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Understanding the Property Tax Process
The Appraisal Process
All taxable property is appraised at its market value as of January 1 unless otherwise provided for in Chapter 25 of the Texas Property Tax Code.
Each county’s appraisal district determines the value of all taxable property within the county. Before the appraisals begin, the district compiles a list of taxable property. The listing for each property contains a description and the name and address of the owner.
The appraised home value for a homeowner who qualifies his or her homestead for exemptions in the preceding and current year may not increase more than 10 percent per year.
Property Tax Code Section 23.23(a) sets a limit on the appraised value of a residence homestead, stating that its appraised value for a tax year may not exceed the lesser of: (1) the market value of the property; or (2) the sum of: (A) 10 percent of the appraised value of the property for last year; (B) the appraised value of the property for last year; and (C) the market value of all new improvements to the property, excluding a replacement structure for one that was rendered uninhabitable or unusable by a casualty or by mold or water damage. The appraisal limitation first applies in the year after the homeowner qualifies for the homestead exemption.
How is your property valued?
To save time and money, the appraisal district uses mass appraisal to appraise large numbers of properties. In a mass appraisal, the district first collects detailed descriptions of each taxable property in the district. It then classifies properties according to a variety of factors, such as size, use and construction type. Using data from recent property sales, the district appraises the value of typical properties in each class. Taking into account differences such as age or location, the district uses “typical” property values to appraise all the properties in each class.
The appraisal district may use three common methods to value property: the market, income and cost approaches.
The market approach is most often used and simply asks, “What are properties similar to this property selling for?” The value of your home is an estimate of the price your home would sell for on Jan. 1. The appraisal district compares your home to similar homes that have sold recently and determines your home’s value.
Other methods are used to appraise types of properties that don’t often sell, such as utility companies and oil leases. The income approach asks, “What would an investor pay in anticipation of future income from the property?” The cost approach asks, “How much would it cost to replace the property with one of equal utility?”
A rendition is a form you may use to report the taxable property you own on Jan. 1 to your appraisal district. You may render both real and personal property. The rendition identifies, describes and gives the location of your taxable property.
Business owners must report a rendition of their personal property. Other property owners may submit a rendition if they choose.
Persons filing renditions who are not the property owner, owner’s employee or owner’s affiliated entity must have the rendition notarized.
If the total taxable value of your personal property is less than $500 in any one taxing unit, the property is exempt in that taxing unit.
The appraisal district must keep renditions and any income and expense information that you file about your property confidential.
§ 21.01. Real Property
Real property is taxable by a taxing unit if located in the unit on January 1, except as provided by Chapter 41, Education Code.
§21.02. Tangible Personal Property Generally
(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (e) and by Sections 21.021, 21.04, and 21.05, tangible personal property is taxable by a taxing unit if:
(1) it is located in the unit on January 1 for more than a temporary period;
(2) it normally is located in the unit, even though it is outside the unit on January 1, if it is outside the unit only temporarily;
(3) it normally is returned to the unit between uses elsewhere and is not located in any one place for more than a temporary period; or
(4) the owner resides (for property not used for business purposes) or maintains the owner’s principal place of business in this state (for property used for business purposes) in the unit and the property is taxable in this state but does not have a taxable situs pursuant to Subdivisions (1) through (3) of this subsection
The Process of Property Appraisal
Appraisal Notices and Protesting
Notices of Appraised Value will be mailed to property owners or their designated agents in mid to late April:
The Wichita Appraisal District encourages property owners with questions concerning their appraised values or the methodologies used to determine value to call the appraisal district and speak to their appraiser.
This link http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/protests.html provides information on protesting your property.
A chief appraiser or another employee of an appraisal district, a member of a board of directors of an appraisal district, or a property tax consultant or attorney representing a party to a proceeding before the appraisal review board commits an offense if the person communicates with a member of the appraisal review board established for the appraisal district with the intent to influence a decision by the member in the member’s capacity as a member of the appraisal review board. This section does not apply to communications with a member of an appraisal review board by the chief appraiser or another employee or a member of the board of directors of an appraisal district or a property tax consultant or attorney representing a party to a proceeding before the appraisal review board:
Filing and Resolving Complaints
Certified Taxable Values
Adopted Tax Rates and Exemptions
Business Personal Property Depreciation Schedule
Low Income Housing Capitalization Rate
The Texas Property Tax Code requires property to be appraised at 100% market value. In keeping with that requirement, the capitalization rate that will be used to derive an estimate of market value for low and moderate income housing qualifying for exemption under Section 11.1825 of the tax code will be between 7.50% and 10.50% for the 2021 tax year.
Links to Other Agencies