Property Tax Protection Program

Judicial Appeals by Property Type Travis CountySource: Texas Comptroller, compiled by O’Connor, and not affiliated with any appraisal district.

Judicial Appeals
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total Number of lawsuits 188 561 653 502 716 894 1,228
Single Family Residential 51 61 82 102 145
Multi Family Residential 207 153 223 273 315
Commercial real and personal property 332 322 370 483 721
All Other 63 -34 41 36 47

Texas property owners should protest annually since You can’t evaluate the strength of your appeal until you obtain the hearing evidence file. You have to protest to obtain the hearing evidence file (available free upon request via U.S. mail).

Travis County Judicial Appeals
of ARB Hearing

Judicial appeals at Travis County and other Texas appraisal districts provide a fresh chance to energize the property tax appeal process. The volume of protests is large (over 1.8 million in Texas in 2018). Limited staff at appraisal districts is sometimes unable to give adequate attention to complex valuation issues. Most appraisal districts and ARBs do not consider unequal appraisal evidence. So, for most property owners, if you want to appeal on unequal appraisal, a judicial appeal is your option. This is exacerbated since binding arbitration is not considered a reliable alternative for appeals on unequal appraisal.

The average value for a property in a property tax judicial appeal in Texas in 2018 was $13,436,353; that is 18 times O’Connor’s commercial threshold of $750,000 for judicial appeals. O’Connor is an order of magnitude more aggressive in using all available options to reduce our client’s property taxes. O’Connor reduced client property taxes by an estimated $95 million in 2019.

Property tax appeals without judicial appeals when appropriate is only doing half the job.

TCAD Judicial Appeals Filed By Property Type

Travis County Appraisal District judicial appeals focus primarily on commercial properties. Unlike informal hearings and ARB hearings, the volume of commercial judicial appeals far exceeds the judicial appeals for homes. It simply is not financially feasible to pursue a judicial appeal for most houses.

Value Involved in Judicial Appeals - Travis CountySource: Texas Comptroller, compiled by O’Connor, and not affiliated with any appraisal district.

Billions of $
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Value of All Judicial Appeals 8.18 15.24 23.53 27.53 34.82
Single Family Res 0.05 0.08 1.36 1.36 1.52
Multi Family Res 4.95 5.93 9.71 11.61 13
Commercial 3.11 9.63 11.96 13.83 19.33
All Other 0.08 -0.4 0.51 0.73 0.98

Texas property owners should protest annually since An annual appeal minimizes property taxes, sometimes well below market value.

TCAD Value Involved in Judicial Appeals

Travis County Appraisal District market value for judicial appeals is far higher for commercial / industrial compared to single-family. There are a variety of factors here:

  • 1. The costs of filing fee, attorney and expert witnesses discourage most home owners.
  • 2. The values of commercial property often exceed $4 million, while few homes exceed such a value.
  • 3. Travis County property owners with an issue on unequal appraisal after the ARB have no real option except a judicial appeal. Unequal appraisal is not typically considered at the informal hearing. Unequal appraisal is rarely considered at the formal hearing. So the primary option for unequal appraisal is a judicial appeal.

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