AUSTIN (KXAN) — Central Texas homeowners may be seeking property tax relief following sharp increases in home appraisals this year. Travis County appraised market values could rise “almost 40 to 50%” in some areas, according to the chief appraiser for Travis Central Appraisal District.
If a property owner disagrees with their home’s appraised market value or the value that a property would sell for as of Jan. 1, they can submit a protest with their county’s appraisal district.
The deadline to submit a protest form is May 16.
How to file a protest in your county
After you receive your appraisal via mail, protests can be submitted to the county’s appraisal review board, which is a citizen group that determines the outcome of a protest. Check with your county of residence for further information.
For Travis County homeowners:
- Online protest forms can be filed at www.traviscad.org/efile. However, the TCAD website is down as of April 15 due to too many people accessing the website after values were posted and a DDoS attack.
- Forms can be mailed to PO Box 149012, Austin, Texas 78714.
- Forms can be dropped off at 850 E. Anderson Ln., Austin, Texas 78752.
For Williamson County homeowners:
- Online protest forms can be filed at wcad.org.
- Forms can be mailed or dropped off at 625 FM 1460, Georgetown, Texas 78726.
For Hays County homeowners:
- Protest forms can be submitted in the online appeals portal.
- Protest forms can be emailed to email@example.com.
- Forms can be faxed to (512) 713-0563
- Forms can be mailed or delivered to 21001 N. I-35, Kyle, Texas 78640.
Here is what happens after a protest is submitted, according to the Texas Comptroller:
- Written notice for a formal hearing with the appraisal review board will be sent at least 15 days before the hearing date. This is a hearing among the homeowner, board and chief appraiser to discuss objections, exemptions and special appraisals.
- Additionally, a homeowner can request an informal hearing to resolve objections ahead of the formal hearing.
- During the hearing, the homeowner or an agent can appear in person, provide evidence via affidavit without an appearance or appear by phone conference for arguments and evidence by affidavit. Phone or video conference appearances must be requested at least 10 days in advance of the hearing date.
- The board will send rulings via email or mail.
- If there is further disagreement with the ruling, a property owner has the right to appeal the decision in district court or appeal the determination to a binding agreement or to the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
Some reasons to protest an appraisal include proposed values that are too high, values that are unequally compared, a chief appraiser denying an exemption and other issues, according to the comptroller.
Williamson County homeowners can seek an “express review” for homes bought between Jan. 1 and March 31 this year if the home’s Total Market Value or current Notice of Appraised Value exceeds the purchase price, according to the appraisal district. The deadline to request express reviews is May 11, but the deadline to submit the required information for review or accept an email value offer is May 12. Applicants should expect a response within five business days.
Formal hearing advice
The state comptroller provides several tips for successful appeals.
- Be on time and prepared for your hearing
- Stick to the facts and avoid emotional pleas
- Review the ARB hearing procedures
- Present your information in a simple and well-organized manner
Travis County’s appraisal district is holding a 2022 Protest Process webinar April 27 at 11:30 a.m. with information on filing protests, informal meetings, ARB hearings and evidence submissions.