Dec 4, 2019

What impact could the Land Development Code Revision have on property taxes?


The following information was gathered from a discussion on October 29, 2019 with Travis County Appraisal District Chief Appraiser, Marya Crigler and other key TCAD staff and consistent with information discussed at the City Council work session on December 3, 2019 which can be viewed here or by clicking on the thumbnail below.



For full presentation video, visit City Council Meeting Information Center.

The Travis County Appraisal District (TCAD) does not proactively increase appraisal values in response to adoption of new city land-use codes or changes to an existing land-use code. For residential appraisals, TCAD assesses land value based on a replacement cost for improvements and by looking at sales of similar properties to determine whether values need to be adjusted.

All property appraisals are market driven. TCAD reports findings based on what has already occurred in the market in previous years, excluding unusual or outlier transactions that are inconsistent with overall trends. Under state law, appraisals are based on market sales as of January 1st of each year and are based on sales of comparable properties. A single-family residence is not compared to the sale of a duplex, triplex, fourplex, or a vacant lot, as those are not a comparable property to a single-family home. Additionally, for properties that are subject to a homestead exemption, TCAD must consider the “highest and best use” of the property to be residential and appraise the property accordingly.

It is unclear whether proposed zoning changes would impact property taxes for single-family homes, positively or negatively. Such changes, if any, would likely not be felt for several years.

Homesteads have numerous tax exemptions that are not available to other types of properties. Visit Travis County Appraisal District for options and protections available. Visit the Austin Is My Home page for additional information to help keep property owners in their homes.