Central Texans receive new property appraisals and many are not happy

Most property values increased by 30% for tax purposes
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 9:38 PM CDT
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(KWTX) - Property value appraisals have made their way to Central Texas mailboxes, and most property owners aren’t happy.

The notices are on par with what local County Appraisal District Chief Appraisers shared with KWTX in recent weeks, up an average of 30 percent over the past year.

“I can’t go anywhere without talking to someone and that’s what comes up and all of us who have been around here our whole lives are just shaking our heads,” Lucas Loafman, a College of Business professor at Texas A&M Central Texas said Monday about the housing market.

His colleague, Robert Tennant, in the Economics department at the school added that as people purchase home for more money, cities towns and municipalities are doing well at the tax end because, “they’re getting more than they’ve ever received for a house of similar value,” Tennant explained.

KWTX asked its Facebook followers what their appraisals have looked like this year. Hundreds weighed in, citing increases between 15 and 50 percent across several Central Texas counties. In some cases viewers cited more than $100,000 increases in the last year alone.

Many contributing to the conversation asked what could be done, to which Loafman says looking closely at the appraisal is a good place to start a potentially protest.

“I would check and look at the details of what your property is assessed for, look at all the various factors,” Loafman said. “Look at neighbors properties as to what the underlying lot value might be.”

He added that in his own experience sometimes the appraisal has the wrong square footage for a property, leading to higher taxes.

He also says, though unconventional, to consider things about your property that may decrease the value of it, and use that in a protest against the appraisal.

Loafman noted that property owners whose property is their homestead have an advantage, if they’ve filed correctly.

“If your home is your homestead that can only go up 10 percent a year, so sometimes what the market might dictate is not necessarily what your taxes will go up by,” Loafman said.

The deadline to file appraisal appeals is May 16.

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