Annual TCAD Gripe

8,649 Views | 106 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by AustinScubaAg
evan_aggie
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Looking for advice or helpful information, especially if anyone has a legal background here.

Long story short: my wife and I bought a home for about 5% over the assessed value (market) whereas our neighbors inexplicably are appraised for about 75-80% of the market value. I spent a few hours entering every single home on our street in excel and looking at land vs home improvement per square foot.

Our immediate neighbors have an evaluation of $30/sq ft for their 1400-1700 sq ft homes, with a land value constant at $425,000. Our 1050 sq ft home is valued at $69/sq ft, which makes our home improvement around $75-$76,000. Neighbors are $35-$40,000, despite having larger homes in identical shape.

I presented this information at an informal hearing, and they told me they didn't care about our neighbors despite me disputing based on equity (not market value). They said I had to bring a closing doc showing the lower sales price. I emailed the TCAD tax liaison and they responded with:

"Even though you checked equity as your type of protest, the district relies on the sales price as the best evidence of value since you bought your house in April 2018. If you have a settlement statement that shows your sales price less than your noticed value, then you should present that evidence and your market value will be lowered to that value.


At your informal, the appraiser cannot increase the market value of your house. If your settlement statement/ sales price is higher than your noticed value of $497,546, something like $519,000, the ARB at your formal hearing has the authority to actually raise your market value to your sales price if the district presents sales information."

Does anyone know if this is legally accurate? I read information online ( https://www.poconnor.com/using-assessment-comparables-fight-unequal-property-taxes/ ) that Texas law says equity based appeals are valid and supposed to be considered, but it sounds like some cities and appraisal districts try to enforce their own rules and policies regardless.
rather be fishing
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Did you have an appraisal done during the purchase process?
evan_aggie
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Yes. The appraiser was provided the purchasing info and basically appraised it for the exact price. It's kind of a sham.

I'm in a corner in the sense that what we paid and the appraisal are the new market value, and the assessment from TCAD is just 5% less. So perhaps I shouldn't complain, except all of thee larger homes are valued at a lower cost per ft and are wayyyyyy under market value.

Our argument is that we should be valued at the same rate as our neighbors.
HECUBUS
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Our tax guy got us a 1.87% reduction on a 41% appraisal increase. Ouch.
evan_aggie
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Tax guy being a protest service? So they earned 40% of 1.87%? =)

How did they justify the 42% increase? Was it a new purchase? Improvement? Did you have a HS or is this a 2nd property? Isn't it capped at 10% YoY if it has a HS exemption?
fig96
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Williamson County appraised us about 30k higher than we bought for 16 months ago, Texas ProTax took 23k off that after protest.
CapCity12thMan
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2nd year with Texas ProTax...this year my appraisal value went down $27K

HECUBUS
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Protax got us a 1.87% assement reduction. Assessment was up 41% this year. We do have homestead, but that just spreads it out. New tax law deduction limit is $10k on property tax so a double hit.

And, expensive college boy graduates HS next year. I might need a go fund me for tasty beverages.
rather be fishing
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2019 bumb

Appraised value went up 15.39%, capped at 10%.
DD88
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Austin property values not increasing as much as they have been
rather be fishing
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We're in Zone Y
BiochemAg97
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tailgatetimer10 said:

I dream of these toll roads up north becoming free one day. Literally not a good way to go north, or east and west, unless you take a toll up here.
Doubt it will ever happen. Dallas built the north Dallas toll road in the 80s. Guess what, it is still a toll road.
BiochemAg97
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Aston 91 said:

SteveBott said:

When I got into mortgage I did loans in about 20 states some with income taxes. When I reviewed combined income and property taxes of those states it came out about the same as Texas. We just jam all the tax into property and sales levies.
I agree that while you're working and drawing a decent income, Texas is probably as good as most states when it comes to tax burden for homeowners. In retirement, I anticipate a decent percentage of our living expenses will be paid for with money that isn't subject to income tax (i.e. savings that we've already paid taxes on, Roth IRAs, etc.). If we're in a state with a significantly lower property tax rate, it seems that it would more than offset the state income tax on the reduced taxable income. Maybe I'm missing something, or maybe I'm just eager to move somewhere where it's not 90+ for five months out of the year and just looking for a justification.
Keep in mind, there are some property tax breaks for those of retirement age.
BeowulfShaeffer
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For seniors, the only real break is the additional $10K valuation exemption for school taxes, and having that value frozen. Since overall the valuations are high, and the city/county/hospital/etc. still float, it certainly gives one pause to think about retiring in Austin.
Potcake
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Assessed value went up almost 73K. No change in land value this time, opposite of last year
rather be fishing
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Potcake said:

Assessed value went up almost 73K. No change in land value this time, opposite of last year


Same for ours. They basically just doubled the structure value.
jopatura
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So what's the best way to fight this? Our value isn't too off what we could get on the open market but I'd like to swat it down as much as possible, especially since our direct neighborhood took a big hit late in the year because a new subdivision opened up down the street.
tamc93
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Oddly enough mine dropped this year. It actually dropped to what my appeal was last year. Downside is they caught up to the cap, so now I still owe more.

