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How to Protest Property Taxes Frequently Asked Questions

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PropertyAxe FAQs

Please read through everything when you can. You will be your own property tax expert in no time.
Who are we?

The PropertyAxe team are techies, homeowners, and property tax pros with decades of experience fighting our own property taxes or property taxes for companies. We are based in San Antonio Texas and started PropertyAxe as a lab project, to take one problem and flip it over to see what’s underneath it & then try to fix it. What we found was, few people protested their property taxes using Unequal Values in their neighborhoods but rather did standard Market Value protests, which have been the norm because that is how Appraisal Districts valuate property taxes each year. Simply put they use Sales in your area, and then you counter them at your protest with homes that sold for less. That is if you can even find comparisons without access to a real estate agent or an MLS.

The biggest problem with using Market Values is … the Real Estate Market is Hot. You may not find any homes that sold for under your appraised value to use at your protest. But the County Appraisal District has already valued similar homes to yours for less in the past. (these are of Unequal Value to yours). These are what we find for you to use at your protest. It’s hard for them to argue their past assessments of homes just like yours. 😊

Never has there been a way to find homes in mass to protest your own property taxes with. We also give you a report of these homes to bring to your protest. We always emphasize taking lots and lots of photos of anything wrong with your home or repairs needed as well, and we store and include them in your report too. We are currently in Beta so please check the FAQs below often or contact us with questions.

What are Market Value & Unequal Value Protests? (The BIG PropertyAxe Difference)

With few exceptions taxable property is to be appraised at market value as of Jan. 1st every year by your appraisal district. Market Value is the price at which a property would sell for under the prevailing market conditions. Most property tax protests relate to the market value determined by the appraisal district, which is more difficult in many cases to protest if the real estate market is ‘hot’ in your area. is based on Unequal Value for protests though. Both use similar evidence (photos, etc..) except the Comparisons ‘Comps’ are different. Market Value uses home sale comparisons in your area while Unequal Value uses similar home comparisons that the appraisal district has already determined are of less value than your home. – Essentially, we use your County’s own reduced values in your area against them, every year. 

What is the deadline for protesting my property taxes?

You have until May 15th or 30 days from the date the appraisal district notice is delivered — whichever date is later.

What happens after I mail my protest form to the County Appraisal District?

You will receive an appointment date and time for a meeting with your Appraisal District. Your appointment is often weeks or months after mailing your protest form to them. 70%-90% of Property Tax Protests are settled in an Informal Meeting or right over the phone with your County Appraisal District. It’s Easy!

Is the 2-minute protest form you provide online free?

Absolutely! We also let you upload photos of issues or repairs needed around your home to protest with. PropertyAxe will also give you 1 sample Unequal Value Comparison from another home in your area similar to your home that your Appraisal District has already valued at less. We recommend using 5 or more Unequal Value Comparisons to protest your home’s value to win your protest.

Do I need to use the Protest Form generated by

No. PropertyAxe has created a way for you to fill out your free protest form in less than 2 minutes to mail it, but you can also use the one that came with your Notice of Appraised Value, or download a blank form to fill out & mail or email it to your appraisal district. In many cases, you can create an online account with your appraisal district also (if your county has that feature) and protest directly online. You still need evidence, and that’s what we are here for.

When does charge me?

We update our system daily for every county we have Unequal Value Comparisons for. New Appraised Values from your county may take a few weeks to appear in our system (depending on when your county reports them). You will be notified by email when your Comparisons are ready if you do not see them in your account. You only pay if we find 5 or more Comparisons you can use as evidence at your Informal Meeting, if you wish to. Do not fret, ‘Comps’ are not needed for your Evidence Report until your Informal Meeting with your Appraisal District, which will not be for a few weeks after mailing in your Protest Form. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND using 5 or more Unequal Value Comparisons for your protest.

What is an Informal Meeting with the Appraisal District?

Before your appointment time with the ARB you will be given the opportunity to meet with an appraiser to informally discuss your property taxes and to review your evidence of an unequal value or market value. This informal meeting is where you will want to reduce your property taxes. The ARB should be your last resort if you are not happy with the result of the informal meeting.


What is the ARB?

The ARB stands for Appraisal Review Board. An ARB is a group of citizens authorized to resolve disputes between taxpayers and the appraisal district. The ARB hears taxpayer protests in formal hearings, but 70-90% of protests are resolved in informal meetings with appraisers.

What can I protest about my property taxes?

Excessive value: if you believe the appraisal district’s value on your home is too high. • Unequal value: if you believe the appraisal district appraised your home at a higher proportion of its value than most properties. • Failure to grant exemptions: if the chief appraiser denied your exemption application. • Failure to provide notice: if the appraisal district failed to provide notice that the value of your home changed.

What can I request from my Appraisal District about my home & property tax protest?

