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Many Third Ward residents battling property taxes this year

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Friday is the deadline to protest your property taxes in Harris County. And many Third Ward residents are trying to have their appraisal values lowered.

In certain parts of Third Ward, it is becoming harder to find original owners because so much new construction is fueling a boom in property value. It's something long-time residents say is making it tough to stay.

P.K. McCary is seeing the changes to Third Ward first hand.

"A lot of young people are buying property over here and that's a good thing," McCary said.

McCary says as the neighborhood becomes more popular, property values have gone up and long-time residents are finding it difficult to keep up with the increasing taxes.

"This lady down here on the corner had to rent part of her house out so she can pay the taxes. Her house is paid for," McCary said.

The Harris County Appraisal District says parts of the Third Ward are seeing a tremendous influx of new homes, some worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The construction is transforming sections of Third Ward into what some are calling the Museum District.

"If it's going from one residential use to another residential use, that does become the market in that area," said Harris County Chief Appraiser Jim Robinson said.

Robinson says its the land value that is skyrocketing.

"But typically in those cases we reduced the value of the structure, those old structures in many cases to $100, because the real value is in the land," Robinson said.

The solution for long-time residents?

"You can protest if you feel we over-appraised it, based on the market," Robinson said.

You can file a protest online at HCAD's website under ifile. You can deliver your protest in person by 5pm Friday at hcad's offices or do it through the mail, which needs to be postmarked by midnight Friday.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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