Travis two-step a dance property owners won’t enjoy

Face-to-face property value protests will be called “informal conferences” and property owners may wait two weeks to find out if TCAD lowered the value After...

TCAD board still debating 2020 protest process

Face-to-face meetings with staff appraisers likely but procedures in flux Updated 10:35am January 17, 2020, to add link to audio file of January 13, 2020,...

Appraisal Review Board heads off lawsuit

Board votes to accept the results of June 4 protest hearings So it looks like property owners and their tax agents won’t be suing the...

New procedures undermine appraisal protests

Chief appraiser’s unilateral policy changes add more formal hearings and increase costs Marya Crigler, who was named chief appraiser of the Travis Central Appraisal District...

Lawsuit Seeks Property Tax Hearings

Chief appraiser moves to prevent discovery, motions to compel hearings set for Thursday A lawsuit claims that scores of property owners were denied their legal...

Are Austin’s Property Taxes Fair and Equitable?

Posted Friday July 30, 2010 12:42pm
Are Austin's Property Taxes Fair and Equitable?
That Depends on Who You Ask
Investigative Report by Greg M. Schwartz
© The Austin Bulldog 2010


fuel-tank-containmentIt's property tax protest season in Austin, where more than 70,000 property owners have filed protests with the Travis County Appraisal District (TCAD) in an effort to lower their property valuations. The outcome of the protests will directly impact the amount of property taxes due. Residential property owners comprise the vast majority of the formal protests.

The flip side to the equation reveals increasing controversy over whether commercial properties are being undervalued and unfairly shifting too much of the property tax burden onto homeowners.

The folks at ChangeAustin.org, a group of local activists and businesses, cite a 2006 study from the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts (TAAD) that indicated commercial properties in Texas are undervalued by a whopping 40 percent.

Brian RodgersChangeAustin.org's Brian Rodgers, who has been involved with the local real estate business since 1983, last year called for an investigation from the Austin City Council and Travis County Commissioners Court to challenge the appraised values. But after a year of activism on the matter, he's come to a different conclusion.

“Obtaining accurate appraisals is a strictly local problem between the appraisal district, the appraisal board, and the taxing jurisdictions they serve. No amount of complaining to the state comptroller or pushing for an investigation will yield any result other than what we already know: the system is broken and any solutions must be found at the local level. The state offers no help. We are on our own,” Rodgers says.