A reader whose new property tax assessment is feeling pressure from all the construction nearby in Brooke Smith writes in with questions about HCAD’s “economic misimprovement” classification. That’s the label HCAD often applies to older houses in neighborhoods where similar structures are being torn down and replaced with new construction. (It’s “an adjustment to the dwelling to limit the remaining building value as the land value increases.”) Writes the homeowner: “I was wondering if my fellow co-readers would have any information about filing your home as an economic misimprovement and how to do so with HCAD. Also, are there any disadvantages of doing so?”
Some background: “I bought my home in 2012; my property taxes from 2011–2012 increased by 40 percent. I prepared a thorough protest, but the ARB essentially denied my protest by comparing my home to the new homes/heavily remodeled homes in the neighborhood.”
I live in an old home. There is a remodel on file with HCAD in 2008 where the previous homeowners updated the kitchen and converted the floorplan from 3BR to 2. Other than that, the home is still the same as it was 11 years ago.
Yesterday, I received my appraisal letter, and if it weren’t for the fact that my account was capped this year, they would’ve attempted to raise my taxes by 29 percent. The value of the land went up by $50K, and the value of the home about $2K.
My neighborhood is gentrifying at a rather alarming rate, but my home is nowhere near the $400-$600K homes that are being built or heavily remodeled. Tear me downs are going for $220-250K, and if I were to sell, my home would most likely be bulldozed or immediately humperlowed.