Frequently asked questions

Property Tax Questions & Answers

How experienced is R&A?

R&A has a highly experienced staff.

  • The average experience for an R&A team member is 22 years.
  • Our staff consists of 4 Licensed Senior Property Tax Consultants. Their average experience is over 31 years.

Our clients can rest assured that their real estate tax matters are in good hands.

What fee structures are offered?

Rainbolt & Alexander, Inc maintains flexible fee agreements with our clients. Clients can choose from 4 different fee structures depending on their individual preference:

  • Performance Fee – fee is based on a percentage of tax savings achieved
  • Flat Fee – an annual amount tailored specifically for each property
  • Blended Fee – combination of a Performance Fee and an Administrative Fee
  • Hourly Rate

How does the Texas property tax system work?

The property tax system in Texas consists of three main parts:

  1. Appraisal Districts – Each county has an appraisal district which is responsible for establishing the value of property each year.
  2. Appraisal Review Board – This board of citizens hears any disagreements between a property owner and the appraisal district about property valuations.
  3. Local Taxing Units – County, City, School, Junior College, and Special Districts determine the amount of money they will spend by adopting a budget. Then, they set tax rates that will raise the necessary revenue to fund the budgets.

The property tax year can be broken down into four main parts:

  1. Appraising Taxable Property – A major function of appraisal districts is to determine what your property is worth as of January 1.
  2. Protesting the Appraised Values – The Appraisal Review Board begins to hear protests in mid-May from property owners who believe their property values are incorrect.
  3. Adopting the Tax Rates – Tax Rates are adopted around August or September by the elected officials of each taxing unit.
  4. Collecting the Taxes – Collecting taxes begins around October 1 as tax bills are sent out. Taxpayers have until January 31 of the following year to pay their taxes. Penalty and interest begin to accumulate on February 1.

What is Unequal Appraisal?

Unequal appraisal occurs when similar properties are assessed differently, and is a common argument made by the protesting party in appeal hearings.

Section 41.43 of the Texas Property Tax Code provides the basis for an appeal on unequal appraisal and is as follows:

“a protest on the ground of unequal appraisal of property shall be determined in favor of the protesting party unless the appraisal district establishes that: the appraised value of the property is equal to or less than the median appraised value of a reasonable number of comparable properties appropriately adjusted.”

When is the deadline to protest my property taxes?

The deadline in Texas is the later of May 15, or 30 days after the appraisal district sends the notice of assessed value.

Please contact us if you have a question about another specific property tax deadline.

It’s past the protest deadline but I never received my value notice. Can I still protest?

Yes. Section 41.411 addresses the issue “Failure to Receive Notice” and allows for a protest to be filed:

§ 41.411. PROTEST OF FAILURE TO GIVE NOTICE. (a) A property owner is entitled to protest before the appraisal review board the failure of the chief appraiser or the appraisal review board to provide or deliver any notice to which the property owner is entitled. (b) If failure to provide or deliver the notice is established, the appraisal review board shall determine a protest made by the property owner on any other grounds of protest authorized by this title relating to the property to which the notice applies. (c) A property owner who protests as provided by this section must comply with the payment requirements of Section 42.08 or he forfeits his right to a final determination of his protest.

What’s the difference between “Appraised Value” and “Market Value” for a residential property?

“Market value” represents what the appraisal district believes your home could be sold for on the open market as of January 1.

“Appraised value” is the actual amount that taxes are levied against to determine how much you pay in property taxes. The appraised value is less than the market value in the event that an appraisal cap limit annual valuation increases to a maximum of 10%.

Annual Tax Saving Results

Combined Posted Tax Savings in 2020

  • Combined Average Tax Reduced 17.25% 17.25%

What Our Clients Are Saying

“Rainbolt & Alexander has been able to save my clients hundreds of thousands of dollars by protesting our property taxes. They are always very helpful with the institutional clients whom require tedious reporting!”

Wulfe & Co.

“I have worked with Richard Godwin at Rainbolt & Alexander for over a decade. They are always responsive to our needs and have done a great job of representing our interests in front of the various taxing authorities. I would recommend them without reservation.”

Houston Distributing

“Russell Alexander and his team at Rainbolt and Alexander are excellent to work with. They are very responsive and extremely helpful when we have questions or concerns. I managed over 38 buildings in Houston and surrounding areas and Russell Alexander handles the taxes for 95% of my properties. They have been very successful in getting my properties value lowered; which is extremely important to CB Richard Ellis and my clients. I would recommend Rainbolt and Alexander to anyone looking for a firm. I look forward to many more years of successful results with them.”

CB Richard Ellis

“I have a 20 plus year history with Rainbolt & Alexander because they are among the best tax consulting professionals and they have always achieved excellent tax valuation appeal results. They are not only professionally aggressive when appealing values, but they are highly respected by the taxing authorities for the supporting documentation respectfully presented to support their case.”

Gables Residential

“I have worked with Rainbolt & Alexander, Inc. on a large portfolio of properties for several years and have always been satisfied with their performance. Not only are the overall results of the tax appeals exemplary year after year, the entire team at R&A provides excellent customer service that goes above and beyond the expected.”

AIMCO

“I have worked with these professionals for over 15 years and they have always achieved incredible appeal results, been through and have been quick to respond to all of our property tax needs.”

Camden Property Trust

“I have worked with William Horn and Rainbolt & Alexander, Inc. for the past several years, and during that time they have exceeded all of my expectations in handling the property tax protesting for my company. William has done an amazing job of understanding each of my specific properties, formulating plan to protest their respective values, implementing that plan, and achieving reductions in nearly every single case. Along the way, he has kept me aware of the progress on each case. I highly recommend Rainbolt & Alexander for any and all property tax
work.”

NAI Partners

Clients

Real Estate Tax Services