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Majority of lower-priced homeowners don’t appeal higher property taxes

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According to, about 60% of low-priced homeowners are likely to pay higher property taxes than comparable homeowners who own more expensive homes. New research Released on Tuesday.

why? Owners of these higher value real estate, ranging from $ 500,000 to $ 1.2 million, are at least twice as likely to appeal property taxes and are likely to pay much less. Ownwell, A real estate-based startup in Austin, Texas. The amount of appeal depends on the county and state.

For example, homeowners of high-value real estate in Harris County, Texas, where the city of Houston is located, were about six times more likely to appeal property taxes. Ownwell’s findings are based on a survey of the general public National County Councilor Data and over 10,000 customers nationwide.

Ownwell CEO Colton Pace said it was expensive because many U.S. homeowners were afraid that they wouldn’t know that their home might have to pay more than the assessed amount. He said he was not appealing for property tax payments.

They conclude that homeowners who buy a home in the $ 125,000 to $ 400,000 range often do not object to having to pay property taxes.

The findings also reflect national statistics, as less than 5% of homeowners go through a process that challenges their assessment. National Taxpayers Union.. The organization estimates that 30% to 60% of properties are overvalued.

“What’s happening is that the majority of homeowners receive property taxes and simply pay invoices to avoid problems,” said Cownwell co-founder and CEO Colton Pace. I am. “But they should reaffirm. The bill is an opinion about the value of your home. And if you think it’s too expensive, you can challenge your property tax. , That’s your legislative power. “

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Ownwell’s research determines whether homeowners across the United States pay property taxes and state-determined tax assessments are higher than homeowners believe their property is worthwhile. It is done when you are. Property taxes usually help to fund general public services, infrastructure improvements, and public schools. Some states require property tax every year or every two years.

In any case, many homeowners are often afraid of property tax procedures. Ownwell’s study also Nearly 70% of Americans say it’s not a good time to buy a home right nowAccording to a recent Gallup poll. High house prices, limited supply and high demand That’s one of the reasons, according to polls.

“There are two ways to think about the value of your property,” Pace said. “Yes, you want the value of your property to be as high as possible, but you also want your taxes to be low. It confuses and frustrates both home and business property owners.”

Kent Revard said he is using startup Ownwell to appeal the property tax price for his home in Houston, Texas.

Kent Revard said he’s using startup Ownwell to showcase property tax prices for his home in Houston, Texas.

For homeowners, the average annual property tax can rise by more than 4% to $ 4,000, Ownwell’s Pace and the National Taxpayers Union estimate. But for some homeowners who overpay up to 60%, attractive property taxes can save up to $ 1,800, taxpayers’ unions say.

Mr. Pace also fears that appealing a real estate valuation will penalize them and raise property taxes, as many homeowners question county or local valuations. He said he was. But there is little risk of sue, Pace said.

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The worst thing that can happen is that homeowners have to pay an estimated property tax invoice, Pace said. Taxpayers usually take 30 to 45 days to appeal.

“I get a call from a homeowner who doesn’t understand the process,” Pace said. He added that not suing an inaccurate property tax bill would affect not only this year’s bill, but future property tax assessments as well.

Attractiveness of property tax

Ashley JamisonAustin-based realtors said they were unaware that many homeowners could claim a property tax exemption for their home. In Travis County, where Austin is located, homeowners with high-value real estate are twice as likely to appeal property taxes, according to Ownwell data.

“They think it’s more complicated, obviously so. But if they feel strong, they have to say,’Yes, I protest this rating,’ and it’s on their own. Or ask the company for help, “Jamison said. “The possibility that they will receive some reduction is in their favor.”

Jamison said the decision to appeal the property tax itself made it more frightening in itself, which is why many avoid it. The Travis Central Valuation District said it expects a record number of asset value proceedings.

“We don’t know we have a say as consumers,” Jamieson said in the proceedings. “You’re not in trouble. You’re not standing up and chanting in the rating district, you’re just arguing why your rating should be low.”

She considers property tax payments ranging from 37% to 125% if she has seven customers who bought a home in 2021 and they do not protest the valuation and do not seek a home exemption. Said that it may be.

“It’s not possible, it’s the data pulled directly traviscad.org.. So, unless you protest the taxable valuation, Jamieson said, “This is happening because the county will reassess the value of the property if there is a transfer of ownership.”

Jamison said the situation was not specific to those clients.

“This is the situation for almost every homeowner who acquired real estate in 2021. For investors, it doesn’t matter when they bought it. They can’t impose a residential exemption on their real estate.” Jamison said. “Therefore, we cannot limit their value. They are going through the roof.”

“Optimistic” to lower property tax claims

Kent Riverd of Houston is wondering if he did everything he could when he previously appealed his property tax to a two-story, four-bedroom home.

A longtime sales manager in the construction industry said there were years when his home’s valuation and market value were the same or differed by less than 1%.

But fearing having to pay a high property tax, 59-year-old Revard said he was using Ownwell to appeal after hearing about the startup from a friend. He is already pleased that Ownwell charges a prepaid zero charge and a flat percentage charge.

why? Texas has raised the state’s residential land exemption, so some homeowners’ home prices are exempt from taxation to $ 25,000. State law also limits the amount of tax on housing to rise by more than 10% each year.

This is terrible in Revard’s opinion, which he said he believes his asset value has risen by 20% over the past year.

“I’m optimistic that having a third-party company is effective,” Riverd said of Ownwell. “They will have some skin in the game as well. Let’s see how the appeal process works.”

Pace, who co-founded Ownwell two years ago, says the average customer expects an 8-10% reduction, and using this site can save about $ 1,450. He said the company would charge 25% for the service.

“And if our customers don’t get the money, we don’t get the money either,” Pace said. “We want to return some savings.”

“If we save you money, you’ll leave with some cash and a reduced property tax invoice,” Pace added.

Inflation and high gas prices are already causing havoc, so Revard wants Ownwell to prevent him from having to pay high property tax invoices.

“I hope they benefit,” he said.

Follow Terry Collins on Twitter: @terryscollins

This article was originally published in USA TODAY: Studies have found that many homeowners do not appeal high property tax invoices.

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