Protesting Property Taxes in the Austin Metro
Historically, property tax values in central Texas have lagged behind the market. And homeowners want it this way ... I can sell the house for $500k but the tax district wants to tax it based on $340K? Ok.
But the tide just turned.
Central Texas property tax districts just posted preliminary appraised values and it looks like they have decided to catch up. There are increases of 50% and more. Mine is up 33%.
You can look yours up here (I know Travis & Hays have updated 2022, not sure on the others):
Travis County - traviscad.org
Hays County - hayscad.com
Williamson County - www.wcad.org
Bastrop County - bastropcad.org
For just a little perspective, let's remember a few foundational things:
We do not have state income tax in Texas, we make up for it in property taxes.
The bulk of property taxes go toward school districts, and our schools are under-funded.
Austin is bursting at the seams and our city & county infrastructures struggles to keep pace.
You should make sure you claim your HOMESTEAD exemption, which lowers your taxes on the one home you claim as your primary domicile.
Other exemptions are available - over 65, disabled, veterans
You have the right to protest your valuation.
So, protesting ...
One of the key things to keep in mind is that to protest, you would have to provide data (sold comparable properties) that supports your home value being less than what the tax district is proposing. This is difficult right now as our median home price in Austin & in your neighborhood has gone up considerably over the past two years; way up.
One option, and I have done this for years, is to hire a service to protest your tax valuation for you. I have these folks on auto-renew because I figured out, a long time ago, that they can do a better job of protesting & getting my valuation down, than I can. I am willing to pay for them to maybe win (and they only get paid IF they win) than for me to screw something up with my protest (like not providing the right data or the right comps or inadvertently giving them data that supports them & not me or to miss a deadline or some other bonehead move).
I recommend hiring it out & here are some local services for you to consider:
5 Stone - www.fivestonetax.com (I've been with these guys for 10+ years)
Texas Protax - texasprotax.com
Texas Tax Protest - www.texastaxprotest.com
Discount Property Taxes - www.discountpropertytaxes.com
We live in an amazing city that has been experiencing bonkers growth and we can all sell our homes for a heck of a lot more than we ever thought we could. We are the Music Capital of the World & the best place to live in Texas, it just got more expensive this year (for some too expensive & property taxes will push them out, but that's another post).