In Texas, on May 1st, county appraisal districts will be sending out 2017 property tax appraisals. In recent years, Texas small business owners have been hit hard and this year business owners, especially along the IH-35 corridor, will be hit even harder. Aggressive growth along the IH-35 corridor brings with it agressive property tax appraisals, but self storage owners don’t have to take it laying down. You can file a protest but a misstep could end up costing you thousands of dollars and you may want to consider hiring an agent experienced in property tax protests.

You can file a protest, but a misstep could end up costing you thousands of dollars and you may want to consider hiring an agent experienced in property tax protests. Tangible personal property that is used to produce income must be reported each year on a rendition – form 50-144. Filing a rendition puts you in a better position to exercise your right of appeal. If you choose to protest your tax assessment, it must be filed by May 31 or no later than 30 days after the appraisal district mailed a notice of appraised value to you. If you miss the filing deadline you forfeit your right to protest the assessed value of your property.

There are typically four types of property value protests:

  1. Excessive value – you believe your property is valued too high.
  2. Unequal appraisal – you believe your property has been assessed a higher value than properties of similar use and value.
  3. Failure to grant exceptions – you have the right to exceptions for such things as motor vehicles used for your business.
  4. Failure to provide notice – the appraisal district failed to provide notice of tax increase.

It is up to you to have what you need to prove your case to the ARB. You cannot go to a hearing and just say the appraisal district is wrong – you have to present evidence that proves the appraised value is incorrect.

When preparing a case, there are three different approaches you can take. Knowing and choosing the right approach is critical.

  1. The sales comparison approach.
  2. The cost approach.
  3. The income approach

A case must be built that is persuasive, not emotional. Don’t pay more than you should. Seek consultation if you think your property has been valued too high. AFTER MAY 31ST IT WILL BE TOO LATE!

AUTHOR, Monty Rainey has 20+ years in self storage management and is the owner of RPM Storage Management, LLC of New Braunfels, TX.