Frequently Asked Questions

Real Estate Property

State law requires the County Appraiser to view and inspect the exterior of all the property in the county every six years. First, the appraiser will attempt to interview the property owner. If the owner is unavailable the appraiser will leave a door hanger. Then an exterior inspection is done. The appraiser will look for changes such as a room addition or the construction of a deck, verify the dimensions, check for structural damage, and determine the property's general condition.

You can visit or call the County Appraiser's Office to review information on similar sales and verify that the information the appraiser's office has on your property is correct. If a neighbor has a similar house for sale, the sale price may also give you an indication of the value of your house.

When valuing your home, the appraiser reviews the age, quality, location, condition, style, and size of your property. The appraiser then uses one or more of the following three methods to value your property:
  • The Market Approach: sales of similar properties are compared to each other. The appraiser then adjusts for differences (for example, one house may have more square footage than another). This method works well for valuing homes.
  • The Cost Approach: age and what it would cost to replace your home are taken into consideration. This approach works well for new and unique properties.
  • The Income Approach: in simple terms, income from rent is used to value property. This method works well for income-producing properties (for example, apartment buildings and malls).

If your property value goes up, it does not necessarily mean you will pay more taxes. Likewise, if your property value goes down or does not change, it does not automatically mean you will pay less or the same amount of taxes. Changes in property values do not change the amount of tax dollars needed for local public services.

Not necessarily. One sale by itself does not determine market value. The price you paid for your home is first verified by the County Appraiser and then pooled with sales of similar homes. The appraiser uses this information to value your home. Also, market conditions may have changed in the last year.

There are two opportunities to have the value of your home reviewed:
  • You may appeal the "Notice of Value' of your home that is mailed to you in the spring by contacting the County Appraiser's Office by phone or in writing within 30 days of the mailing date of the notice. More information is available at the State Property Valuation Division's website - A Guide to the Property Valuation Appeal Process - Equalization Appeals

  • You may file a "Payment under Protest" form with the County Treasurer at the time you pay your taxes. If an escrow or tax service agent pays your property taxes, then protest no later than January 31 of the following year. More information is available in the State Property Valuation Division's website - A Guide to the Property Valuation Appeal Process - Payment Under Protest

By law, the County Appraiser is responsible for listing and valuing property in a uniform and equal manner. The County Appraiser's Office does not create value. People determine value by their transactions in the market place. The County Appraiser's Office simply has the legal responsibility to analyze those transactions and appraise all properties based upon what is happening in the market place. The amount of taxes you pay depends on the budgets set in August by your city and county governments.

The County Appraiser appraises your home at "fair market value" as it exists on the first day of January each year. Fair market value is the amount of money a well-informed buyer would pay and a well­ informed seller would accept for property in an open and competitive market, without undue compulsion.

The "Notice of Value' on your home should be mailed by March 1, unless the county appraiser gets an extension. Please contact the County Appraiser for more information by March 1.

Your property tax dollars are used by city and county governments to provide funding for roads, parks, fire protection, police protection, public schools, and other local services.

The value of your property may change each year - it depends on several things. If you make improvements to your home, such as adding a garage, the value may go up. The value may also go up or down because of recent sales in your neighborhood. The county appraiser continually updates sales prices and other information on homes all over the county.