Travis Central Appraisal District 2021 budget totaled $20.19 million, and the Travis County ARB budget was $1.2 million. The Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD) 2021 budget of $20.19 million equates to $50.7 per tax parcel (397,544 tax parcels). The TCAD budget for 2020 is 85% higher than the statewide average of $26.92. Texas-wide appraisal budgets totaled $570 million, with TCAD representing 3.5% of the total.

Appraisal District Budgets

Presented here are the four highest-ranking assessment district budgets throughout the entire state. The Harris Central Appraisal District has the highest statewide budget, amounting to $93,000,000. It is followed by the Tarrant Appraisal District with a budget of $25,500,000, the Collin Central Appraisal District with a budget of $23,500,000, and finally the Travis Central Appraisal District with a budget of $20,200,000.

From 2011 to 2021, the budget of Travis Central Appraisal District saw an increase of 59%. In 2011, the TCAD budget was $12.69 million, and it grew to $20.19 million by 2021, marking a 59% increase.

In 2021, the Travis County Appraisal Review Board budget was $1.2 million, ranking third highest among all counties. Harris County ARB had a budget of $3,250,000, Tarrant County ARB had a budget of $1,435,000, Travis County ARB had a budget of $1,201,000, Fort Bend County ARB had a budget of $1,090,000, and Dallas County ARB had a budget of $1,074,000.

The Travis Central Appraisal District maintained the same staffing level of 129 as of 2021, from 2011 to 2021. In 2021, 67 appraisers were employed by the Travis Central Appraisal District, compared to 55 in 2011. In comparison to statewide averages for appraisal districts, the Travis Central Appraisal District has a modest staffing level.

Tax Parcels per Employee – Travis Central Appraisal District versus Texas

Travis Central Appraisal District has 3,231 tax parcels per employee, while the statewide average is 4,413 tax parcels per appraiser for 2021.

Tax Parcels per Appraiser – TCAD versus Texas

Travis Central Appraisal District employed 1 appraiser for every 5,932 accounts versus 8,435 statewide.

Travis Central Appraisal District appraiser allocation follows

In the Travis Central Appraisal District, the appraisers are distributed as follows: residential appraisals make up 47, or 70%, commercial appraisals also account for 13, or 19%, all other appraisals contribute 8, or 12%, resulting in a total of 67 full-time equivalent (FTE) appraisals, representing 100%.

Appraisal District Employee Allocation – TCAD versus Texas

Statewide appraisal districts allocated their appraisers as follows

Appraiser distribution and totals for all of Texas are as follows: 1,264 (51%) handle residential appraisals, 568 (23%) focus on commercial appraisals, and 653 (26%) cover all other types. The combined full-time equivalent (FTE) for appraisals is 2,485, representing 100%.

Appraiser versus Administrative Staff at Travis Central Appraisal District

Based on a comparison of statistics from across the whole state by the Texas Comptroller, the Travis Central Appraisal District has more administrative and operations staff than appraisers. About 51% of the TCAD staff are appraisers and 48% are administrative. Statewide, 52% of staff at appraisal districts are appraisers and 48% are administrative.

Appraisal District Appraiser Allocation

Travis County places a higher emphasis on appraising residential properties compared to other Texas appraisal districts. 70% of Travis County appraisers assess houses, while only 51% of appraisers statewide do the same. The focus on commercial properties is relatively similar, with 23% of statewide appraisers concentrating on commercial properties compared to 19% of Travis County appraisers. When it comes to industrial and business personal property, Travis County allocates 12% of its appraisers to this category, while the statewide allocation is higher at 26%.

Revaluation Cycle

Travis County has revalued each property annually from 2014 to 2021. In contrast, statewide appraisal districts revalued approximately 80 to 90% of properties during this time frame. Texas stands out from most states due to the frequent tax assessment valuations, as most states revalue properties every 3 to 6 years.

