Here's how to challenge your property taxes

Channel 6 reporter Andrew Moore reports.

BELL COUNTY - Channel 6 news recently reported many Bell County property taxes were proven to be appraised too high. We then told you how to challenge those appraisals.

For those who filed to challenge those appraisals, listen up. 

One Bell County woman paved the way and provided the blueprint for other homeowners to protest their property taxes as well. 

Beth Harmier owns two properties off Clear Creek Road in Killeen. One of her property value's raised nearly 41 percent, and the other increased by 147 percent. She contested both the land value and the home value of the lots -- because the property value is a combination of both. Harmier did not make any improvements to her home in the last calendar year, and she put together a portfolio of pictures to prove it. 

"Any repairs your house needs, those things should be noted," Harmier said.

Despite a bump in land prices, Bell County reduced Harmier's property value increase on one lot from 40 percent to 20 percent after she presented her case. The other was correctly appraised due to a nearby house selling for $2.2 million. 

"Sales prices are the most fundamental piece of information we have," Bell County Chief Appraiser Marvin Hahn said.

In the end, Harmier avoided paying an additional $600 in property taxes by protesting her case.

Harmier said anyone protesting a property appraisal needs to be able to compare their home to others recently sold in the area so they aren't paying too much. 

"The house that sold has granite counter tops and wooden floors, and you have carpet and Formica tops -- it's not comparable because it costs several thousand dollars to make the upgrades," Harmier said.

If you need help finding out what local houses have, contact a realtor for help  

The last day to submit a property appraisal protest was May 31st, but you can still submit one now if you attach a letter explaining a special circumstance or the reason it was late and the district might make you an appointment. 

To submit a protest, click the link, fill out the form, and email the document to roger.chesser@bellcad.org or fax it (254)939-3909. 

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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