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18/Aug/2019

Each year, Texan homeowners must pay property taxes to the local taxing units. If you own a home in San Antonio, you have probably grown accustomed to receiving a tax bill in the mail sometime around October. Imagine your surprise to open your mail and find out that your tax bill is significantly higher than previous years. There are a number of factors that go into determining your property taxes, but if your taxes are much higher than they were before, it is not unlikely that you are the victim of an over assessment.

Tax Protest Signs

It’s a proven fact that those who protest their property taxes end up paying less than those who don’t do anything about it.

Although there is a science behind determining property values, it is important to know that assessors make a lot of assumptions about properties, which can in turn lead to errors down the road in tax assessments. Even basic errors like the wrong square footage or number of units can have an influence on the assessed amounts. Another common mistake made by assessors is attaching a property’s real estate value to the sale price.

The truth of the matter is there is that you should protest your taxes every single year, whether you believe that the assessment is correct or incorrect. By protesting on a yearly basis, you could end up saving yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time.

How to Protest

The first step to protesting is, you guessed it, filing a protest. A universal form can be found here for ease of reference, or you can send in a letter indicating that you are protesting your taxes. Either way, be sure to include that the basis is both assessed value over market value and equal appraisal.

The next step is to research your property. Request a copy of your property record card from the assessing unit or you may even be able to find the information online. The record card gives you an overview of your property, including square footage, lot size, construction information, as well as many other important details that play into the property’s value. Any discrepancies on the property record card is a basis for a protest.

Last step is to prepare for your hearing. This means planning out your argument and gathering evidence.

What is most important is to not go to the hearing with a sad story of how you cannot afford to pay your taxes. The Board does not have any control over lowering your taxes per se. The Board can only determine property values, which in turn can result in lowering of your taxes.

One of the most useful pieces of information you can gather is to request House Bill 201 evidence. If you request this information, the assessing unit must send you all of the evidence they plan to use at the hearing within 14 days of the hearing. This gives you an inside scoop on how they arrived at your final assessment for the year. This also gives you the opportunity to discount their evidence and plan for your rebuttal. Other important documentation you can utilize at your hearing may include recent sales of properties in the area that are comparable to yours, or pictures of any repair problems on your property, as well as any other negative things that surround your property. The more information you can provide to support your case, the better your outcome will be.

Although you can protest all on your own, you’re likely to get a better outcome with a professional by your side. At O Connor tax protest, we’ve been helping property owners lower their taxes since 1974. We do San Antonio protests as well as protests in many other areas around the state of Texas. What’s even better is that you will pay nothing unless your taxes are reduced.


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18/Aug/2019

At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we understand that substance abuse and addiction happen. If you have gotten caught up in a situation where this is the case, it does not mean you are a bad person or a bad parent. It does, however, mean that there is an increased risk of Child Protective Services (CPS) coming to your home and investigating whether or not your home is safe for your child.

What CPS Can and Cannot Do

The role of CPS is to ensure the safety and well-being of Texas families and specifically in regards to children. The majority of Texas families will never deal with CPS, but when they come it can be a frightening thing. The remainder of this piece will focus on how CPS can and will interact with a family when there are allegations, true or not, that a substance abuse issue is negatively affecting a child’s life.

CPS is duty bound to intervene when they are called about a situation where a parent or legal guardian is endangering a child because of a substance abuse issue. Even if the allegations are false and reported with malicious intent, CPS will investigate. These calls come in anonymously and must be followed up. If you are the parent who was reported, CPS will not get involved in your attempts to get well. They are solely interested in ensuring the safety and well-being of your child.

You are probably wondering, especially if CPS has visited your home, “Can CPS take my child from my home?” The answer is yes. If, after further investigation, CPS finds that your child is in danger, they can and will remove your child from your home. While their goal is to do what is best for the child, when a child is in immediate danger, the best thing to do is to remove them from the situation.

What to do When CPS Takes Your Child

The first thing to do is to hire an attorney who is well-versed and experienced in working with CPS and keeping families together. Bryan Fagan and his associates can help, but whoever you choose make sure they are experts in family law.

The second thing that you do is that you continue to meet with CPS representatives and caseworkers. Begin attending meetings with “aaa drink cps” that show your willingness and desire to discontinue the behavior that led CPS to take your child away. Even if you cannot prove everything at once, continue and marked improvement is important.

CPS will continue to engage with you in a respectful and patient manner as the parent. Their hope and their goal is to get the child back into your home, so treat them with the respect and patience that they need as well.

While CPS continues to communicate with you, they will simultaneously engage with your child as well. CPS will have licensed social workers that speak with your child and can gauge every relevant issue including but not limited to their age, mental development, and trauma level. It is important for them to get to know your child and to see how your substance abuse has affected them.

Throughout this process, make sure that you have legal representation for yourself. Your attorney will be the person who leads and guides you through this difficult time and gives legal advice that will allow you to get your child back as quickly as possible.




Dallas Divorce


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