Dave Lieber, who is better known as The Watchdog, of Dallas Morning News has launched a “Everybody File a Protest” Campaign using his platform with the media channel in the DFW area.
You can read the article here.
While RealValueIQ agrees with The Watchdog’s overall campaign – specifically that of everyone should file a protest – we feel that Mr. Lieber stopped short of the most compelling reason for Texas property owners to get behind such a movement.
We’ve long said that until the system is either perfected so nobody has to file a protest, or until everyone files a protest, it means the CAD hasn’t perfected its appraisal process.
Mr. Lieber hinted to us that he might be unveiling something like this before the property tax season, and to be honest, we were excited. We could not agree more with the idea of everyone who is eligible to file an online protest to file an online protest.
The real reason you should protest your property taxes
Upon reading the article, however, we became a little disappointed. Why? Because he mentions the primary reason of receiving a lower value as the main motivating factor behind filing a protest. We believe it’s something else: Long-term political change.
We believe everyone should file a protest because this single act, if done collectively, would draw more attention and more awareness to the property tax issue, and very realistically do more politically for the issue, than anything else that can be done by the citizens of of a particular county.
We’ll talk in future posts about the nuts of bolts of what a mass protest would mean, but for now let us just say that for the reason The Watchdog accurately lays out in his article about the CAD not being fit to handle this kind of volume, would surely come political attention.
No matter where you stand on the property tax issue, you probably desire for a real discussion about property taxes that would potentially result in some meaningful change for once.
Most of the talk surrounding property tax every two years in the Texas Legislature – no matter how high a priority it is for the session – ends with moderate changes that do more for political platforms than they actually do for taxpayers pockets or communities.
Let’s do this for the long haul
People who deserve a reduction should absolutely protest. And they should absolutely protest online and not share a bulk of their savings on a contingency fee basis with a consultant (that’s another $240M story).
But contrary to the Watchdog’s article, we do not think receiving a reduction is the primary reason “everyone should file a protest”. Why? Not everyone is entitled to a reduction.
In fact, we estimate anywhere from 30-50% of the residents in a given Texas county are content with their property’s taxable value in a given year, with certain counties being exceptions to the rule.
Therefore, we can’t get behind a movement that doesn’t state a purpose worth convincing everyone to file a protest. But everyone, we’d venture to guess, wants longterm property tax change. Protest for that reason.
Let’s start the movement together.