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Appraisal District prepares for protest season

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Until the end of May, Caldwell County property owners will have the opportunity to protest their appraised values, if they choose to do so.
Notices of appraised value were mailed to owners by the Caldwell County Appraisal District on May 1, 2008. Under state law, owners have 30 days from the date of mailing, or until May 31, 2008 (whichever is later), to protest the D

istrict’s actions. Protests may be entered if the property owner has a concern about:
– the market or appraised value of the property;
– the unequal appraisal of the property;
– the inclusion of the property in the appraisal roll;
– any exemptions that may apply to the owner;
– the qualification for an agricultural or timber appraisal;
– the taxable status of the property;
– the ownership of the property;
– the local governments which should be taxing the property;
– the change of use of the land receiving special appraisal; or
– any action taken by the chief appraiser, appraisal district or appraisal review board that applies to and adversely affects a property owner.
Informal protests can be made by contacting the Appraisal District to speak with an appraiser regarding the property’s value.
In the event an informal review does not yield the result desired by the owner, the owner may have the case heard by the Appraisal Review Board (ARB.) The ARB is an independent board of citizens that reviews problems with appraisals and other concerns listed above. The board has the authority to order the Appraisal District to make the necessary changes to solve problems. Written requests for and ARB hearing must be filed prior to the May 31, 2008, deadline. After filing the formal notice, property owners will be notified by the district as to the date and time of their hearing.
According to information released recently by the Caldwell County Appraisal District, Central Texas remains one of the strongest real estate markets in Texas. The total property values increased over last year’s values by more than 12 percent, a change fueled in large party by strong residential and ranch land growth.
“Caldwell County is experiencing higher prices being paid for property countywide,” the District said in a written statement last week.
Late protests are allowed for good cause, but property owners who wish to protest are encouraged to do so prior to the deadline.
For more information regarding property tax values, protests and ARB hearing procedures, contact the Caldwell County Appraisal District at (512) 398-5550, or visit the office at 610 San Jacinto St. in Lockhart.
For a pamphlet describing how to prepare a protest, contact the State Comptroller’s Property Tax Division at P.O. Box 135258, Austin, Texas 78711-3528.
(Courtesy of Mary LaPointe)

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