You can call or write to your appraisal district and request your Appraisal Card (which has your home’s details and stats of your home and land) VERIFY all the information is correct. You should also request the homes they used to appraise your property with (homes sold near you that they are using to determine your Market Value). We HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get both of these items prior to your informal meeting or ARB hearing and look them over carefuly to make sure they are correct or to find the things that are incorrect so you can use that information for your protest.

What Evidence should I bring to my informal meeting or ARB hearing to win my protest?

Bring your Evidence Report that was created at, it has Unequal Value Comps (comparisons) of the homes around you that are similiar to yours that the appraisal district has already determined have less value than yours. PHOTOS, PHOTOS, PHOTOS! You are not selling your house to an Appraiser, show them the worst of your home (i.e, cracks in walls, floors, brick, bad windows, outdated bathrooms, kitchen, AC, roof, etc.) Take photos of any and everything wrong with your house and print 2 or 3 copies so you can show them to the Appraiser at your informal meeting or at ARB Hearing.

What happens if I am not satisfied at the informal meeting or with the ARB's decision?

If you are not happy with your Informal Meeting results you can go in front of the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) to show and explain your evidence. If you do not agree with the ARB’s decision, you may request binding arbitration if you qualify. • You can also appeal the decision to the state district court in the county in which your home is located. • In either case, you will have to make a partial payment of taxes before the delinquency date, usually the amount of taxes not in dispute. The cost of litigation is generally higher than any savings you might get if you win your lawsuit. We do not generally recommend pursuing anything beyond the ARB

Can I use an appraisal from an independent appraiser as evidence at my protest?

Yes you can also submit an appraisal on your home prepared by an independent appraiser. If you submit an independent appraisal, the appraisal district must prove your home’s value by “clear and convincing evidence.”

What other things can be considered and brought as evidence if I have them?

Fire reports, engineering reports, written estimates for repairs, sales price documentation; such as listings or closing statements. Sales Comparisons (Comps) of similiar homes near you that have sold for less than your appraised value (reach out to local real estate agents, many will look up and give you recent home sales near you if you ask nicely).

Does my County Appraisal District ever come into my house?

No. CADs use mass appraisal which does not adjust for unique features or differences. The key, therefore, is to provide information (photos of disrepair, lacking features, repair estimates, etc.) that show how your home is different from sales or other homes in the neighborhood. This applies to both a Market Value and Unequal Value Protests.

Who should consider using

You should consider using’s Unequal Value Comps if you feel that your house is appraised at a higher percentage of its true market value than comparable homes in your area. For example, your home is appraised at 100% of value while comparable homes are appraised at 85%. Make sure you bring your Evidence Packet of Comps and lots and lots of photos in and around your home to show any repairs and updates that are needed for your home.

Why should I protest my own property taxes rather than use a company?

Most property tax protest companies charge a % of your savings and sometimes a flat fee as well. Why even protest if you have pay $100’s of dollars? That’s not like saving anything at all. Protesting your own property taxes is easy, it’s not a court and it’s not stressful. Studies have shown that people who protest their own home property taxes receive better reductions than what professionals get too.

Do I need to protest my property taxes every year?

Yes! The Appraisal District reappraises every property in the county each year. Your first time protesting, you will likely get the largest decrease, but protesting every year ensures you are not being taken advantage of by the Appraisal District. If you skip protests they assume you are okay with the increase and will keep raising your property value over time. Guaranteed.

I just bought my house, can I protest my property taxes this year?

It depends on when you bought the house. If you purchased the house before the appraisals are mailed, by all means, protest your taxes. If you purchased after January 1st or later, you will likely have to wait until next year, but call the appraisal district to find out. Regardless of if you protest your first year or not, be sure to file a Homestead Exemption if it is your primary residence.

What is a Homestead Exemption?

Texas homestead exemption applies to a homeowner if you: Owned the property on January 1st, Occupied the property as your principal residence on January 1st, The homeowner or their spouse have not claimed a residence homestead exemption on any other property. The typical deadline for filing a county appraisal district homestead exemption application is April 30th. You can download the Homestead Exemption Form, and mail to your County Appraisal District. The exemption will remove $40,000 off the value of your home for school taxes. Win!

What other Property Tax Exemptions are there?

Age 65 or Older or Disabled Persons: For persons age 65 or older or disabled the Tax Code requires school districts to provide an additional $10,000 residence homestead exemption. The Tax Code also allows any taxing unit (town, city, county) to adopt a local option exemption too. This local option exemption cannot be less than $3,000. Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses of Disabled Veterans: The Tax Code provides a partial exemption for any property owned by a disabled veteran. The amount of the exemption varies depending on the disabled veteran’s disability rating. The surviving spouse who remains unmarried and surviving children of a disabled veteran may also qualify for an exemption . To learn more about these & others follow this Link. The Homestead Exemption Form is the same though.

