Paul Snyder & Michael Casper, Travis County (Central) Appraisal District

Posted by on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 in Blog

Reported by Patrick Van Haren

President Elect Sara Pantin called today’s Rotary Club of Austin (RCA) meeting to order. Jon Yates led the pledges and Carl Noble gave the invocation of the day. Liz Ingersoll led us in saying The Four Way Test. Margaret Curtis served as Greeter and Melissa Muckenthaler introduced the large number of guests and visitors.

President Elect Sara introduced us to our newest member Timothy Legg who was sponsored by Don Busby. Welcome, Tim! Then she helped Griffon Ramsey and Barbara Van Dyke trade in their Red Badges for shiny new Blue ones. Congratulations, ladies!

Tillery Castillo came to the podium to talk about the upcoming RCA Family Day at Dell Diamond on Saturday, April 8 starting at 5:30pm. RSVP, via e-mail, to BY APRIL 4TH. Past President Sherry Workman told us about the local and international service projects from the students at our Interact Club at Fulmore Middle School. Donations can be made anytime between now and APRIL 11TH!

Michael Portman reminded us about the wine tasting he’ll be hosting at 6:00 p.m. on FRIDAY, APRIL 7TH. Only three people have RSVP’d so far so please let him know if you plan on coming so he can make sure he has enough food prepared. The theme is “Blame it on the Reds” so bring your favorite bottle of red wine.

Next, Jackie Sinex asked us to help fill in as Rotary Reminder Reporters — it’s not hard you just have to take a few notes during the speaker presentations at one or more of our weekly luncheons and turn them in to Jennifer to “pretty up” as needed. Please let her know if you’re willing to help for this very important feature of our weekly newsletter.

Mary Reynolds announced the upcoming BookSpring Literacy Luncheon in April, and then Michael Portman led the Thank Goodness Basket. We heard from Griffon Ramsey, Ann Graham, David Doran and Adrian Moore.

After a few minutes of Fellowship time, Michael Portman was back at the podium to introduce our two speakers.

Paul Snyder, Deputy Chief of Appraisals for the Travis County Appraisal District (TCAD) was joined by his colleague Michael Kasper, the Director of Residential Appraisals. Their goals for the meeting were to discuss:

  • The current status on the level of appraisals on commercial properties vs. residential.
  • The concept of effective tax rates, rollback rates, and the adopted rates.

The gentlemen provided a brief overview of the history of TCAD, and its role in establishing tax rates based on 100% of the market value of properties. To do this, they emphasize the task of ‘discovery’ and how they go about collecting third party information (data mining) on the improvements of individual properties. Paul and Michael also explained the calendar and times for the different activities/seasons at TCAD. Discovery is from September to December, Appraisals from January to March, and then the Equalization periods.

TCAD emphasizes segmentation and bifurcation of properties where ever feasible, and this is an important aspect of getting property tax appeals successfully resolved. While 97% of last year’s 15,000 protests were settled informally and usually within 9 minutes or less, it is important that property owners are able to validate or dispute the characteristics of the property as they appear in the tax roles, preferably with 3rd party documents or information.

A big key to maintaining lower property values is the concept between improved and original properties vs. new and remodeled. As an example, people are willing to pay a 30% premium for new and improved homes, in the value of the home alone. The vast majority of homes are in their original state, but the majority of sales are for new and improved homes. It is the burden of TCAD to demonstrate that your home belongs in the ‘new and improved’ category.

Finally, financial activity/data in Travis County is usually based on 100% of the appraised value, not 60% as seen in other districts. Taxes in 2015 went up 36% for commercial/12% for residential in 2015, 30%/10% in 2016, and are projected for 22%/9% in 2017. Not included in this report is the discussion of taxes and the AISD. ROTARY REMINDER (4/4/17)—PAGE 3 IN RECOGNITION FOR THEIR SERVICE

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