Protesting Taxes with a Commercial Property Management Firm in San Antonio

  • March 24, 2023
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High property taxes can be a financial burden on businesses. This is especially true of small businesses. After all, taxes increase the overall cost of owning and operating a property, meaning it could be very difficult for a small business to turn a profit. From there, that could even translate into closures. Other businesses may be deterred to start up in that area, resulting in a lack of economic growth and development at large.

If a small business were to feel unfairly burdened by taxes, they might choose to protest. This gives them the opportunity to advocate for better policies for small businesses and the overall community. Should you decide to enter a protest, make sure to consult with your commercial property management firm in San Antonio. Discover how you can alleviate your worries with the guidance of the brokers responsible for helping you maximize the value of your property.

Understanding Property Taxes in Texas

Across the state of Texas, property taxes are a primary source of revenue for local governments. In fact, property taxes generate over 50% of all revenue because Texas does not have a state income tax. Local governments are the ones that set tax rates, using property values to determine how much a business owner owes. Per state law, these taxes must be uniform and property owners have the right to protest.

As a business owner, the appraisal district expects to report your income-producing personal property. This means identifying and describing your equipment, inventory, vehicles, and more. You also must report your real property, which involves any improvements being made on your land. Discuss your report findings with a commercial property management firm in San Antonio. If you believe that your property has been overvalued, you can enact your right to protest and have your assessment reviewed.

When to Protest Business Property Tax

Property tax is a necessary expense to be able to operate a business. It is what funds public services like roads, schools, and public safety. But that isn’t to say that you should refrain from protesting because you want to serve your community. After all, you may be facing your own financial hardship due to your property tax. Should you decide to protest based on this reason, you will need to provide evidence that paying the tax is causing a significant burden.

Another reason why you could protest is, as mentioned previously, if your property has been assessed at a higher value than its actual worth. This happens when there are changes in the local real estate market, which your commercial property management firm in San Antonio can explain. Alternatively, there may be exemptions that you are entitled to that you are no longer receiving. Should your exemptions have been canceled or reduced, file your protest.

How to File an Appraisal Protest

In 2021, it was found that over 140,000 property owners in Bexar County have protested the taxable value put on their businesses and homes. A year later, this number rose by approximately 16,000. If you find yourself needing to do the same for your commercial property, you are able to file a notice of protest online. Filing an appraisal protest can be a daunting task, given its complexity. For this reason, it is beneficial to get assistance from a real estate attorney. Real estate attorneys provide advice to clients involved in real estate transactions, including resolving disputes related to property ownership.

Any real estate attorney and commercial property management firm in San Antonio will tell you that you need to gather multiple copies of your information. This way, you can provide it to an appraiser and the Appraisal Review Board. This information is everything about your business personal property and your real property that may be relevant to your true market value. That includes:

  • Property surveys
  • Deed records
  • Blueprints or architectural drawings
  • Photographs of your property and comparable properties
  • Comparable property values
  • Sales price documentation
  • Receipts for repairs

What is the Appraisal Review Board?

The Appraisal Review Board is made up of impartial individuals who are responsible for resolving disputes regarding property value assessments. These individuals are often a three-member panel of trained citizens. They are not subject to the same authority of the county appraisal district. The primary responsibility of the Appraisal Review Board is to ensure that property appraisals are fair and accurate, so they hold hearings to decide on the valuation of your business personal property and real property.

You will receive a notice from the Appraisal Review Board detailing the date, time, and place of your hearing. The notice will also describe the subject matter of your protest. As with any hearing, when you get in front of an Appraisal Review Board in San Antonio, you can expect to present your case with evidence, as outlined in the previous section. The board will listen to your arguments and review your evidence to make an appropriate decision.

Appealing to a District Court in Texas

You will only move on to the District Court level if you do not agree with the decision made by the Appraisal Review Board. Texas law gives you the right to petition the court within 60 days of that decision. In turn, following being served with your petition, the appraisal district has 20 days to file a response. Your real estate attorney will continue gathering evidence in order to build an even stronger case on your behalf to provide to the appraisal district. Ultimately, when filing a business property tax protest, having someone who will stay on top of things is critical to your success.

It could get to the point where your case goes to trial. This happens if your lawsuit does not settle out of court. When you go to trial, you could either face a bench trial with a judge or a jury trial. In either situation, should they rule in your favor and compensation be awarded, you could also be awarded attorney fees.

If you are searching for the best commercial property management firm in San Antonio, you have come to the right place. With the latest tools and software programs at our disposal, Commercial Industrial Properties is capable of making all of your real estate dealings that much smoother. No longer will you feel the burden of financial pressure. Let’s chat about what your specific needs are as a business owner. Our team of brokers will be happy to share our professional insight and resources.


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