Another big year of property appraisal protests expected in Travis County

Local News

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Travis County Appraisal District expects another large number of protests this year with Wednesday being the final day to file an appeal.

On Tuesday, there were more than 102,000 protests. Last year, there were nearly 143,000.

“Our trend for the last five years has been up about 10 percent per year,” said Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler.

The high volume comes amid concerns of rising property values and how homeowners’ property data is being used.

Elena Rodriguez was one of many who waited until the last two days to appeal.

“We had built a bedroom expansion, a master bedroom and bath, and again, it’s way more than what we expected,” she said.

To accommodate the larger workload, the Appraisal District is seeking to purchase a new building on East Anderson Lane for $10 million.                   

Until TCAD finalizes the purchase, it will rent the first floor of space for appeal hearings this year. The hearings begin next month. Crigler says it will allow for four times as many hearings as before. 

Some homeowners who went to file tell KXAN they’re concerned about how county tax appraisers are allegedly getting data on their homes.

The Austin Board of Realtors claims a vendor that runs its multiple listing service for buying and selling homes — sold data to the appraisal district. 

It says that’s a contract violation. 

“It appears as if they knew that they were getting data they weren’t supposed to be getting so that does cause a pretty big breach of trust,” said homeowner Kevin Wickham.

When asked about the allegations, Crigler said everything was done by the book.

“The appraisal district’s goal is to do its job as it’s required by law,” said Crigler. “We get tested by the comptroller to ensure that we’re doing that job according to law. We have followed every procedure that we needed to.”

You can see just how much you owe under the current tax rate by plugging in an address at travistaxes.com. 

If Senate Bill 2 passes, which is supposed to limit property tax growth, the current version would require all counties to build a similar website. 

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