PRESS RELEASE / April 10, 2020
Fort Bend Central Appraisal District Mails Property Value Notices
Fort Bend County – Property owners in Fort Bend County should expect to receive their 2020 Notice of Appraised Value from the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District (FBCAD) in the next few days. Appraisal notices are being mailed in groups – the first group should be received around April 11th and the second should be received around April 18th.
Appraisal districts are required to appraise property at its January 1st market value. Accordingly, the 2020 value notices will reflect the market value of the property on January 1, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Texas Property Tax Code does not provide a mechanism for freezing property appraisals. Appraised values in 2021 will reflect the market conditions resulting from the events of this year.
Property owners who disagree with their 2020 valuation are encouraged to file a notice of protest. The deadline to file a protest is May 15th or 30 days from the date after the notice is delivered, whichever is later. Unfortunately, there is not a provision in the Tax Code for the protest deadline to be extended beyond that date.
“We encourage property owners to file their protest electronically through the online appeals system located under the “Protest” section at www.fbcad.org. The online protest process allows property owners to file from the safety of their home,” said Jordan Wise, Chief Appraiser.
An Online Protest ID, which can be found in the upper, right corner of the notice of appraised value, is required for an online protest. Additional instructions on how to file an online protest can be found on the FBCAD website. Protests may also be submitted by mail or placed in a secure drop box at the front doors of the FBCAD building.
When filing a protest, property owners are encouraged to submit information and documents for the appraisal district to review. Recommended items include fully executed closing statements, dated pictures of needed repairs, repair estimates on a company’s letterhead, and verified sales information. In all cases, the documentation should be from the past few months. Once a protest is received, an appraiser will review your information. An appraiser may then present a settlement offer or, in some cases, contact you if additional items are needed.
Due to the ongoing “Stay At Home, Work Safe” orders, the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District is unable to do face-to-face informal meetings this year. “In an effort to protect our community and team, FBCAD is implementing phone and e-mail informal meetings,” Wise said. If a property owner would like to request an informal meeting, they need to indicate that in Section 4 of the Notice of Protest form. They will also need to provide a phone number and email address so an appraiser can contact them. During these meetings, property owners can present information to a registered FBCAD appraiser to determine an agreed value.
If an agreement is reached, then the protest is considered resolved and a hearing before the Appraisal Review Board is not necessary. If a property owner is unable to resolve their protest informally, they can present their information to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) of Fort Bend County. The ARB is an independent, decision making body with the authority to change a value. A property owner may appear before the ARB in person, by phone, or via an affidavit. At this time, the ARB in Fort Bend County is working through their plans for the handling of 2020 hearings, with them tentatively scheduled to start at the end of May.
FBCAD Office Status
Services in the lobby of the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District office have been suspended due to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order issued on Tuesday, March 31st. FBCAD will continue to operate in this remote and responsible capacity while the Executive Order is in effect.
“Even though physical access to the office is restricted, I want to assure you that the FBCAD team is diligently working and continues to serve the public. A very small group of team members rotate to the office to tend to mission-critical matters while practicing social distancing. The remaining staff is working remotely,” Wise said.
During this time, the public is encouraged to utilize the appraisal district’s website, online services, online communications tools, and phone system.