumulated tax savings for clients.
Whether you're embarking on your first attempt to protest your commercial property taxes or you've been through the process before, there's value in the convenience and ease of hiring a commercial property tax professional to fight for you. If you have questions about the process — or anything else you've read here — please feel free to reach out to our tax experts. We're always happy to help.