Tax Levy – Travis County versus Texas

Travis County’s property tax levy rose from $2.7 billion in 2013 to $5.4 billion in 2021, a 94% increase. The per capita property tax levy increased faster than the population, indicating a substantial increase in property taxes. This resulted in the passage of Senate Bill 2, which capped the growth of the property tax levy to 3.5% for cities and counties (3.5% plus new development) and 2.5% for schools plus new construction.

Texas Levy Growth

The statewide tax levy in Texas increased from $43 billion in 2013 to $81 billion in 2021, marking a 69% increase or an average annual growth rate of 8.6%, surpassing the combined effects of population growth and inflation. This rapid growth in the tax levy led to a significant 88% rise in the tax level per person from 2013 to 2021.


Travis County versus Texas Per Capita Property Tax Growth

From 2013 to 2021, Travis County’s per capita property taxes increased by 69%, while Texas’ increased by 88%. The per capita property tax in Travis County increased from $2,521 in 2013 to $4,101 in 2021. The claimed statewide per capita tax levy was less than the amount in Travis County. In 2021, the statewide property tax levy per person was $4,101, while in 2021 it was $2,740.


ARB Staffing – Travis County versus Texas

In comparison to the statewide average, Travis County had a lower level of staffing for members of the appraisal review board. Compared to 11,498 tax parcels statewide, the Travis County Appraisal Review Board has 2,650 tax parcels per appraisal review board (ARB) member. Given how often TCAD has used the valuation review board, this is logical.

ARB Compensation – Travis County and Texas-wide


COVID Impact on Appraisal Review Board Staffing

Most, if not all, members of the ARB are retired, making them more susceptible to severe health complications if they contract COVID. The Travis County Appraisal Review Board increased from 150 in 2019 to approximately 193 in October 2023, marking a 28% rise.

ARB Days of Hearings

Appraisal review members are compensated to preside over tax protests that remain unresolved after informal hearings in all counties. In Texas’ largest counties, the ARB convenes for an extended period, typically 5 or 6 days a week for many months. Harris County and Hays County shared the top spot for the highest number of ARB hearings in 2021, each with 158 days of ARB hearings. The next 8 in the ranking were: 3) Comal – 100 days, 4) El Paso – 97 days, 5) Tarrant – 90 days, 6) Johnson – 86 days, 7) Montgomery – 82 days, 8) Victoria – 80 days, 9) Travis – 71 days, and 10) Galveston – 73 days.

Why More ARB Hearings in Some Counties

The appraisal review board is the second of three steps in a three-step procedure. The first two phases are informal hearings and appraisal review board hearings, which are referred to as “administrative hearings” combined. Following the administrative hearings, property owners have the following options: 1) binding arbitration, 2) judicial appeal, 3) State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) or do nothing. After the appraisal review board, about 98% of owners choose nothing.

Practice Tip: consider continuing your protest process after the appraisal review board annually.

Tax protests often account for 10 to 25% of tax parcels in appraisal districts, accounting for 38% of statewide state-wide value. Property owners in Travis County file property tax protests for around 36% of tax parcels, accounting for 52% of the value. More valued residences are more likely to be challenged. In most years, commercial, industrial, and business personal property is challenged.

Owners Who Don’t Protest

Owners of entry-level and mid-range homes are under-represented in property tax appeals. They do not protest for several reasons. The fact that major commercial owners complain yearly, on the other hand, is indicative of their belief that annual property tax protests are the key to controlling property taxes, rather than just accepting whatever value the appraisal district’s government computer throws out. Most major commercial owners, however, only undertake half the work, the administrative procedure.

Owners of Commercial Valued over $750,000

The majority of commercial property owners should continue the appeal procedure beyond the administrative hearings (informal and appraisal review board). Based on assessment district statistics supplied by the Texas Comptroller, the chances of another 10% cut are 90%. These are not accounting payable claims. The aggregate statewide judicial appeal outcomes.

Who is Watching Your Interests?

