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Frequently Asked Questions

And Common Misconceptions

 

Glossary of Terms

 

Exemptions

I am a homeowner with disabilities. May I receive any property tax benefits?
I am a disabled veteran. Am I entitled to any property tax deductions?
I am a surviving spouse. Am I eligible for any exemption benefits?
Am I eligible for additional exemptions when I turn 65?
Can I claim a homestead on a mobile home if I do not own the land?
When and where do I apply for my homestead exemption?
Do I need to reapply every year for my homestead exemption?
How many acres can I claim as my homestead?
How do I qualify for the general homestead exemption?
What is a general homestead exemption?

Further explanations on exemptions

I am a homeowner with disabilities. May I receive any property tax benefits?
A person with a disability may get exemptions if:

  1. you can't engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability or
  2. you are 55 years old and blind and can't engage in your previous work because of your blindness

If you receive disability benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program through the Social Security Administration you should qualify. Disability benefits from any other program do not automatically qualify.
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I am a disabled veteran. Am I entitled to any property tax deductions?
You may qualify for a property tax deduction if you are either:

  1. a veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces or
  2. the surviving spouse or child (under 18 years of age or unmarried) of a disabled veteran

You must be a Texas resident and must provide documentation from the Veteran's Administration reflecting the percentage of your service-connected disability. Your disability rating must be at least 10%. You may also qualify for the 100% Disabled Veterans Residential Homestead exemption. Please see WCAD 100% Disabled Veterans Homestead Frequently Asked Questions.
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I am a surviving spouse. Am I eligible for any exemption benefits?
If a homeowner who has been receiving the tax ceiling on school taxes dies, the ceiling transfers to the surviving spouse, if the survivor is 55 or older and has ownership in the home. The survivor must apply to the appraisal district for the tax ceiling to transfer. If a homeowner who has been receiving the tax ceiling on school taxes dies, the ceiling transfers to the surviving spouse, if the survivor is 55 or older and has ownership in the home. The surviving spouse must apply to the appraisal district for the tax ceiling to transfer.
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Am I eligible for additional exemptions when I turn 65?
If you are age 65 or older your residence homestead will qualify for additional exemption deductions and you will receive a tax ceiling for that home on your school taxes. You may file for the over-65 exemption up to one year from the date you turned 65.
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Can I claim a homestead on a mobile home if I do not own the land?
Yes. You will need to furnish a copy of your title to the mobile home or a verified copy of your purchase contract.
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When and where do I apply for my homestead exemption?
You may apply at the Williamson Central Appraisal District between January 1st and April 30th of the tax year. You may file for late HS exemption up to one year after the date which the taxes become delinquent. You can find an application in the Forms section of our website.
Contact our office for more information.

Go to: Exemptions or Top

Do I need to reapply every year for my homestead exemption?
No. You do not have to reapply unless the chief appraiser requests a new application or you move to a new residence.
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How many acres can I claim as my homestead?
State law allows you to claim that portion of your land that you maintain for residential purposes but this amount may not exceed 20 acres. Generally, one acre or less is maintained for homestead purposes.
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How do I qualify for the general homestead exemption?
In order to qualify for this exemption you must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1st of that tax year. This property must also be your principal residence and you may not claim another homestead on another piece of property.
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What is a general homestead exemption?
The general homestead exemption is provided by state law for owner-occupied residential properties. The exemption removes a portion of your value from taxation providing a lower tax amount for the homestead property.
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Real Estate Appraisal

What if I own a mobile home but not the land?
My house was not completed as of January 1st. How do you appraise it?
How do you arrive at a value on a house?
Is my house ever depreciated?
My house is 30 years old. Is that taken into consideration?
Are property taxes based on a percentage?
Has anyone actually come out and looked at my property?
Why is IMPROVEMENT shown on my notice when I haven't made any?
How does the appraisal district determine the value of a home?
How often do you reappraise my property?

