Spring in Williamson 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 Williamson County Appraisal District. Halfway down the notice are two numbers; assessed value for last year and proposed assessed value for the current year. Your annual property tax amount owed going forward 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 Williamson County Property Search tool.
What’s the Difference Between Tax-Assessed Value and Market Value?
Tax-assessed value is what the 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.
WCAD 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 will not use neighborhood comps like 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, WCAD 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
At the bottom of your appraisal notice, fill out the ‘Property Value – 2021 Notice of Protest’ form and mail it to the address below. Make sure you list facts and data as to why you believe the assessed value is incorrect.
Williamson Central Appraisal District
625 FM 1460
Georgetown, TX 78626-8050
Visit the Williamson County Online Protest Filing page to file your protest online. To file online you will need your online protest passcode and a watermark indicating online eligibility, both of which can be found on your notice. If you have misplaced your notice or did not receive it, you can look it up online with the Williamson County Property Search tool.
After you file, you should hear back from WCAD about an informal hearing date. The purpose of the hearing is to share your evidence as to why you think your home is over-valued on your notice.
Keep in mind that it can take several weeks to several months to hear back about a hearing date after filing your protest. You can schedule your hearing yourself if you’d like to expedite the process.
Please note that WCAD is in charge of assigning appraised values of homes; they have nothing to do with setting the tax rate itself.
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, bring a copy of your settlement statement to the hearing.
Make sure to review the Protest Procedures Overview for Williamson County before submitting. The deadline to protest property valuations in Williamson County for 2021 is May 17th.
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