Property tax scam letters sent to East Texas

Property tax scam letters sent to East Texas

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The home is where the heart is, and of course, owning a home requires you to pay property taxes.

Now is property tax season. Some East Texans stay on top of paying them while others experience a little confusion.

To add a little more confusion, many East Texans are receiving letters in the mail from outside businesses, claiming with their help, you could save hundreds of dollars.

Lisa Bowman, a tax clerk, said, "They are more or less so a scam. - a way for companies to get a quick buck."

An example letter might read that you have not filed a homestead exemption, and if you let them to do it for you, you will receive a large refund.

The catch is that you must first send them a check. The amount of money the companies ask for varies.

"It's something that you can do yourself. You don't need a letter in the mail," said Midget Sherman, Angelina County's tax assessor.

She explained that the part in the letters about filing exemptions to lower property taxes is valid.

The problem with the letters is that they tend to make residents feel as though filing the exemption is something that one cannot do on his own.

The tax exemptions are not publicized.

"People don't know they are there and they can get them," Sherman said.

For this reason, when residents receive the letter, they might feel they are getting good news or some type of deal.

Unfortunately, some have fallen victim to sending that check to outside companies.

"Some people have come in and said they sent the check, and unfortunately, they can't get their money back," Bowman said.

Sherman said if you receive a letter like this, you should call the appraisal district or the county tax office.

"It's simple," Sherman said. "You fill out a form, sign it, and you may qualify to be exempt from some expenses." She said the outside companies are not necessary.

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