What if I own a mobile home but not the land?
We need a request for separate taxation filed with our office. This will allow the Appraisal District to set the mobile home up on an improvement only account that does not have a land value.
Go to: Real Estate Appraisal or Top

My house was not completed as of January 1st. How do you appraise it?
The improvement is added to the tax roll at the percent of completion as of January 1st.
Go to: Real Estate Appraisal or Top

How do you arrive at a value on a house?
The house is measured, classified, and depreciated due to its condition and age. It is valued based on the sales of similar properties.
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Is my house ever depreciated?
Yes, but the increase in the fair market value may override the depreciation due to age.
Go to: Real Estate Appraisal or Top

My house is 30 years old. Is that taken into consideration?
Yes. Age, size, condition and quality of construction are all taken into consideration.
Go to: Real Estate Appraisal or Top

Are property taxes based on a percentage?
No, they are based on 100% of the fair market value of your property.
Go to: Real Estate Appraisal or Top

Has anyone actually come out and looked at my property?
Yes, someone has reviewed your property, but it may not have been this year.
Go to: Real Estate Appraisal or Top

Why is IMPROVEMENT shown on my notice when I haven't made any?
Improvement on your notice means any structure that is attached to the land. A house is an improvement to the land.
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How does the appraisal district determine the value of a home?
The appraisal district compares a home to similar homes that have sold recently and determines the value accordingly.
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How often do you reappraise my property?
Typically, the appraisal district reviews all sales information and reviews all properties every year. Market value is the determining factor on deciding which properties are reappraised.
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Renditions (BPP)

What is a rendition for Business Personal Property?
Who must file a rendition?
What types of property must be rendered?
Where can I find the rendition form?
When must the rendition be filed?
Where should the rendition be filed?
Is my information confidential?
What will the appraisal district do with my information?
How do I determine original cost?
If I cannot file the rendition on time, what should I do?
What happens if I do not file a rendition, or file it late?
Dealer's Heavy Equipment Frequently Asked Questions

What is a rendition for Business Personal Property?
A rendition is a form that provides the appraisal district with the description, location, cost and acquisition dates for business personal property that you own. The appraisal district uses the information to help estimate the market value of your property for taxation purposes.
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

Who must file a rendition?
Renditions must be filed by both owners of tangible personal property that is used for the production of income and owners of tangible personal property on which an exemption has been cancelled or denied.
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What types of property must be rendered?
Business owners are required by State law to render business personal property that is used in a business or used to produce income. This property includes furniture and fixtures, equipment, machinery, computers, inventory held for sale or rental, raw materials, finished goods, and work in progress. You are not required to render intangible personal property (property that can be owned but does not have a physical form) such as cash, accounts receivable, goodwill, application computer software, and similar items. If your organization has previously qualified for an exemption that applies to personal property, for example, a religious or charitable organization exemption, you are not required to render the exempt property.
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

Where can I find the rendition form?
The forms are available on our website or at the WCAD office.
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

When must the rendition be filed?
The last day to file your rendition is April 15th annually. The online or email versions must be submitted by April 15th, or if you mail your rendition, it must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before April 15th.
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

Where should the rendition be filed?
The website allows certain businesses to file online by using your email address and the authorization code provided on your mailed rendition form. For all others you may use the following address or email:

Williamson Central Appraisal District
Business Personal Property Division
625 FM 1460
Georgetown TX  78626-8050

renditions@wcad.org
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

Is my information confidential?
Yes. Information contained in a rendition cannot be disclosed to third parties except in very limited circumstances. In addition, the Texas Property Tax Code specifically provides that any estimate of value you provide is not admissible in proceedings other than a protest to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) or court proceedings related to penalties for failure to render. The final value we place on your property is public information, but your rendition is not.
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

What will the appraisal district do with my information?
Your rendition will be analyzed along with other information we collect on similar businesses, to develop an estimate of value for your property.
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

How do I determine original cost?
To determine original cost, refer to your accounting records, such as original journal entries and account ledgers. Use original purchase documents, such as invoices or purchase orders to determine the original cost of the asset. Add all costs attributed to getting the asset functioning, such as freight and set-up cost.
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

