The Washington County Appraisal District will soon be sending out notices of appraised value to property owners, and the chief appraiser says residents can expect their values to increase.
Chief Appraiser Dyann White said in a press release that while property owners should expect value increases, her office cannot predict what the final effect on taxes will be. That is because higher appraisals can cause local tax rates to go down, as revenue increases over the percentage allowed by Texas Property Tax Code and bond elections require a vote by the public.
White also expects that after the May 7th constitutional amendment election, the homestead exemption will be raised from $25,000 to $40,000 and that tax freezes will be adjusted downward.
Alvin Lankford, president of the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts, said the increase in what a person owes in property taxes is unlikely to be proportional to the increase in home values. That includes factors such as a 10 percent cap on the amount the assessed value can go up for properties with a homestead exemption. He said there are also additional protections for homeowners over 65, disabled individuals and disabled veterans.
State law requires appraisal districts to appraise property at its market value. The Texas Comptroller’s Office performs audits to ensure that appraised values are fair and accurate. Appraisal districts are not responsible for setting the tax rate. Appraisal districts must follow the law, state regulations and actual sales data when making value determinations.