That pesky hidden property tax
To our valued clients,
Please note that you should be receiving, or should have already received, your 2017 Notice of Appraised Value from Bell County. This is their written notification to you, the property owner, disclosing the appraised value they will use for this year’s property tax assessment. Normally I wouldn’t alert anyone to this very regular mailing but this year offered an unprecedented change in values, at least in my world. Of the single-family homes that my wife and I own in Bell County, every last one saw an increase in appraised value, many on an unsettling level. I’ve always been under the impression that they weren’t allowed to raise taxes more than 10% in any one year but they certainly did on several of our properties . So not only have the values been raised across the board, but significantly.
I suspect every one of you will see the same increase on varying levels. Please pay note as this will change your mortgage payment (if applicable) by increasing your escrow payment. That won’t happen this year, but next year you’ll be notified of a shortfall and your payment will escalate accordingly. In many cases Bell County doesn’t have updated mailing addresses for former residents so you may miss the notification, and if your mortgage lender makes that payment on your behalf then you won’t know of the change until they hit you with your new “improved” payment.
This is what myself and my fellow Realtors refer to as the “hidden property tax.” Our elected officials love to say that they don’t raise taxes, so they keep the tax rate the same to prop up their rhetoric. But with budget shortfalls statewide they need the funds, and instead of raising the tax rate they simply elevate the assessed values of the real estate. It has the same effect. While the Realtor PAC has fought against this over the years, it looks like the state is winning at this point.
Please make it a point to check your assessed value so you know what to expect moving forward. If your value has ballooned beyond what you believe to be the fair value of your home, then contact the county. You have the option to protest the value as long as that protest is submitted to the county no later than May 31st. Should you require backup data to prove up your point then contact any one of our Realtors at Linnemann Realty who can provide you with comparable properties.
You can always look at your property profile with Bell County at www.bellcad.org. Values have not yet been posted, and might not be posted until after the protest deadline, so if you haven’t received the notice then call the county at 254.939.5841.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any other questions or concerns about this matter. I’ll be happy to help where I can.