If I cannot file the rendition on time, what should I do?
The law provides for an extension of time to file a rendition. In order to receive the extension, you must submit the request to the Williamson Central Appraisal District in writing or by email before the April 15 rendition filing deadline. With the receipt of a timely extension request, the rendition filing deadline will be extended to May 15.
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

What happens if I do not file a rendition, or file it late?
If you do not file a rendition, the appraised value of your property will be based on an appraiser’s estimate using comparable business types. In addition, if you fail to file your rendition before the deadline or you do not file it at all, a penalty equal to 10% of the amount of taxes ultimately imposed on the property will be levied against you.
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

Dealer's Heavy Equipment Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for FAQ regarding Dealer's Heavy Equipment.
Go to: Renditions (BPP) or Top

Common Misconceptions

The Williamson Central Appraisal District has outside information (ie, Travis County, County Clerks Office, etc...).
The Williamson Central Appraisal District has access to ALL Sales information.
Sales and Comparables can be placed on The Williamson Central Appraisal District's website.
Property value determines taxes.
The Williamson Central Appraisal District raises values as a result of the request from the taxing entities.
The Williamson Central Appraisal District collects Taxes.
Property owner's can protest their taxes.
Taxes are not due if a property owner disagrees with the property value.
Frozen tax amounts always transfer.
The Williamson Central Appraisal District must accept a rendered "Good Faith Estimate."
Values can be changed at anytime.
A Protest can be filed at any time.
If a property had a homestead cap adjustment last year, why doesn't it have one this year?
The Williamson Central Appraisal District can change Ownership without legal documents.
Property can always be combined.
The Williamson Central Appraisal District provides legal advice.
Agriculture is an exemption.
Agricultural valuation may be allowed on any size property no matter how small.

The Williamson Central Appraisal District has outside information (ie, Travis County, County Clerks Office, etc...).
True. The Williamson Central Appraisal District has some outside information, but it is limited and received through several different sources. One source is from County deeds and other publicly accessible resources. Surveys and renditions are also received from property owners and income data from commercial industries, all of which are considered confidential and not available to the public. Industry publications and internet resources are also reviewed. Lastly, data is provided from property and business owners at the time of protest for analysis.
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The Williamson Central Appraisal District has access to ALL Sales information.
False. The Williamson Central Appraisal District does not have access to all sales information due to Texas being a non-sales disclosure State. This means that real estate sales transactions are not given to the Appraisal District. Each appraisal district must research all available data in the market place by contacting realtors, brokers, property sellers, and buyers to obtain sales information. Through this process the district receives some of the sales, but not all. Any and all sales evidence you can provide to the district will ensure proper valuation of your property.
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Sales and Comparables can be placed on The Williamson Central Appraisal District's website.
False. HB2188, Section 552.148, of the Texas Government Code prohibits appraisal districts from releasing sales information except for protest purposes to the property owner or his / her designated appointed agent, and only to be released as appeal evidence for the protested property.
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Property value determines taxes.
False. Market value is a component of the property tax calculation (market value - exemptions x tax rate = property taxes due) and is directly related to the price a willing buyer would pay for the property. The primary component of the calculation is the tax rate which is calculated by the taxing units to fund their operations. The tax rate fluctuates based on needs of the taxing unit, while the market value is strictly a reflection of what the property would sell for in an arms-length transaction or as if buyer and the seller had no significant, prior relationship and neither party has an incentive to act against his/her own interest (i.e., the seller seeks to make the price as high as he/she can, and likewise the buyer seeks to make it as low as he/she can).
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The Williamson Central Appraisal District raises values as a result of the request from the taxing entities.
False. Per the Property Tax Code 23.01 (a)(b), The Chief Appraiser must value property as of January 1st at its market value using mass appraisal standards that comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Additionally, the Comptrollers Office annually produces a Property Value Study (PVS) to review the District's appraisal techniques and values throughout the District.
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The Williamson Central Appraisal District collects Taxes.
False. The Williamson Central Appraisal District is not a consolidated tax office and does not collect taxes.Taxes in Williamson County are collected by the Williamson County Tax/Assessor Collector.
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Property owner's can protest their taxes.
False. Taxes cannot be protested, however a property's appraised value may be protested which, if reduced, may lower the property's taxes. The appraised value is only a component of the property tax calculation. Another determining factor of the taxes is the associated tax rate. A property owner may attend tax rate hearings at the local taxing unit to discuss tax rates.
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Taxes are not due if a property owner disagrees with the property value.
False. If a property has a late protest and the case is pending, this does not affect the delinquency date for the taxes on the property. The taxes for the property cannot go delinquent. The lesser of the amount of taxes due on the portion of the taxable value not in dispute or the amount of taxes due on the property before the delinquency date must be paid. If payment is not made before the delinquency date the property owner forfeits the right to proceed to a final determination of the appeal.
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Frozen tax amounts always transfer.
False. It is not the tax amounts that transfer but the percentage of frozen taxes versus actual taxes. Only the school district freezes transfer throughout the state of Texas. Other freezes, such as the county, road farm to market and city, will only transfer within those same jurisdictions.
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The Williamson Central Appraisal District must accept a rendered "Good Faith Estimate".
False. The Texas Property Tax Code sections 1.04 & 23.12 require the appraisal district to appraise property at its market value on January 1st each year.
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Values can be changed at anytime.
False. The property owner must file a timely protest by the protest deadline. Once the property values are certified to the taxing units, the ways that a change can be made to the appraisal roll become very limited. The appraisal roll is typically certified to the taxing units by July 25th.
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A Protest can be filed at any time.
False. The usual deadline for protest filing is on or before May 31st or 30 days after a notice of appraised value was mailed, whichever is later. Late protests are allowed, if good cause can be provided for missing the usual deadline. Good cause is a reason beyond someone's control, such as a medical emergency. The Appraisal Review Board (ARB) determines whether a property owner has good cause, and late protests are due the day before the appraisal review board approves the records for the year. Additionally, deadlines are postponed to the next business day if it falls on a weekend or holiday.

