Travis Central Appraisal District|
Travis Central Appraisal District serves the following cities and towns: Anderson Mill, Austin, Barton Creek, Bee Cave, Briarcliff, Creedmoor, Garfield, Hudson Bend, Jollyville, Jonestown, Lago Vista, Lakeway, Lost Creek, Manor, Onion Creek, Pflugerville, Point Venture, Rollingwood, San Leanna, Shady Hollow, Sunset Valley, The Hills, Volente, Webberville, Wells Branch, West Lake Hills, and Windemere.
Appraisal districts are assigned the task of locating and accurately valuing all taxable property within the county. Personal property not used for the production of income is not taxable. However, real property, business personal property and mineral interests are taxable unless they are subject to an exemption. For example, real estate owned by the government (for example, Travis County and the City of Austin) is typically exempt from taxation.
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Tips for Appealing Your Property Taxes in Travis County
Links & Resources
- Travis County property taxes seem increase beyond what is reasonable. Protesting annually helps to mitigate property tax increases.
- The most meaningful way to reduce your property taxes for your home is to obtain a homestead exemption.
- Reduce property taxes by annually appealing. You can file a notice of appeal by utilizing the comptroller's form or by sending a letter to the Travis Central Appraisal Review Board.
- Obtaining the Travis Central Appraisal District evidence (House Bill 201 information) greatly increases your chances for success at the Travis Central Appraisal Review Board hearing.
- Research the Travis Central Appraisal District "record card" which has information used to value your property. There are often errors with factors such as land area, building area, year built, year remodeled, grade (quality of construction) and CDU (condition, utility and desirability).
- When preparing for your Travis Central Appraisal Review Board hearing you should gather information on market value and unequal appraisal
- Comparable sales are the cornerstone of market value. Sources of comparable sales data can be found in the House Bill 201 package obtained from the Travis Central Appraisal District and MLS sites.
- Unequal appraisal is often effective in reducing property taxes. Even if your assessed value is below market value, you can appeal based on unequal appraisal.
- Unequal appraisal occurs when the Travis Central Appraisal District has assessed your property at a higher level than similar properties. You can research assessment comparables on the Travis Central Appraisal District website.
- Unequal appraisal can be particularly helpful for recently purchased properties. Travis Central Appraisal District appraisers are reluctant to reduce the assessed value, when it is below the recent purchase price, even if it is unequally appraised. However, the impartial Travis Central Appraisal Review Board is required to consider appeals on both market value and unequal appraisal.
- Important components of an unequal appraisal presentation include a reasonable number of comparable properties (about 2 to 10) that are appropriately adjusted. These properties are usually considered to be properties that are similar in regard to the quality and quantity of improvements.
- Obtaining an independent appraisal can effectively document market value and will receive meaningful consideration from the Travis Central Appraisal District appraiser and the Travis Central Appraisal Review Board panel members.
- For recently built properties, the Travis Central Appraisal District appraiser will want to review actual construction cost. A cost segregation report prepared by a qualified appraiser can separate personal property from real property.
- At the hearing you will spend a few moments developing a rapport with the appraiser. Be polite with the appraiser - the appraiser is not opposed to reducing your property taxes.
- Your presentation to the Travis Central Appraisal Review Board should be kept between three to five minutes, since the entire hearing only lasts 15 to 20 minutes.
- If you are not satisfied with your results from the appraisal review board hearing, you can request binding arbitration. When compared to a judicial appeal, advantages of binding arbitration include a lower cost, informal process, speedier resolution and the loser pays provision.
- Binding arbitration is a new option that allows property owners an informal and inexpensive option if not satisfied with the Travis Central Appraisal Review Board's decision. Binding arbitration is available for owners of properties with an assessed value of $1 million or less (after the Travis Central Appraisal Review Board hearing) who are only appealing on market value.
- Although you can appeal on your own, hiring a consultant to appeal on your behalf is risk free because there is no flat fee and no upfront costs; you only pay a portion of the savings.