Time to start the protest research....
AustinScubaAg
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My appraisal went up 75K (15%). The actual market value is probably 40K - 50K below the appraisal.
HECUBUS
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Same. The pattern we've seen is they raise the dwelling value every other year as well as the land. Alternating, so there's always a bump and always a 10% increase. Who can afford to live here?
docb
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I pay 50k per year for my office and 25k for my house in taxes this year. And that's after protax. I sure hope Williamson county has enough money this year.
Furlock Bones
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BiochemAg97 said:

tailgatetimer10 said:

I dream of these toll roads up north becoming free one day. Literally not a good way to go north, or east and west, unless you take a toll up here.
Doubt it will ever happen. Dallas built the north Dallas toll road in the 80s. Guess what, it is still a toll road.
same in Houston. Sam Houston Tollway and Hardy Toll Road are still tolls. HCTRA just moves the money around.
evan_aggie
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Not as bad, but +$30k on house. Asshats assess every lot on my street is $425k, 8000 ft.
Complaint Investigator
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Any one else had theirs DECREASE? Not a humble brag - it's strange. Not complaining, but went down $7k. Similar floor plan down the way did the same. Neighbors with larger house saw a $36K increase.

What causes it?
tamc93
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Last year they did a mass adjustment (25%+) in our neighborhood and it was too high. This year they can "lower" it and make you feel better.

I "appreciated" the card they gave me telling me to go look up the value on TCAD and file an appeal if I wanted to. I will appeal again and see where it goes.
AustinScubaAg
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seems like tcad is not allowing online protests this year.

Edit: looks like e-file is an option but only if you search for it. Their FAQ says must be filed in writing and they do not have an efile link on their main page.
HTownAg98
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Looks like TCAD is about to be in some hot water. It is alleged that they purchased MLS data from CoreLogic, the MLS provider for the Austin Board of Realtors, which is a violation of the Board's contract with CoreLogic.
evan_aggie
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Who's in violation? Confused bc are appraisal districts allowed to see MLS data anyway? Meaning....is it legal one way or the other?
HTownAg98
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CoreLogic is in violation for selling the data, and TCAD may be in violation for buying it.
tailgatetimer10
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BiochemAg97 said:

tailgatetimer10 said:

I dream of these toll roads up north becoming free one day. Literally not a good way to go north, or east and west, unless you take a toll up here.
Doubt it will ever happen. Dallas built the north Dallas toll road in the 80s. Guess what, it is still a toll road.


Like I said, dream
tamc93
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AustinScubaAg said:

seems like tcad is not allowing online protests this year.

Edit: looks like e-file is an option but only if you search for it. Their FAQ says must be filed in writing and they do not have an efile link on their main page.
They have it under the E-Services tab....I did my obligatory protest and expect my honorary denial shortly.
tamc93
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"Won" a token reduction and I doubt I will get more going in person.
AustinScubaAg
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Wow because I sent mine in by mail I got the TCAD evidence package today. One half was comps that were all 50K below the TCAD valuation. The other half was the TCAD valuations for houses on my street. The TCAD valuations are all way above any comp in the area. It looks almost like criminal incompetence.
BiochemAg97
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AustinScubaAg said:

Wow because I sent mine in by mail I got the TCAD evidence package today. One half was comps that were all 50K below the TCAD valuation. The other half was the TCAD valuations for houses on my street. The TCAD valuations are all way above any comp in the area. It looks almost like criminal incompetence.


I've played that game with WCAD. Oh, someone sold a similar size house with a similar size lot and similar amenities for way less in your neighborhood? Let's start factoring in adjustments... we'll your house is over here on this block so it magically gets a 20k markup... see, our valuation is correct.
tamc93
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Last year I did the same thing and was told they did a "neighborhood adjustment". Wasted two hours of time, but learned a few things.

I do like the e-file way. Protest was over in a few days since I accepted their offer this time and the difference was not worth the time I would lose.

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