4/16/2020 10:00 AM
Appraisal Notices have been mailed and new updates regarding values and the appeal process in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic are available.
The Governor and Comptroller’s office (Property Tax Assistance Division) have been contacted, either directly or through the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts (TAAD), seeking various options that would limit value increases from last year and/or limit human contact during the appeal process.
- Limiting value increases was deemed property tax relief and as such, would fall on the State Legislature. Therefore, per the Tax Code, property is to be valued as of January 1st
- The Attorney General has issued an opinion stating that non-physical damage, such as possible economic loss in value due to COVID-19 pandemic, does not qualify for the disaster related temporary tax exemption provided by section 11.35 of the Tax Code (full opinion: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/opinion-files/opinion/2020/kp-0299_0.pdf)
- WCAD is still waiting to hear back about possible ways of limiting contact during formal Appraisal Review Board (ARB) hearings, including allowing appraisal districts to initiate phone hearings, allowing virtual hearings and reducing the numbers of ARB members required per panel
What does this mean for property owners? WCAD has done everything the law will allow to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Revalued property as conservatively as possible while staying within the acceptable range allowed by the Comptroller
- Protests based on perceived economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic will not see a reduction in value
- Cancelled the walk-in protest period during the month of April
- Postponing scheduled protest hearings until late May or June
- Improved online protest filing system – you can now upload documentation and/or evidence once your protest has been received and put in our system
4/7/2020 8:00 AM
We will be mailing Notices Of Appraised Value on April 14th, 2020. Our office will remain closed to the public as recommended by government and health officials until further notice.
Please consider values are as of January 1, per Tax Code 23.01(a), prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. Potential economic effects on values will be analyzed through the collection of sales transactions and other market data from March 24th (when the Williamson County Stay Home Stay Safe Order was issued) until the end of the year. Any market influence will be reflected in the January 1, 2021 appraisal.
Appraisal districts are held to high standards, set by the Texas Comptroller’s office, when it comes to adherence to the Tax Code. Because the Tax Code is set by the State Legislature, appraisal districts do not have the authority to deviate without explicit instruction from state officials.
WCAD will be issuing a press release in the coming days that outlines what we have done, as well as what appraisal districts across the state have done to attempt to make appraisals and the appeal process more responsive to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
We will be updating any documentation or procedures we have posted online in the coming days to correspond with changes being made due to the impact of COVID-19. Check back here or visit our support center for updates.
3/16/2020 4:30 PM
In the interest of public safety, WCAD has decided to close its doors to the public as of 5:00 PM on March 16th, 2020. We will continue to answer phones and online chats during regular business hours.
Read the full news release regarding suspended in-office services here.
3/16/2020 10:30 AM
WCAD’s top priority is the heath and well-being of our employees and the property owners of Williamson County. We are closely monitoring updates from local, federal and world health communities, and are committed to being as responsive as possible as the situation evolves.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and in conjunction with recommendations made by the CDC, we are asking that citizens use online tools as much as possible to conduct appraisal district business. If you have questions, you are likely to find answers in our knowledge base.
In the event you are unable to find answers, you may use our online chat feature, submit a help ticket or call our office and a representative will help you.
Please visit https://www.wcad.org/category/news/ to stay up to date with our office as we continue to monitor the situation.