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Property appraisal protests trending lower than last year

Roy Sandoval, the chief appraiser of the Bexar Appraisal District, was interviewed in the TPR studios on May, 15, 2024
Joey Palacios
Roy Sandoval, the chief appraiser of the Bexar Appraisal District

The Bexar Appraisal District reported on Wednesday that it received about 104,000 property appraisal protests.

May 15 was the last day to file a protest over appraisals considered unfairly high.

Roy Sandoval, the chief appraiser for the district, said that 104,000 is still much lower than the total number filed last year.

"Last year, we had the record number of appeals," he said. "We had 200,000, so we're hoping to get a little bit less this year, and the reason we're optimistic is because we sent fewer notices than in years past."

More than half a million appraisals were mailed out, so the percentage of protests did appear lower this year.

Some appraisals in recent years had soared to 18% and 28% because of the area's booming real estate market.

Sandoval said a number of factors have driven appraisals flat or down this appraisal season, including slower home sales.

Higher interest rates and inflation have affected buying power, Sandoval said. He also said more homes on the market at the same time have forced values down. Homes need to be priced to sell.

Sandoval said the main factor driving down individual appraisals are neighborhood sales figures.

"What did those homes sell for? Was it up from last year or was it down last year? Whatever those sales are indicating is going to dictate the values for 300 homes in your neighborhood," he said.

Sandoval said when a property owner files a protest, his agency can look individually at a property and consider factors such as what the home's interior looks like, what repairs are needed, and what damages are done that would all lower an appraisal.

The Texas Legislature passed property tax relief measures last year that was backed by voters. It included increasing the homestead property tax exemption from $40,000 to $100,000.

Wednesday was the last day to file a property tax appraisal in person. Sandoval strongly urged people to not come in person because of the inconvenience of parking and waiting in line. He said it would be much simpler to file a protest online at bcad.org or by mail. Mail must be postmarked by midnight the last day to file.

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