Where can I find the contact info for my County Appraisal District?

If you would like to see your current or past tax records or if you have questions about your property taxes or protests find your local County Appraisal District here.

How many properties can I protest at with my account?

You can protest as many as you wish and they will all be under 1 Dashboard. We encourage you to help your friends and families lower their property taxes. If everyone protests their property taxes, property tax laws that are unfavorable to Texan homeowners more than almost any other state will begin to change.

What if I get too many Comps or too few Comps on

When you do a search on we will return a list of homes that are similiar to yours that have already been appraised by the Appraisal District for less value then your home. Sometimes there are a lot of results. Check the list for the closest matches to your home by square feet, bedrooms, baths or homes that have more features but are of less value. Use the delete icon to remove any you don’t want on your list. These will be used for your Evidence Packet you will bring to your protest, so take a few minutes on this. If your results have no Comps or only a couple this means you may already be valued low for the features of your home in your area, OR we do not have enough data for your area yet. If this is the case, do not sign up for a paid account. You can always check back for free, so if/when Comps increase you can sign up then.

Can protest my property taxes for me?

Our job is to make software so you can protest your property taxes yourself. We can always give you pointers if you email us, and possibly in the future we will add consultant services but studies have shown you stand a better chance of a favorable result if you protest your property taxes as a homeowner than as a company.

What if my home has 4 or less Unequal Value Comparisons on PropertyAxe?

If there are 4 or fewer Comparisons (Comps) for your home on our map, your credit card WILL NOT be charged. We want you to have the right amount of Comps for your informal meeting or ARB hearing. Check back a few times each year. Values change.

What happens if some facts about my home are missing or wrong at

The data that is gathered at comes from many sources. If you have missing or wrong information it is often because your home has not been sold in many years, not at all, or is brand new. It could also mean your home is not in our database for an unknown reason. This is an easy fix. Look up your home on  HARZillowRedfinMovoto, or your County Appraisal District to find information to find information like square footage, lot size, taxable value, etc..

Does PropertyAxe find Comparisons for Condos, Townhouses, or Duplexes?

No. Condos, Townhomes, Duplexes have many variables that make their traits uncommon with other locations which include amenities, parking, garages, location, etc.. Speak to your HOA or County Appraiser about the most effective way to protest property taxes.

Does PropertyAxe find Comparisons for Manufactured homes or Mobile homes?

Yes, BUT not all. You must also double check your home’s facts if we do find them (sq ft, lot size, value, etc.. Counties often get these wrong) If you do not see comparisons it is likely because there are variables that make it’s traits uncommon with other homes like land, location, age, etc.. Speak to your County Appraiser about the most effective way to protest property taxes.

What is the homestead tax ceiling when you turn 65?

It is a limit on the amount of taxes you must pay on your primary home. If you qualify, school district taxes on your homestead cannot increase as long as you own and live in your home. The tax ceiling is the amount you pay in the year you qualified for the age 65 or older or disabled person exemption. Your school district taxes on your homestead may go below but not above the ceiling amount. Other taxing entities like towns and counties may also offer a tax ceiling when you turn 65 or if you are disabled. Call your Appraisal District to find out more before you turn 65.

Can the assessed value of my home be raised if I protest?

At your Informal Meeting with appraisers the Appraisal District is NOT ALLOWED to raise the value of your home. 70-90% of all protests are settled in informal meetings. It ‘could’ happen if it’s not settled in an informal meeting and you go to an ARB hearing, but that has only happened in 1% of all cases in Texas. We repeat 1%. — That means you should always Protest!

What should I do with the photos of my house?

It is important you bring as ‘many’ photos of repairs needed and any disrepair of your home as possible, inside and out. Little things and big things, you are not trying to sell your house, you are doing the opposite. You can also include the area and neighbors, construction, industry, or anything that could reduce your home’s value. When you upload your photos to PropertyAxe they are included with your Evidence Packet BUT we highly suggest, because of quality and quantity, you print at least 2 copies to bring with you to your informal meeting or your ARB hearing to show and to explain them to the appraisers. We recommend Walgreens or CVS for your prints (it’s what do ourselves).

Can I get a Refund at

You sure can before you download your Evidence Report. Please note that our Unequal Value Comparisons are generated by our proprietary algorithm and then enriched from CAD data which is then aggregated with other sources. If you download your Evidence Report, there are no refunds. 

How can I get the most current Comparisons for the year before my meeting with Appraisal District?

Simple as pie. Go to your ‘Protests’ in the main menu and Click ‘See Report’ on your property. This is will take you to your report page where the most Current Comps for the year will be. You can delete and keep any you wish from this page BEFORE Generating your Evidence Report.

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  • 2-minute Online Protest Form
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