Property taxes raised, how residents can protest their appraisal value

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HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Residents in Hidalgo and Cameron County are seeing their property taxes raised. Many residents are concerned the increase is too much.

“I was surprised earlier this week when I looked at the property taxes they increased it by $15,000,” said Justin Venegas, a homeowner in McAllen.

Venegas said he dealt with something similar last year and was able to contest the appraisal value of his home. Many residents like Venegas are concerned about the rise in property taxes as they are still trying to get back on their feet during the pandemic. 

“My understanding is now we’ve been in it a year and obviously we know people who are suffering financially, well why are we still seeing these types of increases,” said Jesus Peña.

His property taxes increased $16,000.

Cameron County’s Chief Appraiser, Richard Molina told KVEO the value of someone’s home is raised or lowered based on market value. 

“The market value is what today somebody the willing buyer and the willing seller will exchange a piece of property for so it’s not back from when you bought it 10 years ago or 5 years ago,” said Molina.  

Residents like Venegas and Peña don’t believe their property has increased the $15,000 to $16,000 based on the conditions of their home.

“Given that we haven’t made any significant improvements, I don’t see that the amount should be justified in this case,” said Peña.

Residents who may be in a similar situation, the appraisal value of their home could be protested at no charge. 

“They might bring some information that we didn’t have,” said Molina. “Maybe there’s cracks in the ceiling, maybe their floor is cracking.”

If that is the case, Molina encourages residents to contact their county’s appraisal district and bring photographs of their homes.

He urges residents to do this as soon as possible as the protesting deadline is May 15.

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