In mid-May, I received my annual property tax valuation from our county central appraisal district (CAD). This document notifies you of the capitalization rate to be used in the current tax year and explains how much you will owe to the various taxing entities. The information can be intimidating to average folks, but it spells out the real dollars you are going to pay. And I thought it was too much!
Occasionally, I have protested the appraised value of my home, and it was always a rigorous investment of time and research. Some people actually hire professionals to go to the CAD to argue for a lower rates. But that would cost even more and there is no guarantee that they will succeed.
This year taxes increased dramatically, and people were gathering at the CAD offices with a latte in one hand, and a protest sign in the other. Homeowners were upset and vocal. I had no interest in joining a revolt. I just wanted to lower my taxes in a peaceful manner.
After much research and with Rolaids in my pocket, I arrived at the CAD office when the doors opened, only to find the parking lot jammed. They gave me a number and told me to sit down with the grumbling crowd. We were all there for the same purpose, to devalue the appraised value of our homes. This is contrary to reason and pride. Usually, you want to brag about your house and property. But there were no braggers at the CAD office that day.
I had a folder with 5 papers in it to support my complaint. Next to me was a man with a cart containing 4 boxes of papers to support him. Several others sat there with their hired agents. Some had charts, poster boards, and multi-media. I started feeling overwhelmed and underprepared, but remained in a prayerful mode minus the grumps.
Almost 4 hours later, I was called in to give my request to the appraiser. It went well. Overall, I actually met with 4 different individuals. They were all cheerful, attentive, and helpful. With the research I brought, and their own new investigation, they actually lowered my upcoming tax bill. O happy day!
Bottom line: God was with me. He led me to truth and calmed my spirit. I am grateful to Him for His Presence in a challenging experience. As the Bible says: “Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.” (Psalm 1:1 NLT)