A Message from the Chief Appraiser
Travis County property owners,
As you know, the Austin housing market has been on fire lately. Unprecedented low levels of available housing and incredibly high demand have led to bidding wars that often lead houses to sell well-above asking price. Supply chain shortages have increased the cost of construction and extended the time it takes to build new housing. These complexities have put incredible pressure on sales prices, with the median price for a house in Austin surging above $570,000.
By law, appraisal districts are required to appraise property at market value, or what the property would sell for, as of January 1. We are tested every year by the State Comptroller to ensure that our values are accurate and reflect what buyers and sellers are doing in the marketplace.
Over the next few weeks, you will be receiving your 2022 Notice of Appraised Value from the appraisal district. Many of you will see increases of 50 percent or more.
These increases may seem intimidating. But it is important for property owners to understand that the appraisal district does not set local budgets or tax rates. Your city, county, and school district are among the taxing entities that determine how much money needs to be brought in every year by property taxes. Your taxable value helps determine what portion of that total you have to pay compared to your neighbors.
And there are many things property owners can do to help lower their property tax bill. Claiming your homestead exemption is the biggest and easiest way to decrease your tax liability. If you own and reside in your home, you are likely eligible. Additional exemptions are available for property owners that are over age 65, disabled, or veterans. And our online exemption portal makes it easy to apply and track the status of your application.
If you believe that your property’s market value is incorrect, you have the right to protest. To make that as easy and convenient as possible, we have developed an online portal that helps property owners file their protest, meet informally with an appraiser, and attend a hearing with the Appraisal Review Board.
Additionally, on May 7, Texas voters will vote on two amendments to the Texas Constitution that could lower your property taxes. During this election, voters will weigh in on whether to increase school district exemptions from $25,000 to $40,000 and adjust tax ceilings for property owners who have an over 65 or disabled person exemption. School district taxes are the largest contributor to your property tax bill. Travis County residents can verify their voter registration, find polling locations, and register to vote by visiting votetravis.com.
As we continue to navigate the local housing market together, the appraisal district is here to answer your questions and provide you with the resources you need to navigate the property tax system. Our website provides an abundance of information on property taxes, exemptions, and protests. But if you still need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our office by phone, email, or online chat.
Chief Appraiser, Travis Central Appraisal District