Finding an official definition of Equal & Uniform (sometimes referred to as Equity or E&U) is difficult. The Texas Constitution highlights Equal & Uniform taxation in Article 8. Section 1, but this is not very cut and dry. We will be referencing Section 42.26 of the Texas Property Tax Code to help us explain what equal & uniform means to you as a homeowner in a practical way. *** Please do not read this as legal advise. We are not licensed to practice law. This is just a discussion from the point of view of a licensed property tax consultant ***
What is Equal and Uniform?
Equal and uniform is one of the two methods you can appeal your property tax (the other being market value). When you file an appeal based on equal & uniform, you are saying "I am not valued fairly." What do we mean by "valued fairly"? There is a very specific process you must go through to prove you are valued unfairly.
- You compare other similar properties (comps) to yours (almost always in the same neighborhood) and make appropriate adjustments for size, condition, land value, etc.
- These properties do not have to be recent sales and you are using their assigned market value by the appraisal district as a basis of comparison, not their sale price.
- You must use a reasonable number of comps in your analysis. Reasonable is a purposely vague word used because this will vary depending on the property. One property may have hundreds of similar properties in a neighborhood, whereas another may have only a few. In general, you must use at least seven (7) comps that are a representative sample of all the similar properties you could use.
- You must use the median adjusted value of those comps to arrive at an equal and uniform value. You cannot use an average.
- If the adjusted median value (adjusted means you have accounted for differences is size, condition, land value, etc.) is lower than you current market value, then you are valued unfairly and can make a legitimate equal and uniform argument in your appeal.