Property appraisal is one of the elements that determine tax liability for real property in Texas. However, the appraisal process and local taxing-jurisdictions’ budget processes have become increasingly convoluted and difficult for property owners to understand.

In addition, many commercial and residential property owners believe the processes to appraise property and protest appraisals are not transparent, fair, or uniform across central appraisal districts (CADs).

Recent public comment has demonstrated a lack of understanding of CADs’ role, leading many property owners to believe CADs either work for or collude with local taxing jurisdictions. .

What does this mean for the real estate industry?
A transparent and improved appraisal process for commercial and residential property means a more stable and reliable real estate market.

Texas REALTORS® position
Texas REALTORS® supports legislation that would improve state oversight of central appraisal districts and appraisal review boards. 

Our association opposes any changes to the “equal and uniform” appraisal laws, which ensure property owners are treated fairly during the ad valorem appraisal process. 

Texas REALTORS® opposes the election of chief appraisers and appraisal review boards, as elections would politicize the appraisal process. Chief appraisers were intentionally made appointed officials during the historic property tax reforms of 1979 and 1981 just for this reason. 

Legislative outlook
Reforms in the appraisal process will ensure property owners have more trust in the appraisal process. Lawmakers may seek to further clarify new laws that stemmed from property tax reform legislation passed in 2019. 

Historical perspective
Texans’ property tax bills are skyrocketing, and the state is looking at ways to provide relief. In recent years, the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Relief and Reform continued held public hearings across the state to hear from Texans about this critical issue. But because only local entities have the authority to levy property taxes, the state Legislature is limited to reforming the ad 

The select committee heard many potential solutions, including increasing the state’s share of public education funding, lowering the rollback rate, requiring an automatic election if a taxing entity exceeds the rollback rate, lowering the appraisal cap on residential homesteads, and expanding the appraisal cap to all real property.