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Property values in Brazoria County are soaring, but there is something we can do about it. Here is how I have kept mine down over the years.

By John Toth / The Bulletin

It’s a good thing I was sitting down when I opened the 2024 notice of appraised value of my house.

I received the letter a few days earlier from the Brazoria County Appraisal District, and I knew what it contained.

I was hoping that the values this year would not skyrocket again, and I could perhaps save a trip to the district’s offices.

But they did. The appraised value of my house in Angleton increased by $20,037.

If I weren’t sitting down, I may have passed out on the dining room floor. So, make sure that when you open your appraisal envelope, you’re sitting down. No need to incur medical expenses atop the new property value.

I know that everyone is just doing their jobs, and I also know that high property values don’t necessarily equate to higher property taxes. It is the taxing entity’s responsibility to assess a tax on that value. The appraisal district has nothing to do with that.

What they are missing is that inside a house (in my house, anyway) nothing has changed from the years before. Appraisers don’t make house calls.

They slap on that new appraisal because that’s what the computer spits out.

 If you’re satisfied with your property values, there is nothing else that you need to do. The taxing entities will decide the tax rate based on the new values this summer sometime.

But I’m not really satisfied. I don’t plan to sell my home; I don’t plan to move and rent it out. I just plan to live here.

 This is where we raised our family, watched them finish school and go off into the big world. This is where we watched them come back and then go off again.

It’s time to do what I do every year - go down to the appraisal district offices and protest.

Each year, homeowners who disagree with their new home values can file a protest and try to resolve their grievances informally or formally.

I have always chosen the informal method.

The process description on the notice from the district can be a little intimidating on the first read, but it’s not really all that complicated.

I file a claim, and they send me a time and date on which my case would be heard. The informal protest has some limitations, but I always try this first to see if I can get the value lowered close enough to last year’s.

If that doesn’t work, then I always have the formal protest option, but I have never gone that route.

I have never had a negative experience at the appraisal district in Brazoria County. I have always been treated with respect. I have to give them credit. Being on the other side of the counter in a situation like this is not a job without some stress. But we have always been able to reach a middle ground without going to a formal hearing.

The first thing that comes up during these hearings is how much property values have increased all around us.

“But I haven’t bought those houses. I can’t help that other people are willing to pay that much. I’ll sell you my house at the new appraised value today,” is my usual comeback.

I saw the same thing each year. I don’t have the resources to put together an elaborate documented argument detailing why my new appraised value is too high.

I also have the option of hiring a law firm that specializes in reducing my property values.

I have never done that, either. But if you have, dear reader, please jot down how you fared, and if it was worth it and send it to me at

Here we go again. I’ll let you know how I fare at the appraisal district. I have already turned in my protest request and am waiting on a date and time to appear.

I’ll be the guy in line wearing a pair of old jeans, torn T-shirt and shoes with holes in them.


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