CAMERON COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The deadline to protest a major jump in Cameron property appraisals is Wednesday.
ValleyCentral asked a property tax expert in the county to outline the process a person should go through to fight back
Many residents of Cameron County know their home appraisals mean they see more taken from their household budget.
Harlingen resident Robert Scott says he knows taxes will go up and he is not happy about it.
Scott and other Cameron County residents can protest but one expert tells us to avoid one temptation.
“If you’re doing a protest, go at it as a business decision. Not an emotional decision. This is going to help you the most. More than any type of emotional story,” explained Alan Atherton, a property tax consultant with Property Tax Time.
In order to protest, Atherton says residents can do it online before Wednesday’s deadline.
Residents can also go to the Cameron County Appraisal District office in person to protest or go to the post office as long as it’s postmarked before the May 31 deadline date. The wait will be about three to four weeks to get a hearing.
Atherton advises residents to remember last year’s data is why these property values increased 20 or 30 percent.
“Go in there with data from maybe a real estate agent or data that you can find on people that sold their houses cheaper than what you’re being assessed for. Secondly, you would, if you’re going to go after damages – your home needs a lot of repairs. Get some estimates, and take some pictures. Takes as much evidence as you can to your protest,” Atherton said.
He adds you can also go for a Homestead Exemption if your home address and driver’s license match the name on the deed.
“In case there is another major increase in property tax values, it will only go up ten percent,” he explained.
Atherton suggests homeowners go in person and ask about a homestead exemption at the appraisal district.
Atherton says Hidalgo County’s deadline to protest was May 15. However, if a homeowner has an excuse due to being sick or traveling, a late protest with the Hidalgo County Appraisal District can be filed.