By Moses Leos III
Hays County residents will have to wait until early June before they discover possible changes in their county 2016 appraisal values.
According to the Hays County Central Appraisal District’s website, preliminary appraisal notices in Hays County will be sent out June 6.Property owners will have 30 days from when they receive their appraisals to file an appeal.
The delay was due to the 2015 Memorial Day and Halloween floods, according to David Valle, chief appraiser for Hays County.
According to the CAD’s website, disaster appraisals requested by the taxing entities following the flood events led to the delay.
Valle said via an emailed response that the appraisals process took approximately eight to nine months to complete this year. Valle said the county normally releases property assessments May 1.
It took roughly three to four months to complete property appraisals in Wimberley, San Marcos, Buda and Kyle, which were all hit by flooding in 2015.
He said appraisers look for “improvements in condition and changes to the property.”
“Basically, changes to the physical characteristics of the property are reviewed for accuracy,” Valle said. “Sold properties are also used in the process of the reappraisal of property.”
Valle said the addition of reappraising disaster flood properties required “more time and effort on the Hays CAD staff.”
“It also changed the process because it required some action on the part of the individual property owner in providing our office with pictures, contractor’s estimate of repairs or receipts for those repairs to make the necessary adjustments to their property and that was also time consuming,” Valle said in an emailed response.
He also said the CAD was still adding new improvements and analyzing sales data and changing values. According to Valle, the CAD was still making corrections and “crunching the numbers” prior to releasing assessment values.
While the CAD doesn’t have firm numbers at this point, Valle anticipated property values to increase in 2016.
The possible increase follows an increase in home appraisals in 2015 that drew criticism from many homeowners.
In 2015, Hays County’s overall preliminary market value was $19.56 billion, which constituted a 14.9 percent increase in 2014.
Last year the average market home value rose by 12.4 percent.
Valle said several factors, such as population growth, is pushing appraisals higher in value.
“I believe that jobs, population growth and strong demand for housing are the main reasons for the overall market values increasing in Hays County,” Valle said.
According to Valle, the CAD is expecting a high number of appeals, but he didn’t believe it is related to the delay.
He also said the delay would not affect appraisal numbers for 2017.
Perwez Moheet, Director of Finance in Kyle, said it’s a “little early in the budget development process” to include the “independent process that Hays CAD follows leading up to the final certification of property valuations in Kyle,” which the CAD will provide to the city in July.
While Moheet said the final certified tax roll will be released by the Hays CAD on July 25, the city has obtained a preliminary estimate for property valuations in Kyle.
According to the estimate, which is subject to change, Kyle’s property valuations have a net taxable value of $2.13 billion. That amount is a 7.89 percent increase from the certified taxable valuation from 2015.
“As we begin to work through the development of the proposed budget, the city manager will seek input from all of the department directors, chief of staff and the asst. city manager to assess and select strategies for preparing the most feasible budget options for next fiscal year to present to city council for their consideration,” MOheet said.
In Buda, City Manager Kenneth Williams said the city has gotten “accustomed” to receiving certified property valuations late in the budget process.
As the result, the city works with estimates until they obtain the certified numbers.
Williams said the city hasn’t seen the preliminary property valuation estimates, but they are using last year’s estimates for planning and budgeting.
He anticipates property valuations to increase in Buda, as they did in 2015.
“We’re still experiencing growth,” Williams said. “While the economy has slowed down a bit, we still anticipate the numbers to reflect the growth and to increase, looking at it preliminarily.”
Hays County’s 2016 appraisals
• June 6 – Appraisal notices go out. Property owners have 30 days from receiving appraisal notice in the mail to file a protest.
Hays County’s 2015 appraisals in review
• Commercial and industrial property increased in value by 15.9 percent ($1.64 billion in 2014 to $1.9 billion this year)
• Residential multi-family property saw the biggest increase in value – 31 percent – from $995 million in 2014 to $1.3 billion this year. [Increase was due to new construction, completion of new apartment projects and a strong demand for multi-family housing.]
• Hays County added more than 2,300 new homes and 68 new commercial buildings to the appraisal roll.
• Total new improvements added more than $665 million to the taxable value.
Kyle’s certified estimate for 2016 – April 29, 2016
• Net taxable value – $2,139,713,012
• Estimated increase of $156,433,241
• Certified taxable value in 2015 for Kyle – $1,983,279,771