Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan suggests simple solutions for property owners that can significantly lower their tax burden.

“The Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) recently sent the 2014 appraisal values to property owners and many saw substantial increases due to the region’s growth,” said Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan. “I want to remind taxpayers that there are ways to reduce your tax burden.”

Texas law allows property owners to protest their market value if they feel it is too high. “You can apply online through HCAD ( or fill out and send the form included in your appraisal notice,” said Mr. Sullivan. “Be sure to provide as much information as possible on the protest form, whether it’s about similar properties in your neighborhood or changes made on your property or land. All of this will aid in your protest and might get your value lowered, which will lower your property tax bill at the end of the year.”

Exemptions can also lower your property tax bill as well. “There are many exemptions offered to property owners,” said Mr. Sullivan. “Your exemptions should be noted on the appraisal notice. Check to be sure you’re receiving the exemptions you are entitled to. If you forgot to apply for your homestead exemption last year, you can apply for both 2013 and 2014 tax years and once approved, you could receive a refund for last year’s 2013 bill.”

Most common exemptions:

–       Residential Homestead – Taxpayer owns and lives in the home on January 1

–       Over-65 – Taxpayer is over the age of 65, owns and lives in the home

–       Disability Homestead – Taxpayer with a qualifying disability

–       Veterans Disability – Military veterans with a qualifying disability