HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Get ready for property tax sticker shock. Hundreds of thousands of Harris County homeowners are getting their appraisals in the mail soon, and most of them will see increases.
The first assessments are in the mail and, for some homeowners, online.
Colby Hodges bought his home a year ago and now HCAD says it's worth $33,000 more than the purchase price.
"It's shocking, it's just really shocking," said Hodges. He plans to protest the increase.
"The first year, obviously, we don't have the ability to have a homestead exemption so we just have to eat that, there is nothing we can really do," said Hodges.
Officials at the Harris County Appraisal District say it looks like home owners will see 15 percent increase in appraisals across the board.
The reason for the spike? Houston's still sizzling housing market.
"More and more people are moving to Houston all the time, so the values are going to go up because the demand for housing has gone up," said Sylvie Novotny of Novonty and Company.
Novotny says the best way to fight increasing values is to protest your appraisal.
Even in areas of town values have gone way up, protesting may still be worth it.
"Harris County is a great county, but they appraise on a mass basis and sometimes what they are doing the value on, or basing the value on, may be misinformation," said Novotny.
The only way to fight increases is to protest, you can do that on line and there is a step by step guide on how to file a successful protest on www.hcad.org and also the folks at Novotny are holding a seminar for home owners.
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