You may soon receive an appraisal notice from the Potter-Randall Appraisal District (PRAD). The appraisal district mailed about 96,000 appraisal notices on April 13, 2018. Your city, county, school district and other local taxing units will use the appraisal district’s value to set your 2018 property taxes.
Under Texas law, county appraisal districts are required to notify property owners about changes in their property’s value. The notice contains important information about the property’s location, ownership and property tax exemptions that apply to the property. It must also include an estimate of the taxes by local taxing units if your property value increased in the last year. This in only an estimate and not a tax bill. Please do not pay from this estimate. PRAD encourages every property owner to verify the mailing address, ownership and current exemptions for your account and inform the appraisal district of any changes.
The notice includes the new 2018 appraised and taxable values compared to the previous year. Property owners who disagree with the appraised value of their property, the exemptions or any other action by the appraisal district have the right to appeal to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). The ARB is an independent panel of citizens responsible for hearing and settling property owner protests. The notice of appraised value includes instructions on how and when to file a protest, a protest form and the Comptroller’s Property Taxpayer Remedies. The deadline for filing a protest with the ARB is May 15 or 30 days after the appraisal district mailed your notice of appraised value, whichever is later.
According to the Comptroller’s Property Tax System Basics webpage, the Texas Constitution sets out five basic rules for property taxes in our state:
- Generally, all property must be taxed based on its current market value. That’s the price it would sell for when both buyer and seller seek the best price and neither is under pressure to buy or sell. The Texas Constitution provides certain exceptions to this rule, such as the use of “productivity values” for agricultural and timberland. This means that the land is taxed based on the value of what it produces, such as crops and livestock, rather than its sale value. This lowers the tax bill for such land.
- Taxation must be equal and uniform. No single property or type of property should pay more than its fair share. The property taxes you pay are based on the value of property you own. If, for instance, your property is worth half as much as the property owned by your neighbor (after any exemptions that apply), your tax bill should be one-half of your neighbor’s. This means that uniform appraisal is very important.
- Each property in a county must have a single appraised value. This means that the various local governments to which you pay property taxes cannot assign different values to your property; all must use the same value. This is guaranteed by the use of county appraisal districts.
- All property is taxable unless federal or state law exempts it from the tax. These exemptions may exclude all or part of your property’s value from taxation.
- Property owners have a right to reasonable notice of increases in their appraised property value.
The Comptroller’s publication, Property Taxpayer Remedies, explains in detail how to protest your property appraisal, what issues the ARB can consider and what to expect during a protest hearing. The publication also discusses the options of taking your case to district court, the State Office of Administrative Hearings or binding arbitration if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your ARB hearing.
Property Taxpayer Remedies is available from the Potter-Randall Appraisal District at 5701 Hollywood Road, Amarillo, TX. The publication is also available on the Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division’s website at comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/.
If you have any questions about your Notice of Appraised Value please feel free to contact our office at (806) 358-1601 or visit us in person at 5701 Hollywood Road. Our staff will be glad to answer any questions you may have and assist you in this process.
Jeffrey Dagley, RPA