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Objectives

Residential property tax protests have drawn public debate, but relatively little is known about who protests, the outcomes of protests, and consistency among local review boards. This study examines these topics among 171,228 homeowners of Tarrant County, Texas who filed a protest between 2001 and 2009.

Methods

Using data from an appraisal district in Texas, this study examines market differences, housing types, and appraisal board outcomes over time to assess the degree to which market predictors contribute to differences in protest rates and outcomes in 40 municipalities.

Results

Protest rates tend to change little over time and hold within a narrow range. A small percentage of protests conclude with a full hearing; decisions tend to favor protestors.

Conclusions

Contrary to public opinion, protests are not surging. For protestors, market value within their communities emerges as a better predictor of filing a protest than simply market value of individual properties.