Travis Central Appraisal District has a budget of more than $20 million, plus $1.2 million for the ARB, to appropriately assess Travis County’s 0.39 million tax parcels. Travis County staffed 129 employees in 2021, including 67 appraisers. The Travis County assessment District assessment staff strives to achieve the impossible: to properly and consistently value real and personal property in Travis County. So TCAD is striving to ensure that you are at 100% of market worth, but what happens if they overshoot?

Can You Afford An Ally to Look Out for Your Interests?

What Causes Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD) Property Overvaluation?

Every year, TCAD conducts mass appraisals to value 39 million tax parcels. Every three years, aerial photography is utilized to “inspect” each property. Aerial photography, of course, gives little information. Travis Central Appraisal District assigns property values based on “mass appraisal models” and missing property data. Some properties are evaluated at less than 100% (even though they may still be challenged for unjust appraisal). Some properties are appraised at greater than their market worth.

Are You Undervalued or Overvalued?

You will never know if your home is overpriced or underpriced until you:

  1. Submit a protest by the annual deadline of May 15th.
  2. Request the hearing evidence that the appraisal district intends to present during the hearing; this freezing of information also applies.
  3. Attend and prepare for the informal hearing (70 to 90 percent of cases are resolved with a reduction), and
  4. Attend and prepare for the informal hearing (70 to 90 percent of cases are resolved with a reduction), and

It is not permissible to contest your property tax assessment in the course of an informal appraisal review board proceeding.

What does TCAD Valuation at 100% Mean?

The following occurs when the median level of assessment for properties appraised by Travis Central Appraisal District is 100% (relative to market value):

  • The market value of half of all properties exceeds their current market value. The data is depicted as a bell curve when arranged in a graph that illustrates the correlation between the TCAD value and demand. Certain items are priced at or above double the current market value, while others are priced slightly below.
  • The sub-market-valued 50% remains susceptible to criticism regarding both market value and unequal appraisal. Request that the appraisal district send you the hearing evidence package when you register your protest. The majority of the time, the TCAD comparable sales data will include at least a few useful comparable sales. If not, conduct a search of your street and, if applicable, your neighborhood for comparable assessments that support a reduction.
  • You may file a grievance on the grounds of unequal appraisal or market value (they assessed your property at a higher price than its actual market value). The notion is that a lower value can be inferred from a reasonable number of comparable properties that have been appropriately adjusted. Property taxes are reduced as a result of a lower tax assessment, irrespective of the protest’s premise.

What if You Don’t Have Time or the Temperament to Protest?

Hire us or someone else. Researchers have found that people who protest regularly pay less in property taxes. The lower base value from one year’s protest can often be used to negotiate lower taxes in subsequent years.

Benefits of O’Connor:

  • There are NO filing fees, NO flat fees, AND NO UP-FRONT FEES. Pay with some of the money you’ve saved.
  • Sign up online in three minutes; there are no fees and you don’t need a credit card. You could also call us.
  • At O’Connor, you can talk to a real person. About 99% of the time, trained property tax experts will answer your call. From October 2nd to October 6th, our customer service team took 1210 calls, and only 10 calls were not returned.
  • More than any other firm in Texas, O’Connor handles tax appeals in approximately 180 counties. We consider ourselves to be the most assertive, as we frequently utilize binding arbitration, coordinate judicial appeals, and consult with the State Office of Administrative Appeals as well.

O’Connor is committed to improving the quality of life for property owners by offering affordable tax relief solutions. By producing cost segregation reports to enhance property owners’ depreciation (non-cash expenditure) as of September 30, 2023, we effectively lowered their federal and state income taxes by $400 million and $195 million, as well, in property taxes and federal income taxes.

Sign up now button or call to action—need one or two calls to action above the fold (on the first page) and at the bottom. There is never a flat fee or a fee up front. Just pay us a part of the money you save when your property taxes go down.

Source: Data from the Texas Comptroller’s office on appraisal district assessments and protests. Tax savings are guessed if the tax rate is 2.7% and there are no deductions or property caps. You should know that O’Connor is a private company that specializes in lowering taxes. It is not connected with the Texas Comptroller or any other government agency or appraisal district.

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