Welcome to Howard County Appraisal District!
Texas Association of Appraisal Districts
|7700 Chevy Chase Drive. Building One, Suite 425 Austin, Texas 78752-15518 512/467-04O2 FAX: 512/452-0427|
March 17, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Texas Association of Appraisal Districts Issues Guidance
AUSTIN — Today the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts announced historic growth in Texas real estate values.
According to the association, regions around the state have seen increases in values between 10-50% since last year. Alvin Lankford, president of the association and chief appraiser of Williamson County said, “The Texas real estate market is growing as fast as we have ever seen it in the state’s history. We have all seen the countless stories about people moving to Texas from other states. This increase in population contributes to a shortage of homes available and to the increase in prices paid for homes.”
Lankford added, “As a reminder, according to state law, appraisal districts are to appraise property at its market value. In fact, we are regulated by the State of Texas to make sure we do our jobs fairly and accurately. But, keep in mind, we are not responsible for setting the tax rate. We follow the law, state regulations, and the reality of real estate market sales when making our value determinations.”
In a state without a personal income tax, cities, counties, hospitals, school districts and community colleges all rely heavily on property taxes. These same political subdivisions set the tax rates that determine the amount of taxes paid by homeowners and businesses. An increase in property taxes is sometimes needed to keep the police and fire departments adequately funded, along with our schools, hospitals, and other vital services for our communities. The State of Texas also benefits from property taxes to the tune of over $5.6 billion in a two-year budget cycle. That’s 75% more than the state makes from the lottery. Also, in the most recent budget passed by the legislature, the state assumed that property tax revenue collected (not appraised amounts) would increase by 6% over a two-year period.
Lankford concluded with, “Considering for many of us our home is our largest investment, an increase in market value can be considered a blessing. However, many people equate an increase in market value to mean an equal increase in property taxes which is not always the case. The increase in what a person owes in property taxes is unlikely to be proportional to the increase in home values. First, there is a cap of 10% on the amount the assessed value can go up for properties with a homestead exemption. Second, homeowners over the age of 65 and disabled veterans have additional protections. Lastly, caps limit how much additional revenue from property taxes a taxing unit can collect without going to the voters for approval will limit the increase in taxes. It has never been more important to have a homestead or other exemptions and the resulting 10% cap in assessed value than it is today.”
Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center information on Texas housing market as well as major metropolitan areas:
- Amarillo MSA up 13.78% year over year
- Austin-Round Rock MSA up 35.35% YoY
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA up 23.55% YoY
- El Paso MSA up 14.40% YoY
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland MSA up 15.19% YoY
- San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA up 18.37% YoY
- Sherman-Denison MSA up 24.53% YoY
Home Sales and Average Price
Sales -0- Average Price
https://www.recenter_tamu.eduidata/housing-activitv/#!/activity/MSA/Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land
- How do I file a protest if I think I couldn’t sell my property for the amount appraised? Within 30 days of the sending of the appraisal notice, the taxpayer should fill out the form that is enclosed in the notice of protest and mail, email, or fax the form to the appraisal district along with any evidence of value that they have. This protects the taxpayer’s right to continue the appeal.
- How does an appeal work? Initially, the appraisers of the district will discuss the value issue with you and share sales information of similar properties. They will go over the information to ensure that the information the district has is correct. If the taxpayer has evidence such as a recent closing statement, estimates of cost to repair major issues, or pictures of interior problems with the property, those things will be considered by the appraiser and an adjustment to value may be offered. If a settlement number is offered and accepted, then the appeal is over and paperwork is signed by both parties.
- An appeal sounds difficult. Should I be afraid? No, the process is very easy and we are working hard to be cordial and respectful. There is nothing to fear with either the informal appeal with a staff person or the formal hearing before the Appraisal Review Board.
- Do I have the right to see the evidence that the appraisal district will present? Yes, by requesting that information before the hearing date, you will be provided a copy of the evidence that the district will present to the ARB.
- Do I need a lawyer or agent? It is not necessary to have a lawyer or agent. The discussions are informal. The staff of the district is not going to use anything tricky or unethical to “win” their argument. Our goal is to complete the discussion with a realistic market value on all property.
- Why does property have to be valued at its selling price? Texas is a “market value” state meaning that in our constitution and in law, the standard for appraisal is what a property would sell for if offered on the market. The appraisal process simply levels the playing field for all taxpayers in the community having each property owner pay based on what they own. The tax units each set a tax rate based on their needs for revenue to supply education, police protection, water, streets, and other services to the people they serve. The equality of taxation is also mandated by the courts in the distribution of funds for public education.
- Why are property taxes so high? The decision by state government to rely on sales taxes and property taxes as the primary sources of revenue cause both of those tax amounts to be high. The majority of states have an income tax to help with the state tax burden but Texas has made the decision to raise revenues from other sources instead of income and so those taxes are burdensome.
- How can I get my taxes down? The taxpayer should be sure that they are receiving all legal benefits to which they are entitled. All persons who own their home are entitled to a homestead exemption. That provides discounts to homeowners. Also, persons who are over 65 years of age or those persons who are disabled under social security regulations may apply for additional exemptions. Disabled veterans also receive discounts from the market value of their property. And finally, an annual review of the proposed value is important to ensure that it is in line with actual selling prices.
Within this site you will find general information about the District and the ad valorem property tax system in Texas, as well as information regarding specific properties within the district. Howard County Appraisal District is responsible for appraising all real and business personal property within Howard County. The district appraises property according to the Texas Property Tax Code and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP).
Howard County Appraisal District is responsible for the fair market appraisal of properties within each of the following taxing entities. Additional responsibilities include change of address and public information requests.
Thanks for visiting with us and we hope you’ll find all the information you need right here on the site, but please don’t hesitate to email, call or come by – we’re here to help!
Our mission is to provide accurate property assessments to facilitate the local funding for our county, schools, cities, and other districts that derive budgets and other operating expenses from local property values.
Some Property Owners Will be Receiving A Request For Current
Agricultural Applications To Be Filed With The Appraisal District:
Some property owners will be receiving a letter from the Howard County Appraisal District requesting a current application for 1-D-1 (Open Space) Agricultural Use Appraisal.
The Appraisal District is in the process of updating its records and needs to obtain the most current information on these properties in order to be in compliance with State requirements regarding these forms. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause our property owners and would like to insure everyone that the Appraisal District staff will be available to assist with questions or concerns regarding the reapplication process. Please do not hesitate to contact our office at (432) 263-8301 or come by 315 Main St, Big Spring, TX 79720. It is our goal to make this process as simple as possible for those property owners affected by this request.
IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A FORM IN THE MAIL ASKING THAT YOU PAY A FEE FOR THE FILING OF YOUR “HOMESTEAD DESIGNATION”, PLEASE CALL US FIRST. THE LETTER IS NOT FROM OUR OFFICE AND DOES NOT RELATE TO YOUR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY A FEE TO OBTAIN A HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION!
|County Taxing Entities:|
|Borden Independent School District|
|Sands Independent School District|
|Big Spring Independent School District|
|Coahoma Independent School District|
|Forsan Independent School District|
|Stanton Independent School District|
|City of Coahoma|
|City of Forsan|
|City of Big Spring|
|Howard County Junior College District|
|Permian Basin Water Conservation District|