Property Tax Protest FAQs:
For your convenience, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the process of Protesting a Property Tax Value.
Are you getting your Head of Family exemption?
All New Mexico residents are entitled to a $2000 reduction on their taxable value of their primary residence. The only catch is that you have to apply for it! Check your tax bill to make sure you’re getting this exemption! If not, here are the application forms:
Bernalillo County (click to download form)
Sandoval County (click to download form)
Santa Fe County (click to download form)
Most other counties have a form available on their websites. Fill out and submit this form to the address on the form!
How does the property tax protest process work?
We will file a protest on your behalf before the deadline. It usually take the assessor’s office 30-60 days to prepare to begin meeting with us. We research the properties during that time, looking for evidence to support a lower value than your assessed value. We meet and negotiate with the county appraisers throughout the summer. Any changes will be reflected on your tax bill which comes out November 1st.
What do I need to do?
Fill out, sign and return BOTH the Letter of Authorization and the Consultant Agreement. It’s helpful if you can send a copy of the notice(s) of value you received, especially in smaller counties or for properties without addresses. We will handle everything from there. If you don’t have the notice of value, clearly list the parcel numbers or addresses on the Letter of Authorization.
What are the fees associated with a protest?
Our fee in Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties is 35% (40% in all other counties in New Mexico) of your actual tax savings. If we lower your tax bill $100, our fee would be $35 (or $40). If we lower your tax bill $1000, our fee would be $350 (or $400). If we aren’t able to get a reduction, there is no fee.
Can you tell me if you think it is worth it to protest?
Not right away. We file around 5,000 protests statewide each year. During this deadline period, getting them filed is pretty much ALL we do. Once the protests are filed, we begin researching each property. Right now, the goal is to just get them all filed. We will do our best to find evidence to support a lower value. If we have any questions, we will contact you in the future. If your property has a special circumstance, please include a note about it.
Will the assessor’s office come and look at my property?
They very well might. If it’s a property that hasn’t been inspected in recent years, they will probably go field check it to be sure their records are accurate before meeting with us. They do not need to enter your home to measure the structure. Many counties are also canvassing all properties in their county as a 2-year project, so if they haven’t already inspected yours, they probably will.
Will my taxes go up because I filed a protest?
Generally, no. They do not retaliate because you filed a protest. However, if you have made an addition that they have not picked up, they will most likely find it, which could raise your value. They constantly monitor building permits and with satellite images, so they’ll likely find it soon anyway.
When will I hear something from you?
We work to resolve the protests throughout the summer months. If we have any questions or need additional information from you, we’ll call you then. As we resolve all properties in each file, we generate invoices if we get a reduction, or send you a letter if there is no reduction. This could be any time between about June and October.
Should I go ahead and pay the taxes due in May?
Yes, those are the 2nd half 2019 taxes. The 2019 tax bill came out last November. The 1st half had to be paid by December. The 2nd half is paid by May. Our work now will affect your 2020 tax bill that comes out November 1, 2020.
Can you do anything about Past Years?
No. There is a 30-day deadline in which you have to file the protest each year. It is 30 days from when the notices of value are mailed.