Special Deadlines:
If the appraisal district sends notice of the removal of agricultural appraisal due to the change in use of land, the protest deadline is before the 30th day after the notice of determination was mailed to the property owner. If the ARB sends notice to a property owner of a change that increases his / her tax liability and the change did not result from a protest that was filed, the deadline is before the 30th day after the notice of the determination was mailed.

If a property owner believes the appraisal district or the ARB should have mailed a notice and did not, he / she may file a protest until the day before taxes become delinquent (usually February 1st) or no later than the 125th day after the date the owner claims he / she received a tax bill from one or more of the taxing units that tax the property.

The ARB will decide whether it will hear a protest based on evidence regarding whether a required notice was mailed to a property owner
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If a property had a homestead cap adjustment last year, it should have one this year?
False. The homestead cap adjustment is calculated on a year to year basis. If a property had a homestead cap adjustment last year it was due to the assessed value being higher than 10% of the previous years assessed value. If, in the current year, the property reflects no cap adjustment then the current value is not higher than 10% of last years value. If the current year cap adjustment is lower than last years cap adjustment, the assessed value is starting to catch up to the market value.
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The Williamson Central Appraisal District can change Ownership without legal documents.
False. The Williamson Central Appraisal District must have a legal document to change ownership (e.g., living will & testament, deeds, etc).
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Property can always be combined.
False. Properties can only be combined if they:

  1. are contiguous
  2. are financed under the same note, or are paid off
  3. are in the same Abstract/Survey
  4. have the same owner


