I keep reading letters to the editor in the American-Statesman about how unreasonable Travis Central Appraisal District as been this year, and I don’t get it. I’m sure there have been some poor decisions, but I and several of my clients were able to get significant reductions this year in the proposed values initially posted by TCAD. Every year I offer to provide relevant market data to my clients to help them with property tax protests, and this year they have been more successful than in many previous years.
The real news on this subject is that TCAD escalated taxable values so much and so broadly this year that they are still working through the backlog of protests. ALL values were supposed to be certified by the end of July!
I think a client hit the nail on the head a few days ago, saying (to paraphrase) that he went to his first meeting at TCAD prepared, professional, and polite, and he was treated the same way in return. Of course I have no way of knowing, but if the letter-writers who were published in the Statesman approached their hearings with the same belligerence that came through in their letters, then I’m not surprised they didn’t get the results they wanted.
Keep in mind that I am always available to answer your questions or to provide you with market data. What you do with that information is obviously up to you. TCAD appraisers are professionals with a job to do. They have nothing to gain by picking a fight with you, but taxable values are based on reasonable market values, so that’s the conversation you need to have with them. If you go as far as the formal hearing, the appraisal review board representatives you will meet with are volunteers, and they don’t get paid any more or less than $0.00 whether they agree or disagree with your argument.
You’ll be far better served to approach this entire process with the knowledge that the folks on the “other side” are just human beings doing the best they can to reach a fair and reasonable conclusion.