As property owners all over the county found out yesterday when they opened their mail and found the wretched little envelope from the Galveston Country Central Appraisal District office (otherwise known as "CAD" which is sorta a funny irony in itself), it's that time of year - property tax assessment time.
For those of us that experienced Hurricane Ike's devastation (yeah, that's a pretty huge pool of folks), one of the silver linings to Ike (we're very lucky to have found a few of those) was the promise of a greatly adjusted appraised property value on our homes and/or businesses. (In our case, both - as the house and the old shop were "Ike-d", which was not uncommon on the Island I'm afraid)
Ah, the glory of a reduced value. It took a little bit of the sting out of paying taxes on what was now the equivalent of an Early American Outhouse for a short time, but the brief respite was so quickly eradicated from my memory when I opened yesterday's mail from CAD with the new appraised value.
No, I wouldn't either! But CAD thought we should - at least that was the case until this morning when I had the pleasure (no sarcasm intended - she was great) of meeting our case manager who, after all was said and done, fully agreed that no, this is not the swanky open-air bathroom of a nearly quarter of a million dollar home. It is a commode in the middle of what was once our entry hall. Game, set and match.
The bottom line is this: don't take what they give you as the end-all-be-all. (Unless you're happy with the value, then sit tight and don't say anything!)
There are so many citizens out there that just don't know you can protest these things - and it's fairly easy to do. My recommendations: 1) call for an appointment to "informally" protest your appraised value (409.935-1980) 2) bring pictures, evidence, advice and or supportive comps from your Galveston Realtor with you to the appointment, and 3) be nice to your case worker - they're just doing their jobs and they really can be reasonable if you just give them the facts.
If you can't come to an agreement during the informal protest, you'll have the opportunity to apply for a date to formally protest. Hopefully it won't come to that, but if it does, know that it is your right to question this value.