State Law requires county appraisal districts to notify property owners about changes in their property’s value. On May 1, 2012, the Blanco County Appraisal District mailed 3,429 property owners letters showing their 2012 proposed appraised values.
Hollis Boatright, Chief Appraiser for Blanco County, reminds property owners that the letter of appraised value is not a tax bill, so please do not pay at this time.
Boatright emphasized the importance of this letter and the key information it contains. “A property owner has the right to appeal to the Blanco County Appraisal Review Board on any disagreement with the property’s value, exemptions, ownership and other areas,” she said.
The Appraisal Review Board, commonly referred to as the “ARB”, is an independent panel of citizens responsible for hearing and settling protests from property owners who disagree with some action by the appraisal district. The notice includes instructions on how and when to file a protest and a protest form.
What should a property owner review? “Look at the proposed value for 2012,” Boatright said. “The letter states the land’s value and any improvement value for the property for the current year.” An improvement is a building, structure, fence or any type of fixture to the land.
The appraisal letter also includes current year information on exemptions granted on the property and last year’s value.
Homeowners that qualify for property tax homestead exemptions have a limitation on their homes’ appraised value, beginning with the second year that they qualify their home for homestead exemption. The appraisal district may not increase their home value by more than 10 percent for each year since the last reappraisal year. A homeowner’s letter gives both the market value for the home and the limited home value.
Letters to property owners whose values increased will also include “estimated taxes”. These estimated taxes are based on the new taxable value and last years tax rates. Taxing units will set final 2012 tax rates in September. Final amounts may vary from these “estimated” amounts.
Boatright asks property owners to check the legal description and their mailing address to be sure it is correct. “If your notice has an old address, please let us know. The post office only forwards mail for a short time and the tax bills will go out in October,” Boatright added.
A property owner is responsible for informing the appraisal district of the correct mailing address. A property owner is liable for additional penalties and interest on a tax bill that is not paid on time.
In summary, please check your name, address and legal description and that all exemptions you qualify for were granted. If you disagree with the proposed value on your land or your buildings, or if you feel an exemption was denied, you may file a written protest by the May 31, 2012 deadline.