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The Williamson Central Appraisal District provides legal advice.
False. The Williamson Central Appraisal District does not provide legal advice.
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Agriculture is an exemption.
False. Agriculture is not an exemption, it is a special valuation based on the land's agricultural productivity. The appraisal district is not exempting any value; it is placing a use type value on the property. There is always a market value associated with every property and in the case of properties receiving an agricultural valuation there is a use type value which will apply to qualifying land acreage (e.g., dry crop, improved pasture, etc).
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Agricultural valuation may be allowed on any size property no matter how small.
False. It is possible to receive agricultural valuation on properties of any size, if it is used in conjunction with a larger contiguous property. However, if the property in question is a stand alone property, it should meet typical acreage minimums. Click on the link below to review Williamson County’s typical stocking rates.
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Taxpayer Liaison Officer (TLO)

Contact:
Charley Rouse
Taxpayer Liaison Officer
Williamson Central Appraisal District
512.876.1199

Who appoints the TLO?
What are the duties of the TLO?
What happens to complaints?
Additional duties of the TLO
What happens to the property owner surveys every visitor is asked to fill out?
Who sets appraisal values?
What if a property owner disagrees with the appraisal?
Who sets tax rates?

Who Appoints the TLO?
The TLO is appointed by the Board of Directors (Board) of the Williamson Central Appraisal District (WCAD) and serves at the pleasure of the Board.
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Duties of the TLO
The TLO administers certain public access functions required by the Tax Code and is responsible for reviewing and responding to complaints that do not involve matters that may be protested under Section 41.41 of the Tax Code.
The TLO receives, compiles and forwards complaints, comments and suggestions concerning ARB matters to the Comptroller’s office; along with delivering ARB applications received and providing clerical assistance to the local administrative district judge as part of the ARB selection process.
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What happens to complaints?
The TLO reports to the Board on the status of all complaints filed with the Board at each meeting.
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Additional Duties of the TLO
If a property owner wishes to address the Board, but does not speak English or Spanish and cannot bring their own interpreter, please notify the TLO in writing at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. Arrangements will be made for an interpreter. If you have some handicap or disability that may prevent you from speaking to the Board, please notify the TLO in writing at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. If you are unable to notify the TLO within seven days the district will attempt to make appropriate arrangements.
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What happens to the property owner surveys every visitor is asked to fill out?
The results of these surveys are compiled and carefully reviewed and presented to the Board of Directors at each monthly meeting. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Appraisal Review Board survey is also forwarded to the Comptroller's office. This information is a matter of public record. WCAD consistently has very high ratings in all categories.
Go To: Taxpayer Liaison Officer or Top

Who sets appraisal values?
The Board cannot, by law, be involved in setting appraisal values. That is the job of the WCAD staff who derive property values based on actual sales following nationwide appraisal standards.
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What if a property owner disagrees with the appraisal?
The steps used for a disagreement are as follows:

  1. Informal discusson with the WCAD staff.
  2. Formal protest hearing with the Appraisal Review Board.
  3. An appeal to an independent arbitrator appointed by the Texas Comptroller.
  4. An appeal to a State District Court.

Go To: Taxpayer Liaison Officer or Top

Who Sets the tax rates?
The tax rates are set by the taxing entities governing bodies. The WCAD does not set rates nor does it collect taxes. Taxes are collected by the Williamson County Tax Assessor/Collector's office and others not involved in the appraisal process.
Go To: Taxpayer Liaison Officer or Top

 

Mission Statement

"We will provide quality service with the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and respect. We will uphold these standards while providing an accurate, fair, and cost-effective appraisal roll in compliance with the laws of the State of Texas."

WCAD Calendar

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General Information

Williamson Central Appraisal District
ContactMap625 FM 1460
Georgetown TX 78626-8050
Austin Metro:  512.930.3787
Taylor:  888.331.7807
Contact WCAD

Office Hours:  8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, M-F
Board of Directors
Chief Appraiser:  Alvin Lankford
Taxpayer Liaison Officer:  Charley Rouse


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Disclaimer: The Williamson Central Appraisal District provides this information "as is" without warranty of any kind. This data could include inaccuracies or typographical errors. The Williamson Central Appraisal District is not responsible for any errors or omissions. The maps have been prepared according to Section 9.3002 Tax Maps, Texas Property Tax Laws. Accuracy is limited to the validity of available data.