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FAQs - Common Misconceptions
The Travis Central Appraisal District collects taxes.
False The Travis Central Appraisal District is not a consolidated tax office and does not collect taxes. Taxes in Travis County are collected by the Travis County Tax/Assessor Collector.
Property value is the only thing that determines taxes.
False Market value is a component of the property tax calculation (market value minus exemptions times tax rate = property taxes due) and is directly related to the price a willing buyer would pay for the property. The primary component of the calculation is the tax rate which is calculated by the taxing units to fund their operations. The tax rate fluctuates based on needs of the taxing unit, while the market value is strictly a reflection of what the property would sell for in an arms-length transaction, as if the buyer and the seller had no significant, prior relationship and neither party has an incentive to act against his/her own interest (i.e., the seller seeks to make the price as high as he/she can, and likewise the buyer seeks to make it as low as he/she can).
Property owners can protest their taxes.
False Taxes cannot be protested, however a property's appraised value may be protested which, if reduced, may lower the property's taxes. The appraised value is only a component of the property tax calculation. Another determining factor of the taxes is the associated tax rate. A property owner may attend tax rate hearings at the local taxing unit to discuss tax rates.
Taxes are not due if a property owner disagrees with the property value.
False If a property has a late protest and the case is pending, this does not affect the delinquency date for the taxes on the property. The taxes for the property cannot go delinquent. The lesser of the amount of taxes due on the portion of the taxable value not in dispute or the amount of taxes due on the property before the delinquency date must be paid. If payment is not made before the delinquency date the property owner forfeits the right to proceed to a final determination of the appeal.
The Travis Central Appraisal District has access to ALL Sales information.
False The Travis Central Appraisal District does not have access to all sales information due to Texas being a non-sales disclosure State. This means that real estate sales transactions are not given to the Appraisal District. Each appraisal district must research all available data in the market place by contacting realtors, brokers, property sellers, and buyers to obtain sales information. Through this process the district receives some of the sales, but not all. Any and all sales evidence you can provide to the district will ensure proper valuation of your property.
Sales and Comparables can be placed on The Travis Central Appraisal District's website.
False Section 552.148, of the Texas Government Code prohibits appraisal districts from releasing sales information except for protest purposes to the property owner or his / her designated agent, and only to be released as appeal evidence for the protested property.
Frozen tax amounts always transfer.
False It is not the tax amounts that transfer but the percentage of frozen taxes versus actual taxes. Only the school district freezes transfer throughout the state of Texas. Other freezes, such as the county, road farm to market and city, will only transfer within those same jurisdictions.
The Travis Central Appraisal District must accept a rendered "Good Faith Estimate".
False The Texas Property Tax Code sections 1.04 & 23.12 require the appraisal district to appraise all property at its market value on January 1st each year.
Values can be changed at any time.
False In order to be granted a value change, the property owner must file a timely protest by the protest deadline. Once property values are certified to the taxing units, the available remedies to change the appraisal roll become very limited. The appraisal roll is typically certified to the taxing units by July 25th.
A Protest can be filed at any time.
False The usual deadline for protest filing is on or before May 31st or 30 days after a notice of appraised value was mailed, whichever is later. Late protests are allowed, if good cause can be provided for missing the usual deadline, prior to approval of the appraisal records. Good cause for missing the protest deadline is considered something beyond someone's control, such as a medical emergency requiring hospitalization. The Appraisal Review Board (ARB) determines whether a property owner has good cause, and late protests are due the day before the appraisal review board approves the records for the year. Additionally, deadlines are postponed to the next business day if it falls on a weekend or holiday.
If the appraisal district sends notice of the removal of agricultural appraisal due to the change in use of land, the protest deadline is before the 30th day after the notice of determination was mailed to the property owner. If the ARB sends notice to a property owner of a change that increases his / her tax liability and the change did not result from a protest that was filed, the deadline is before the 30th day after the notice of the determination was mailed.
If a property owner believes the appraisal district or the ARB should have mailed a notice and did not, he / she may file a protest until the day before taxes become delinquent (usually February 1st) or no later than the 125th day after the date the owner claims he / she received a tax bill from one or more of the taxing units that tax the property.
The ARB will decide whether it will hear a protest based on evidence regarding whether a required notice was mailed to a property owner
If a property had a homestead cap adjustment last year, it should have one this year?
False The homestead cap adjustment is calculated on a year to year basis. If a property had a homestead cap adjustment last year it was due to the assessed value being higher than 10% of the previous years assessed value. If, in the current year, the property reflects no cap adjustment then the current value is not higher than 10% of last year’s value. If the current year cap adjustment is lower than last year’s cap adjustment, the assessed value is starting to catch up to the market value.
The Travis Central Appraisal District can change Ownership without legal documents.
False The Travis Central Appraisal District must have a legal document to change ownership (e.g., living will & testament, deeds, etc.).
Property can always be combined.
False Properties can only be combined if they are:
financed under the same note, or are paid off
in the same Abstract/Survey
The Travis Central Appraisal District provides legal advice.
False The Travis Central Appraisal District does not provide legal advice.
Agriculture is an exemption.
False Agriculture is not an exemption, it is a special valuation based on the land's agricultural productivity. The appraisal district is not exempting any value; it is placing a use type value on the property. There is always a market value associated with every property and in the case of properties receiving an agricultural valuation there is a use type value which will apply to qualifying land acreage (e.g., dry crop, improved pasture, etc.).
Agricultural valuation may be allowed on any size property no matter how small.
False It is possible to receive agricultural valuation on properties of any size, if it is used in conjunction with a larger contiguous property. However, if the property in question is a standalone property, it should meet typical acreage minimums.