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The Source: Small Lawsuit Could Have Texas-Sized Impact

The city of Austin sued its appraisal district–the Travis Appraisal District–last week. But what you might think is a family affair, could have repercussions across the state. 

The lawsuit accuses the appraisal district of undervaluing commercial properties, which they argue puts a greater tax burden on residential properties. Far from disagreeing with the lawsuit, the chief appraisal officer was at the press conference saying the district needs more data from commercial sales to make better appraisals. But that data is constitutionally protected.

Texas is one of a few states that constitutionally mandates that people don't have to disclose the prices paid in land deals. This suit takes dead aim at this mandate, and hopes to dismantle it.

What could the lawsuit mean for San Antonio's own appraisal district? As The Source has reported before there are many who believe commercial properties in San Antonio are abusing constitutional loopholes to shirk their current appraisal values and tax burden. 


  • Michael Amezquita, Chief Appraiser at the Bexar Appraisal District
  • Mary Kieke, Chief Deputy at the Bexar Appraisal District
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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org