Everyone wants to know the worth of their property, especially when it comes to assessing their taxes. In McLennan County, Texas, residents recently received a rude awakening when they opened their appraisal valuations. Home taxes in the county have soared, with a median increase of 12%. This surge has left homeowners taken aback and concerned about the impact it will have on their finances. To understand the reasons behind this steep increase, we will delve into the factors that have contributed to the current situation.
The McLennan County Appraisal District has pointed out that the rising market is the key driver behind the surge in home taxes. As the market experiences a high demand, more and more people are purchasing homes in the area. The fact that properties are being sold off-market within a span of 90 days has contributed to the spike in prices. Additionally, the popular TV show starring Chip and Joanna Gaines has attracted many buyers to the area, particularly those from California and other outside regions. These buyers are willing to pay exorbitant amounts for homes, which has led to bidding wars and houses being sold above their listed prices. Consequently, the market dynamics have changed, and this change needs to be reflected in the appraisal valuations.
While many residents understand the reasons behind the increase, some find it unfair, especially long-time residents of Waco who have seen their taxes rise by 14%. One resident expressed feeling victimized by the situation, stating that she would be more accepting of higher taxes for newcomers and new homeowners if they were made aware of the potential increases. However, for those who have resided in the area for a significant period of time, it can feel like an unjust punishment.
In response to such concerns, the county appraisers explain that they are obligated by state law to maintain 100% market value of properties. Ensuring accurate valuations is crucial for the county’s finances, and this year, the state will audit the appraisal district to determine the correctness of their assessments. While this explanation may provide some understanding, homeowners still feel that the increase is too significant and have voiced their discontent.
Fortunately for homeowners who disagree with their appraised values, there is an opportunity to protest the valuations. However, time is of the essence as the deadline for protests was moved up from May 31st to May 15th. It is crucial that homeowners who wish to challenge their assessments take prompt action to ensure their voices are heard.
In conclusion, the increase in home taxes in McLennan County has caused quite a stir among residents. With a median increase of 12% and spikes of up to 25% in some areas, homeowners are understandably concerned about the impact on their finances. The county appraisers attribute the rise to the hot real estate market fueled by increased demand and out-of-state buyers. While some residents find the increase justified, others feel that it unfairly penalizes long-time homeowners. It is important to note that the county appraisers are required to adhere to state law, which dictates that properties must be assessed at 100% of market value. To address these concerns, homeowners have the opportunity to protest their appraised values before the May 15th deadline. By doing so, they can voice their discontent and potentially have their assessments reviewed.