Ashley Jackson, president-elect of the Austin Board of Realtors, spoke with KVUE about real estate appraisals and what homeowners can do to protest them.
Austin, Texas – Texas real estate owners recently received their property appraisals by mail. In Travis County, residential property values are up 56% compared to last year, leaving many people wondering what they should do next.
Ashley Jackson, President-elect of the Austin Board of Realtors, spoke with KVUE’s Ashley Godot About appraisals and what homeowners can do. Here are Jackson’s answers to some common property appraisal questions.
The deadline for protesting the evaluation is May 16th. Should I protest? Who should protest?
“This will really differ on a case-by-case basis [property owners] You may want to reach out to their trusted realtor for some advice on where they are in the market to see if they have a good or bad reason to protest,” Jackson said. I think it would be especially important for landlords to protest if they find their rents are far above market value, because they don’t have a home cap, so their tax burden will certainly be more pronounced.”
RELATED: Central Texas residents suffer poster shock as 2022 property appraisals are sent
If real estate appraisals go up 56%, will tax bills go up 56%?
Jackson said she’s no tax expert, but when you have a home exemption, the increase is limited to 10% each year.
“Whatever the increase in assessment, you have two exemptions, basically. So, you have an exemption on how much taxes can go up each year, and then you have an exemption on how much you pay in your taxes can go up each year, up to a maximum of 10%,” Jackson said.
What about people who have recently bought their homes?
Jackson said new homeowners need to make sure they file their home exemption as soon as possible. Homeowners want to make sure you check this out and put that in place.
She said the exemption will start immediately, but the 10% cap on value increases won’t take effect until the full second year of home ownership.
RELATED: A change in the housing exemption law has caused confusion for some landlords
I am a new homeowner and my property is valued for much more than what I paid for my home. Do I have to file a protest?
“Sure,” said Jackson. “Sure.” “If you recently purchased your home and find the appraisal area of the county appraisal to be much higher than what you paid for, you should absolutely protest. They may ask for proof of what you paid for, and if you “don’t feel comfortable offering that, then you can do it.”
RELATED: How to Lower Your Property Tax Bill as the May 15th Protest Deadline Approaches
How should people in the market to buy a home view potential appraisals and taxes in terms of what they can afford?
Jackson said she always encourages her clients to keep in mind that they are likely to increase their taxes by at least 10%, by 10%, each year — something she knows from experience.
“I’ve owned a home in Austin for about 20 years, and I’ve certainly never lowered my taxes,” Jackson said. “So as you plan, you know, what price point to target, you just want to keep that in mind that there will be tax increases year after year.”
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