By now Atascosa County’s property owners should have received their property appraisal values in the mail from the Atascosa Central Appraisal District (ACAD). As many have noticed, the values of real estate for 2021 have increased significantly compared to 2020. Property owners who disagree with ACAD’s appraisal of their property for local taxes or other measures that adversely affect them may protest their property’s value at the district appraisal board (ARB) appraisal.
ACAD Senior Appraiser Michelle Berdeaux stated that property owners wishing to lodge a protest with the ARB regarding their property value can do so by either accessing ACAD’s online protest portal, the formal protest form attached to their valuation notice , send it by post, email or hand it in or place it in the mailbox outside the office lobby. The online portal information is included in the property owner’s appraisal, which includes the property owner’s personalized PIN number and instructions on how to access the system.
“Protests are currently processed primarily by value. Larger properties, $ 500,000 and more, are planned first, followed by properties of lower value. This process can take 30-90 days depending on the size of the protests received, ”said Berdeaux.
You must submit a written protest before May 15 or within 30 days of the valuation district being served by the appraisal district, whichever occurs later. The ARB began hearing taxpayer protests on May 12th. Once they complete the hearings and approve the final property tax estimates, the tax units will use these assessments to set property tax rates for the new year.
“All protests against the property value submitted in time are planned for a hearing of the evaluation committee. Protests that are not submitted on time will be reviewed for valid reasons and the ARB will inform the property owner of their protest status, ”said Berdeaux.
Property taxes vs. real estate appraisals
Berdeaux stated that many taxpayers are confused about what and where to protest their property valuations and taxes. Often times a taxpayer goes to ACAD and tries to protest his property taxes when he should protest his property valuation.
“The district does not set local government budgets or the local tax rate for corporations that levy taxes on property owners,” said Berdeaux. “The valuation district reports the current market value of all properties to the local tax authorities in accordance with legal requirements. Theoretically, the increase in property value should lead to a decrease in the tax rate for the tax jurisdictions that set the tax rates. “
The judging district has no knowledge of the budgetary needs of the local jurisdiction prior to determining the values and has no control over how the local jurisdictions set their rates or budgets. The governing bodies set their tax rates after the valuation register was presented to them in late July and hold public hearings on the proposed tax rates. Citizens can attend these public hearings and express their concerns about the respective tax rate proposals. Keep an eye out for public hearings on the Atascosa County’s tax rate and budget in future issues of the Pleasanton Express.
For more information on property valuations and how to protest, please call ACAD at 830-569-8326, visit their website at www.atascosacad.com, or visit their office at 624 N. Main St., Pleasanton.
Atascosa County Commissioner Stuart Knowlton, Pct. 2, and Pleasanton Councilor Jeanne Israel, District 6, together with Atascosa County, are hosting an informational seminar on property valuations, taxation and protests for local taxpayers next Thursday, June 24th.
The seminar takes place in the American Legion Hall in Jourdanton from 7pm to 9pm and is free and open to the public. Registration for the seminar is required. The Eventbrite link can be found on Commissioner Stuart Knowlton’s Facebook page. The Pleasanton Express will also publish the link to our site.
The seminar will be led by Michael Berlanga, a certified accountant from Bexar County.