CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — You may be experiencing some sticker shock as you receive property appraisal notices in the mail.
Experts say the average increase in home appraisals across Texas is at least 25%, meaning a higher mortgage and higher property tax bill. A notice of appraised value document basically shows how much your property is worth.
But the biggest concern for homeowners is, why is it so high?
"We need to give to give the tax payers in this community a break," Mike Pusley, City Councilman said.
Although Mike Pusley is a city council member here in Corpus Christi, he's also a homeowner and says he was worried when his property tax value went up $138,000 this year.
"Well I was like everybody else. It was disappointing," said Pusley.
He also has a rental property with his wife that he says the property value has increased $128,000. But he's not the only one seeing a jump in their appraised value. Good thing for other homeowners —they're only seeing an increase of $50,000, but those are the lucky ones. There are several reasons why homeowners could see a jump in their value.
Lynn Krebs with Texas A&M University's Real Estate Research department says it could be due to supply demand or if there's a housing shortage where more people are demanding housing than what is available in the market.
And with appraisal districts, they determine market value appraisals and administer exemptions.
"Local jurisdictions like cities and counties generally should not be raising their revenues more than 3.5 percent on existing properties," said Krebs, "So to the extent that values are going up a lot more than that, we should see property tax rates coming down. So the tax rate shouldn't be going up by as much as the value itself."
There are several things a homeowner can point out when trying to appeal their appraised value. Individual homeowners should be focused on what is the fair market value of their home, is the value increase justified, and are there issues related to their home that maybe the assessor isn't aware such as differed maintenance or things that are not ideal.
Also, it's important for homeowners to check appraisal notices to ensure all exemptions are in place. Especially homestead exemptions, which are protected by the state.
For many homeowners, exemptions could remove thousands of dollars when it comes to calculating property taxes. There are other exemptions like those for disabled homeowners, senior citizens and veterans. If you are looking to appeal your property value, just go to your local tax appraisal district.
Be sure to gather evidence, including photographs, experts say. You have two years retroactively to get that homestead approved so if you forgot last year, you’re not out of it. You can go back, you can apply now, and you can have your homestead exemption for the last two years if you need."
Click the link for more information on Texas property taxes and exemptions.
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