County officials brace for record number of home appraisal protests

With the delivery of appraisal notices on the horizon, Hays County officials are expecting to receive a record-breaking number of protests as property values are rapidly on the rise.

The assumption comes as preliminary figures show total new improvements in Hays County has added more than $981 million to the taxable value in 2018.

According to the Hays Central Appraisal District, more than 93,000 notices will be sent out to inform property owners of their 2018 appraisals starting April 30. The county, cities, school districts and other taxing entities use the appraisal district’s determined values to set 2018 property tax rates.

Across Hays County, the average market value for homes increased by 7.1 percent since last year’s appraisals. In 2017, the county received 14,602 appraisal value protests. According to Chief Appraiser David Valle, 12,719 of those were settled with staff, while the rest were scheduled for formal hearings with the Appraisal Review Board. Although he expects more protests to be filed in 2018, Valle said it is too early to say to what degree the number will increase.

County data shows vacant lots and tracts saw the biggest increase in value, with appraisals increasing 37 percent, from $555 million to $760 million.

Commercial and industrial property increased nearly 13 percent since last year to $2.5 billion in 2018. Residential multi-family property value increased just under 33 percent since 2017, soaring from $1.43 billion to $1.90 billion in just one year.

The appraisal district attributed the increases to the strong demand for residential and commercial sites, new construction, student housing and the completion of apartment projects.

With the addition of  2,628 new homes and 83 new commercial buildings to the appraisal roll, Hays County’s overall preliminary market value has risen to $26.58 billion this year, a jump of nearly 14 percent since 2017.

Property owners that receive a notice of appraised value will have until May 30 to file a protest to appeal to the Appraisal Review Board.

Protests can be filed in-person at the Hays Central Appraisal District office at 21001 N. IH 35, Kyle, by calling 512-268-2522, or online at www.hayscad.com or by contacting protest@hayscad.com.

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