Here are the answers to many common questions about our service.
Q: How can I sign up?
A: In order to sign up you will need to sign a Representation Agreement and an Appointment of Agent form (AOA). The Appointment of Agent form is required for us to represent you at the Appraisal District. Additionally, you will need to complete a property questionnaire to give us basic information about your property. We can send the forms by email, fax, or mail. Once the proper documents are received, we will handle everything from there- File the protest, conduct research, prepare a case and attend the hearing.
Q: When is the protest deadline?
A: The deadline to protest in most counties is May 15th. In the event the Appraisal District issues the value notice after May 15th, you have 30 days from the date on the notice. If this day falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is extended until the next business day.
Q: I missed the protest deadline. Is it too late to pursue a value reduction for my property?
A: If you have missed the protest deadline, please contact our office to discuss your protest. It may still be possible to pursue a value reduction for your property if you meet certain criteria.
Q: Do I have to attend the hearing?
A: No, Lone Star Tax Advisors will represent you at the Appraisal District. Sign up and let us do the rest.
Q: How is the fee calculated?
At the completion of your hearing, we charge a contingency fee of 40% of your estimated tax savings. Here is an example of how we calculate our invoices:
$200,000 Notice Value
$180,000 Final Value
$ 20,000 Reduction in Value
The difference of $20,000 is multiplied by the current known tax rate before exemptions. Assuming the tax rate is 2.5%, the estimated tax savings would be $500.00. Our contingency fee would be 40% of the estimated tax savings which is $200.00.
The only exception to this formula is for residential capped accounts. A residential capped account is when your properties initial market value is greater than its initial appraised value. For these accounts, we charge $2.00 for every $1,000 reduction in market value or the above contingency fee whichever is greater.
Q: Can you explain the benefit of having a Representation Agreement?
A: Lone Star Tax Advisors offers our clients an ongoing Representation Agreement. This means that we will protest your property taxes on a yearly basis until you cancel the agreement with us. Our clients benefit because they do not have to sign additional paperwork every year and they can rest assured that Lone Star will file a timely protest for their property.
Q: Will protesting my property taxes affect what I can sell my property for?
A: No, the Appraisal District is responsible for assessing the value of the property for taxing purposes only. The Appraisal District uses mass appraisal techniques and frequently assigns incorrect values to properties. When your house is placed on the market, the list price is based on recent sales comparables and the listing price of other comparable properties.
Q: If I protest my property taxes, will the Appraisal District come to inspect my property?
A: No, the Appraisal District does not make a visit to your property when you protest your property tax value. They will only come to the property if the property owner requests a field check to verify certain issues with the property. A property owner has full discretion when to allow the Appraisal District access to your property and has no obligation to do so.