By now, Atascosa County property owners should have received their property appraisal values in the mail from the Atascosa Central Appraisal District (ACAD). As many have noticed, the values on properties have risen significantly for 2021 as compared to 2020. Property owners who disagree with ACAD’s appraisal of their property for local taxes or for any other action that adversely affects them may protest their property value to the district’s Appraisal Review Board (ARB).
ACAD Chief Appraiser Michelle Berdeaux explained that property owners wishing to file a protest with the ARB regarding their property value may do so by either accessing ACAD’s online protest portal, mailing, emailing or dropping off the formal protest form included with their appraisal notice or placing it in the drop box located outside of their office lobby. The online portal information is included with the property owner’s notice of Appraised Value which includes their property personalized PIN number and instructions on how to access the system.
“Protests are processed primarily by value at this time. Larger value properties, $500,000 and up, will be scheduled first with lower valued properties following on a tiered down basis. This process could take 30-90 days depending on the level of protests received,” said Berdeaux.
You must file a written notice of protest before May 15 or within 30 days after the appraisal district delivers the notice of appraised value, whichever is later. The ARB began hearing taxpayer protests on May 12. Once they complete hearings and approve final property tax appraisals, taxing units will use these appraisals to set property tax rates for the new year.
“All timely filed property value protests are scheduled for an Appraisal Review Board Hearing. Protests that are not filed by the deadline are reviewed for just cause and the ARB will notify the property owner regarding their protest status,” said Berdeaux.
Property taxes vs. property valuations
Berdeaux explained that many taxpayers are confused as to what and where to protest their property valuations and taxes. Often times, a taxpayer will go to ACAD trying to protest their property taxes when they should be protesting their property valuations.
“The appraisal district does not set local governing body budgets nor the local tax rate for the entities that collect taxes from property owners,” said Berdeaux. “The appraisal district reports the current market value of all property to the local taxing jurisdictions as required by law. In theory, the increase in property value should cause the tax rate to decrease for the taxing jurisdictions setting the tax rates.”
The appraisal district has no knowledge of the local jurisdiction’s budgetary needs prior to the values being determined and has no control over how the local jurisdictions set their rates or budgets. The governing bodies set their tax rates after the appraisal roll is submitted to them in late July and they hold public hearings on the proposed tax rates. Citizens may attend these public hearings and voice their concerns regarding the respective tax rate proposals. Keep an eye out in future issues of the Pleasanton Express on public hearings for the Atascosa County tax rate and budget.
For more information on property valuations and how to protest them, please call ACAD at 830- 569-8326, visit their website at www.atascosacad.com or visit their office at 624 N. Main St. in Pleasanton.
Atascosa County Commissioner Stuart Knowlton, Pct. 2, and Pleasanton Councilwoman Jeanne Israel, District 6, along with Atascosa County are hosting an Informational Seminar concerning property evaluations, taxation and protesting next Thursday, June 24 for local taxpayers.
The seminar will take place at the American Legion Hall in Jourdanton from 7-9 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Registration for the seminar is required. Please go to Commissioner Stuart Knowlton’s Facebook page for the Eventbrite link. The Pleasanton Express will also be posting the link to our page.
The seminar will be led by Michael Berlanga, a certified public accountant based out of Bexar County.