Travis County Commissioners target commercial tax appraisals

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Like it or not, you have to pay your taxes. But as the deadline arrives for property owners to fight their tax appraisal, Travis County leaders are looking at what could be an unfair system.

Some activists say commercial properties get an easy deal compared to homeowners.

Commissioners held an emergency meeting Monday on the issue where dozens showed up to voice their concerns.

Residents walked out of the meeting room disappointed; many of them hoping for a chance to testify before Travis County Commissioners.

They came together to let homeowners and business owners know they’re on their side and feel their pain.

But after just five minutes, commissioners went into executive session saying there will be another meeting later this month where they will hear from homeowners.

“It was a little bit of a disappointment but I think it was just circumstance so we’ll come back and see how things go,” one homeowner said.

Many showed up with signs asking for fairness.

Others, like Martha Harrison who has two rental properties now has to raise her rent and her current tenants want to move out.

“They’re thinking of trying to buy a house because they are so close now to the price of a mortgage,” Harrison said.

“There’s no denying it’s a hot market and as long as we’re taxing our residents based on value of property and it’s going up and there’s no way around that,” Travis County Tax Assessor Bruce Elfant said.

Today’s deadline had many scrambling to get their appeals filed.

Connie Bodine lives in Allendale. She says, “Our house literally is in a bad situation. I don’t know if they account for air conditioning but we don’t have it and I can’t afford it.”

The appraisal district has until July 25 to get all protests resolved.

Travis County Commissioner’s court plans to hold another public meeting June 17th where the public will be able to testify about property taxes.

Even if you’re not a homeowner, these appraisals still matter to you.

In early May we spoke with an electrician who owns a home and a rental property. He told us because taxes are going up and he’ll likely have to pass it along with higher rent.

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