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6 Signs You're Overpaying for Property Taxes

It's the time of year when consumers and business owners alike are turning a blind eye to the pending date on the calendar: April 15. In the case of business owners with commercial property tax bills due, that date you may be shielding your eyes from is May 15—the deadline for filing property tax protests. If you own commercial property, your annual tax bill is likely a substantial expense. Unfortunately, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, around 30-60% of taxable properties in the United States are over-assessed, which—you guessed it—equals higher tax bills. Sadly, even though most consumers and businesses are overpaying due to inaccurately calculated properties, it’s predicted that less than 5% of taxpayers are challenging the assessment. Are you curious if your business is overpaying? Check out the list below that features 6 sure fire ways to help you determine whether our not you're overpaying on your commercial property taxes.

1. The exemption field on your tax bill is blank.

As a property owner in Texas, you’re offered a variety of partial or total exemptions from property appraised values—which is what helps determine your local property taxes. While no specific exemption amount is guaranteed, if the exemption field on your tax bill is blank, then it’s likely you could be leaving significant savings unclaimed.

2. You missed the deadline…again!

If May 15 (deadline for filing property tax protests) has come and gone, you didn’t file for a property tax protest, and you don’t have a tax advisor advocating on your behalf, it’s highly likely that your uncontested property taxes are excessive.

3. Your tax bill is through the roof!

You don’t have to be a property tax expert to have an inkling that something just isn’t right when you look at your property taxes. If after objective consideration, you feel like your taxes seem excessive, it’s worth a call to your tax advisor.

4.You tried protesting the property value yourself.

Often times, when you represent yourself—in an informal or formal hearing—you leave opportunity on the table. Tax advisors bring a layer of familiarity with tax code, knowledge of surrounding property comparables (comps), and familiarity with appraisers or valuation boards—all important aspects to leverage.

5. You have no idea what your property is worth.

It’s difficult to take a rigid position (and hold it) if you’re unaware of the market value of your property. Remember that various elements play a role in determining property value—income streams, replacement cost, the value of neighboring like-properties, real property, personal property, and more. And, even if you are aware of its value, it’s half of the story—at best.

6. Your property value is higher than the business right across the street from you.

If you happen to have insight as to what a neighboring business’s property taxes may be, and all things consistent, seems to vastly differ from your tax bill, it’s likely that you’re not taking advantage of the negotiating strategies that a tax advisor could afford you.

If you think there's a chance you're overpaying on your commercial property taxes, don't wait until it's too late to speak to a professional. Click here to request a free property tax consultation.

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Gary Rivas

Gary Rivas is a Texas licensed Senior Property Tax Consultant experienced in providing Industrial, Commercial, and Residential property tax reduction advisory services for real and personal property in Texas and multiple states across the country. He has 31 years of experience in the Property Tax Profession with 27 years as a Property Tax Consultant, and 34 years as a licensed Texas Real Estate Agent.

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