Spring in Travis County marks the start of property tax season. If you own property that has increased in market value by at least $1,000 in the last year, you should receive a Notice of Appraised Value from the Travis County Appraisal District. At the top of the notice are two numbers; assessed value and market value. Your annual property tax amount owed is based on these numbers.
If you did not receive a Notice of Appraised Value via mail, you can look yours up online by using the official TCAD Property Search tool.
What’s the Difference Between Tax-Assessed Value and Market Value?
Tax-assessed value is what the appraisal district for your county determines your property to be worth. Market value is how much an average buyer would pay for your home if it were for sale.
TCAD will attempt to match tax-assessed value as close to market value as they can, but will typically base their number off a general area and may not use the same comps that a Realtor would when marketing your home for sale. All this to say; the values could be much too high or much too low given the non-specific data used.
If you believe that the assessed value shown on your notice does not accurately reflect the market value of your home, you have the right to protest it.
When you protest your valuation, keep in mind that you are protesting the market value, not the assessed value. New homeowners and investors will benefit the most from protesting as they may not have a homestead exemption keeping their assessed valuation low. The actual taxes property owners pay is based on the assessed value each year.
Why Protest My Property Valuation?
When people don’t appeal, TCAD interprets the lack of response as confirmation that their assessed value is correct. This affects all homeowners in a given neighborhood for future years to come. By appealing too-high assessed values, you can help keep property taxes reasonable in congruence with the market value of homes in your neighborhood.
How Do I Protest My Property Taxes?
There are two ways to protest your property tax values.
1. By Mail
Download this form, fill it out, and mail it to the address below. Make sure you list facts and data as to why you believe the assessed value is incorrect.
Travis Central Appraisal District
PO Box 149012
Austin TX 78714
Once your account is created, you may need to add your property by clicking the blue plus button under ‘My Properties’. Your property ID can be found on the top of the paper notice that was mailed to you, or by searching for it online here. Keep in mind that until you receive your paper notice which contains your PIN, you will not be able to file online. You must have both the property ID and the PIN first.
If you have misplaced your notice or don’t know your owner ID and PIN, contact TCAD by phone (512-834-9317) or email (CSInfo@tcadcentral.org) for assistance.
After you file, you should hear back from TCAD via email with a notice that you have a settlement offer available. If you accept the offer, you’re all set! If you decline the offer, you may schedule an informal meeting with a TCAD appraiser or have a hearing before the Travis Appraisal Review Board.
Where Do I Get Evidence for the Market Value of My Home?
- Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Contact your Realtor to see if they’ll send you an updated CMA with an estimated market value of your home, or conduct your own research.
- List and take pictures of any deficiencies in your house. Foundation issues, plumbing failures, etc. can all affect the tax assessed value.
- If your home was recently purchased and you paid less than the tax assessed value, submit a copy of your settlement statement and/or bring it to your hearing.
The deadline to protest property valuations in Travis County for 2022 is May 16th.
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