City of Austin attempts to revise tax code to balance inequality of property appraisal values

Austin, TX: A lawsuit filed in August calling for reappraisal of vacant and commercial properties was thrown out by the judge of the 353rd District Court.


A condition of Texas’ tax law allows the value of a property to be decreased commensurate to the median appraisal value of comparable properties. The ensuing argument is based on establishing “fair” property appraisal values when compared to some residential properties being assessed at a market value.


The study, “An Analysis of TCAD’s Commercial Valuations for City of Austin,” found vacant properties to be an “average undervaluation in the 2015 initial TCAD appraised values is 76 (percent) for C1 vacant land and 27 (percent) for F1 commercial real property.”


The City has implied it intends to pursue further legal action to try and balance the disparity between commercial or vacant property compared to residential property appraisal values, so residential properties are not forced to pay a greater quantity in taxes due to having a higher standard for assessment.



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