You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers
We’re here to help. Contact us directly – we’re more than happy to answer any business personal property tax inquiries or real estate questions you may have.
Why is utilizing the services of a property tax consultant a better option than protesting my values myself?
Due to the volume of the accounts represented by property tax consultants, we generally have long-standing relationships with the appraisers at the local appraisal districts, which we’ve cultivated and fostered over many years. We can leverage these relationships and history to obtain substantially larger value adjustments than the average property owner would be able to generate on his/her own.
What is the benefit of working on a contingency fee basis vs. flat fee basis? Doesn’t a flat fee ensure that I’m getting the greatest value?
The benefit of contingency fees is that they serve as an incentive for the property tax consultant to reduce as much value as possible since the consultant stands to achieve greater compensation by generating as much tax savings for the client as is conceivable. If there are no tax savings, the client pays no fees.
How is property tax consulting different in Texas than in other states?
Because there is no state income tax in Texas, the state relies very heavily on property taxes to generate revenue. The property taxes are levied through the various jurisdictions for local tax purposes (generally the county, city, school district/ISD, hospital or college districts, and possibly improvement districts, depending upon the location). As a result, the local appraisal districts are often aggressive with property values, since property taxes are the primary source of revenue for these jurisdictions. The ISD portions of these taxes are generally the largest percentage of the total tax levied on property owners. Most other states that have state income tax do not have to rely as heavily on property taxes in order to create revenue for their towns and municipalities.
If I’m not successful in reducing my property value by protesting it myself, can I enlist the property tax services of Kurz Group?
Yes, but you’ll have to wait until the next year’s appraisal and appeal cycle. Typically, if a property owner or agent has filed a real estate tax appeal with a local appraisal district, unless that owner/agent has withdrawn the appeal prior to the scheduled hearing, then he/she will have to wait until next year’s cycle. However, if a property owner or agent has withdrawn the appeal before the hearing date, then it may be possible for Kurz Group to protest the property value on behalf of the owner later that year through a late-correction appeal.
Does Kurz Group offer services in other states besides Texas?
Yes, we are a member of National Property Tax Group, an alliance of property tax consultants located throughout the United States. This network of property tax consulting firms provides property tax services on a local, statewide, regional and national level. Member firms work directly with one another to provide the local property tax appeal knowledge and industry expertise to clients in all major metropolitan areas. Member firms are all highly respected and established in their respective markets, and through this alliance, Kurz Group is able to offer top-tier property tax consulting representation for companies with assets in all 50 states.
How does Kurz Group interact with local and state government entities to affect property tax legislation?
Both Jeff and Rick Kurz have been board members of the Texas Association of Property Tax Professionals (TAPTP) Government Relations Committee. Through this committee, Kurz Group has served as an advocate for property owners and taxpayers to ensure that their rights and entitlements are preserved and that the commercial real estate tax system in Texas remains as fair and equitable for all taxpayers as possible.
How does Kurz Group envision property tax laws changing in the near future as well as over the long term? What impact does Kurz Group foresee these changes having on property owners/taxpayers?
The Texas legislature is in session once every other year. At this time, we do not envision any major changes in property tax legislation on the immediate horizon. However, the laws are always fluid, so we continually monitor them to ensure that we (and our clients) are aware of any impact these laws will have on property owners and taxpayers.
Regarding business personal property accounts, what is the benefit of utilizing a property tax consultant? Can’t we just file our own renditions (returns) in-house or use our CPA to file them?
Yes, you can always file your own returns, or have your CPA file them for you, but keep in mind that property tax rendition filings are probably at the bottom of your accountant’s list of core competencies and/or does not have the intimate knowledge of the intricacies and accuracies of business personal property tax filings. Behind every business personal property tax rendition we file, there is a proforma we have built utilizing the depreciation schedules utilized by each appraisal district office. Consequently, when the rendition is filed, we know to the exact dollar amount what the notice of proposed value should be. If the proposed value for the business personal property is at, or lower than our proforma, we accept the value. However, if the proposed value is higher than the rendition we filed, we appeal the assessment and lower the taxable value. Kurz Group utilizes a perpetually updated, proprietary property tax software program that enables us to determine business personal property values as accurately as possible. The appraisal districts recognize this, so they tend to accept our rendition filings on a more consistent basis than they might do for an individual taxpayer or CPA.
What other services can Kurz Group offer my company with regards to business personal property tax?
Kurz Group can review your company’s fixed asset schedule (e.g., non-leasehold improvements which are used for your business, such as computers, machinery and equipment, supplies, inventory, fleet vehicles, etc.) at no charge to ensure that your assets are being taxed fairly and according to the most up-to-date depreciation schedules. If we determine that your assets are being overvalued, we can protest your assessment on a contingency-fee basis, just as we do for real estate tax appeal. Again, if there are no tax savings, then there are no fees of any kind.
Additionally, we can help your firm with any property tax exemption filings for which your company may not have the expertise or resources in-house to file for in a timely manner. We generally do these kinds of exemption filings on a contingency fee structure as well.
Last, but not least, Kurz Group can handle your business personal property tax filings altogether for your company on a flat-fee basis, thus ensuring that your filings are handled timely and accurately, as well as ensuring that the values your company are paying property taxes on are as low as they can possibly be.
What makes Kurz Group different from other property tax consulting firms?
Kurz Group, Inc. has been practicing property tax consulting in North Texas since 1987. For nearly 30 years, we’ve established ourselves as one of the leading Dallas Fort Worth property tax consulting firms with regards to real estate tax appeal and tax savings achieved for clients. Most of our property tax consultants have been with us for more than 10 years, so we don’t experience a significant amount of employee turnover. Our clients know who we are and what to expect from us in terms of professional results. We have, as a result, achieved one of the highest client retention rates in our industry.