By Trey Rome
For the past year, the topic at dinner tables and water coolers has been, “Have you seen how home prices in our neighborhood have shot through the roof?”
Whether you decided to buy, sell, or stay, you are still responsible for paying the increased property taxes that came along with that increased home price, and they are due before January 31, 2022, or are considered delinquent.
The market value on your home was set on January 1, 2021; however, home prices in North Texas are on the rise, with a median price of approximately $310,000. According to data from local real estate agents, the cost of a previously owned single-family home has increased by more than 50% in the last five years. Homeowners will more than likely face even higher property taxes for the next year.
If homeowners want to get an idea of what their tax bill would be, you can visit your local tax assessor-collector webpage and search for your property. Property taxes are calculated by multiplying your home’s market taxable appraisal value by the various tax rates. Another way your property tax bill amount can be manipulated is through the setting of tax rates for each taxing jurisdiction which is voted on by local elected officials each year.
To keep your property taxes as low as possible:
- Make sure that you have applied for your homestead exemption with your county for your place of residence. This drastically reduces your tax bill.
- If you bought your house in the last two years and County Appraisal District (CAD) values are higher than your actual contract price, bring your contract to the appraisal district, and they will almost always honor the price on your contract.
- If your improvement values have increased (without any new substantial remodeling or improving), you have a great case to lower your values.
- If you decide to protest your property taxes and are like most people and do not have the time to protest your taxes yourself, engage a reputable property tax protest company, and they will automatically protest your taxes each year. Most are contingent-based and only take a percentage of the savings you save on your property tax bill.
If you are having trouble paying your property tax bill, you have several options:
- You can select a county repayment plan, but interest rates are 1% a month (12% a year)and consecutive payment plans are not available. Plus, if you miss a payment with the county, fees, penalties, and interest will be retroactively assessed, and your property will be immediately sent to collections.
- You can pay your taxes with a credit card. However, consider the high interest you will be paying; most credit card interest rates are astronomical.
- You can enter into a repayment plan with a private property tax lender like Home Tax Solutions or others. Property tax lenders provide flexible and affordable plans that offer relief to pay taxes and stop the accruing fees and penalties from the county.
Trey Rome, a Preston Hollow resident, is the CEO and founder of Home Tax Solutions.