Bell County residents feeling the 'shock' of property value appraisals

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) With construction projects all across Bell County, it is a continued sign that the area is growing. But because of this growth, many residents who received their updated appraisals believe they are feeling the pain.

Micky Boettger, a Bell County resident, says his property value is increasing by almost $40,000.

"My appraised value of my home went up significantly this year, which then in turn cause my taxes to increase significantly again this year,” he said.

He's not the only one.

Billy White, the chief appraiser with the Tax Appraisal District of Bell County says the real estate market in the county is hot. The median increase of property values is at seven percent.

"In Bell County right now, the real estate market is pretty hot as to what's going on. The inventory is at an all-time low,” White said.

White says because Texas is a non-disclosure state, market sale information is sometimes not available until two years later – which could explain why values jump.

Belton and Salado properties have seen their numbers higher than the county average.

"If they were to sell are the properties today, quit putting any properties on the market, in 2.9 months, all the properties would be gone,” White said.

Boettger has questions about the appraisal process.

"Curious to what they based that on when you have a significant jump from one year to the next on the value on your home and property."

For residents who want to contest the appraisal, White says there are several steps.

"They should ask is 'not did my house go up too much' but 'is it worth that I could sell it for.' Even though some did increase a lot, is it at market value accessible where it's required to be at?" he said.

Residents who are wanting to contest, walk-ins are being accepted only at the Belton office. You must make the appeal by May 15.
Experts suggest asking a realtor to find three to five comparable properties, or comps, that have sold recently. You can also visit a website like Realtor.com for more information.