George Scott Knows How HCAD’s iSettle Works – He does not like it. What have your experiences been like?
What Roberts says he has learned over the years is that HCAD has a “give the dog a bone” approach to homeowners. “In other words, HCAD will often give a minor value reduction at the informal level hoping that will be enough to keep citizens from going before an Appraisal Review Board hearing,” he said. Roberts calls the district’s much-touted online iSettle program as a perfect example of why homeowners need to be much more aggressive in representing their interests in achieving a lower tax bill on their home.
First, Roberts noted, homeowners have caught on to the “gimmick” nature of the iSettle program since it was first introduced. Use of the iSettle program has fallen dramatically since its first full year of implementation because homeowners have learned it doesn’t really function in their interests.
“Homeowners cannot interact or negotiate or fully represent their interest with a computer. What they need to understand is that when they use iSettle, they are sacrificing 50% of their negotiating power because it counts as an informal meeting,” Roberts says.
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