Property owners in Harris County have until June 1 to file a protest regarding the market value of their home as determined by the Harris County Appraisal District, which mailed out value notices in April.
HCAD reported a 15 percent increase in residential property across the county in 2014, some of which can be attributed to new construction. However the majority came from increasing values of existing homes—almost 90 percent of homes in the county increased in value since last year, according to HCAD.
HCAD is responsible for determining the value of roughly 1.7 million parcels of land in the county each year. Because of the sheer volume of properties, HCAD cannot visit each home individually and instead calculates the values through a mass appraisal process that incorporates data from home sales in the area, according to HCAD spokesperson Jack Barnett.
Property owners can file a protest in a variety of ways. A green protest form was included in the property value notice that each property owner received in the mail, but it can be found online as well at www.hcad.org. Protests can be filed online, brought to HCAD’s office at 13013 Hwy. 290, Houston, or mailed to P.O. Box 922004, Houston, TX 77292 by June 1.
Homeowners who file online using iFile could also settle their value online through the system. If that is not possible, the homeowner will be scheduled for a hearing with the Appraisal Review Board.
“The purpose of the appraisal is to allocate the tax burden fairly among all owners of taxable property,” chief appraiser Sands Stiefer said. “The actual amount of tax due is determined by the tax rate set in the fall by the governing body of each jurisdiction, such as county, city, school district or [municipal utility district].”
Residents who have questions regarding the protest process can call the appraisal district’s information center at 713-957-7800.