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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you have not yet received a contract from us in the mail, you can now sign up with us online. Also, if you get into contact with our office directly, we can get a contract to you as soon as possible. Please note, once you have signed up, you do not have to renew your agreement. For your convenience, the contract stays active every year.

When we receive your agreement, we’ll file your protest and handle your hearing. We’ll also send a property information sheet and Appointment of Agent Form. Once you’ve filled these out, you can simply sit back and relax.

No. Unless otherwise stated on the agreement or Appointment of Agent, Novotny & Company’s agreement renews each year.

Once you are a client with Novotny & Company, we will send you a property information sheet listing several questions. Some questions residential homeowners will be asked include:

  • Are there any visible cracks?
  • Does the property flood easily?
  • Do you back a commercial property?

Often times, with problems concerning the condition of the house, we ask that property owners send us photos as proof. Also, when repairs are required, estimates sent to us will often be a big help in getting your property taxes reduced.

No one knows your house better than you. On the Harris County Appraisal District’s website, they state that “all HCAD residential building measurements are done from the exterior, with individual measurements rounded to the closest foot. This measurement includes all closet space, hallways, and interior staircases. Attached garages are not included in the square footage of living area, but valued separately.” However, you might have attic space that might be counted as living area.

In this case, we ask that our clients send blueprints so that your property square footage can be measured exactly in HCAD’s system. We don’t stop there! We’ll use property sales and appraisal comparisons to make sure that your appraisal is fair and accurate!

The protest deadline is always May 31st. Make sure to send us your contract before then so we can file your protest for you.

For every year that you have a homestead exemption, your taxing jurisdiction allows a percentage reduction from your appraised value. Also, so long as you have a homestead exemption, the appraised value of your home can only increase 10% during a given year, plus any new building permit value for remodeling or additions.

The market value of a property is the amount that the district believes your property could sell for if on the open market. The appraised value is often times known as your “cap,” if you have a homestead exemption. This means that even if your market value continues to increase, your appraised value can only increase 10%. In order to obtain any tax savings, property values must be cut below the appraised value.

No. Property taxes are paid in arrears, meaning that you will pay your taxes after the hearing has been done. You will notice your new appraisal value on your tax bill in November.

All cancellations must be done in writing. No cancellations will be taken over the phone. All cancellations must be received by Novotny & Company before March 30th of any subsequent year.

Often times, this question depends on your situation. If you are unsatisfied with a value settled in an informal hearing, we can attempt to file a correction on your behalf. However, if your property was settled formally you have the legal option to request binding arbitration or appear before district court, depending on the value of your property. As of 2010, binding arbitration is available to all residential properties with Homestead Exemptions regardless of value. If the appraised value of your residential property is a million dollars or less, you have the right to file an appeal for binding arbitration; if the appraised value is over a million dollars you have the right to go before district court or binding arbitration. Also, commercial properties valued under $1,000,000 may also file for binding arbitration. Once you receive an ARB order, you have 45 days to request arbitration.

Please contact our offices to see what options are best suited to your individual case. To learn more about binding arbitration for residential properties please read it here.

Homestead Properties: Since Homestead properties are limited to a 10% increase of the Appraised value, there is sometimes a difference between the Market and Appraised values. It is the county’s duty to appraise a property at the full Market value, irrespective of the appraisal cap. When a property owner or consultant is in a hearing, we must legally begin with the Market value. If a determined Market value is lower than the Appraised value, there are tax savings. If there is a reduction that still comes higher than the Appraised value it is referred to as a Market Reduction. Both types of reductions take considerable amount of time, effort and expertise to achieve. Novotny & Company charges for either the tax savings or the market reduction, whichever is greater. 
Tax Savings Fee: Difference between Noticed and Final value – Exemption Value x Tax Rate x Contingency Fee Market Reduction: $2 for every $1000 reduced off the Market value

As these properties have no cap on the amount they can increase year to year the fee for these is simply: 
Tax Savings Fee: Difference between Noticed and Final value x tax rate x contingency fee 

Contingency fees can be found on our contract online or by calling our office at 713-932-7672