FORT WORTH, Texas — It’s April and that means sticker shock across Texas as property owners receive updated appraisals. And with DFW one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, homeowners are gathering every piece of data they can find to file protests.
“Well, very unsatisfactory,” Joyce Hood, 72, said of the appraisal she and her husband received this month for their home in Keller. The appraisal for the 1,948 square foot home went up more than $39,000.
“It makes no sense. I don’t understand that,” she said. “I don’t understand the reasoning how ours could go up $39,000 and someone two houses down could go up $13,000. I don’t understand that.”
“Everybody is losing their minds. Nobody can afford their payments,” said realtor Chandler Crouch, who is busy each April offering to guide homeowners through the property tax protest process for free.
“I’m going to be protesting," Crouch said. "My estimate is probably about 14,000 people this year.”
Crouch, who took part in a one-hour Facebook Live advice session with WFAA on Thursday afternoon and who offers his own tutorials online, says that you should always protest your appraisal. He says it makes the long-term data more accurate whether you protest with his help or on your own.
“I believe the appraisal district is honestly just looking for an excuse to give you a reduction,” Crouch said. “You just have to know how to present information to allow them to do that.”
Tarrant County’s chief appraiser Jeffrey Law told our newspaper partner, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, that he estimates that overall values are up 7 to 10 percent and that “while some individual property values may have substantially larger percentage increases, others may see lower increases.”
Most of Joyce Hood’s property taxes are capped because she is over the age of 65. But, with the help of Chandler Crouch, she protests anyway.
“It’s the principle of the thing," Hood said. "If we don’t fight it then it’s going to continue to go up for those people that are 60. And they’re going to have to move out of the state of Texas because they can’t afford to live in Texas.”
A widespread feeling every April in Texas, no matter which increasingly expensive county you call home.