1. What role does the appraisal district have in the property tax system?
The appraisal district is directed by law to reflect market value on properties located in Titus County, administer exemptions, approve special appraisals, and communicate rights and remedies to local property owners.
2. Who is the Board of Directors?
The board is comprised of five voting members and one “ex offico” member. The board of directors governs the operations of the appraisal district by setting policy, approving a budget, approving contracts. They appoint the Appraisal Review Board members. The elected tax assessor –collector servers as the “ex offico” member. To be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors an individual must have lived in the county for two years prior to service. Board members serve two year terms beginning each even number year.
3. Who sets the tax Rate?
The governing body (the county commissioners, schools, cities, special districts) determines the rate for each of their jurisdictions. The governing body determines what services will be offered, how much it will cost to offer those services and then adopts a rate that will provide those need funds.
4. Why did I receive this “notice of appraised value”?
The appraisal district is required to mail notices of appraised value at least once every three years to inform owners of the market value of their property and to give an estimate of the taxes that may be assessed on the property. You may receive notices in multiple years if any of the following apply:
a. You are the new owner of the property
b. Your value changes from one year to the next ( some districts adopt $1,000 threshold before the change will trigger a notice)
c. You lose an exemption
d. The appraised value is greater than what you rendered the value
e. The property was not on the appraisal for in the preceding year
5. How often does the appraisal district re-evaluate my property?
The appraisal district by law must re-appraise and re-inspect your property at least once every three years. However, if the market conditions are active and indicate a market trend it may be necessary to re-appraise under the mass appraisal concept every year.
6. Why did my value change I have not done anything to improve my property.
a. Correction of the data information on your property
b. Equalization purposes
c. Sales information may indicate an increase/decrease trend in the market
7. Why are you inspecting my property?
In order for our appraisal to be accurate it is important that we visit periodically to validate square footage, construction quality, physical condition, architect design, amenities, and construction type. We need to discover parts of the property that no longer exist or add new
8. Why does that notice say “improvements” I have not improved my property in years.
Improvement is a term coined by the Property Tax Code to identify a building, structure, or fixture affixed to the land. This term identifies your residence, barns, storage buildings, shop buildings, boat houses, decks, porches, etc.
9. What does fair market value mean?
Fair market value represents the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if:
a. Exposed on the market for a reasonable time for the seller to find a buyer
b. Both the seller and buyer know all uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and enforceable restrictions of use
c. Both the seller and buyer seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the other
10. How did the appraisal district arrive at my value?
Utilizing comparable sales data base collected by the appraisal district, income and cost data, and applying accepted appraisal techniques in a mass appraisal models.
11. How can my market value differ from my appraised value?
The Texas Property Tax code Sec. 23.23 states a residential homestead is limited to a 10% increase per year on the assessed value of a homestead property. This means your taxable value on your resident homestead property cannot increase more than 10%.
a. This limitation takes place one year after you qualify your residence as your homestead
b. This limitation does not apply to new improvements or additions to the residence
c. Limitations are removed when property is sold
d. Limitations are reflected as “Capped Value” on your notice
e. Exemptions are calculated from the Capped Value not market value
f. Capped value less exemptions equal taxable value
g. Cap value is not a life time limitation
h. Cap value represents an increase in the appreciation of your property due to market trends
12. What is a rendition of real property?
A rendition is statement listing taxable property with the name and address of the owner. This statement should contain an estimate of value for the property. Deadline for filing is April 15. Be sure to identify your property and attach any documents you may have such as closing statements, appraisals, or sales of similar properties in your neighborhood.
13. I did not receive a notice this year, why?
Your property did not fit the criteria to receive a notice. See question number 4 which gives all of the requirements. However, you may still protest your property value by filling out a protest and returning it to the district before the appropriate deadline which is May31st or 30 days after the notices have been mailed whichever is later.
14. Can someone inspect my property?
Yes, if you will call and ask the appraisal staff will determine a time during normal business hours to inspect your property. The staff will not ask to see the inside of your house. However, if you want the staff to measure issues within the structure and make the request the staff will be glad to do so.
15. What do I do if I disagree with the value the appraisal district has on my property?
You must notify the appraisal district in writing by May 31st or 30 days after the day the appraisal notices were mailed you disagree with the value. It must be delivered to our office before 5:00 pm or bear a post mark of May 31st to meet the deadline requirements. Once a written notice of protest is received you will be scheduled to appear before the Appraisal Review Board to present your evidence. The Appraisal Review Board will give you 15 days to prepare for the hearing. You will receive a copy of the “Taxpayers Rights and Remedies” publication along with a time and location of the hearing. You will receive notice you have the right to inspect all of the evidence the appraisal district will present in your case. If you fail to protest timely your options are limited.
The district does provide for informal hearings between an appraiser and the property owner. This meeting may eliminate the need for the formal protest to be filed or held. Just call the district or come by and an appraiser will be glad to visit with you on your issues.
16. What is the Appraisal Review Board?
The Appraisal Review Board are citizens from the community very much like yourself , which have been appointed by the Board of Directors to review disputes between the property owner and the district. The Appraisal Review Board is a quasa-judicial body which establishes policy and procedures for the hearings. Each member is required to attend a course of instructions from the Comptroller.
17. What can I do if I disagree with the Appraisal Review Board determination of value?
You have the right to appeal the decision to the District court or appeal for binding arbitration. Shortly after the hearing and the determination on your property has been made in the open meeting with you present you will receive in the mail a written order of determination. Inclusive will be additional documents which will give you guidance on how to appeal your case further, if you so wish.