Property Tax Protection Program

Total 2018 CAD Budget Including ARBSource: Texas Comptroller, compiled by O’Connor, and not affiliated with any appraisal district.

Millions of $
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total Budget 12.69 12.91 13.38 14.25 17.15 17.49 18.10 18.83
ARB Operations Budget 0.49 0.63 0.64 0.32 0.32 0.34 0.26

Texas property owners should protest annually since YOU can spend YOUR money better than the government.

Travis County CAD Operations and Budgets

Travis County Appraisal District (TCAD) is a mystery to many people.

  • 1. Why do they exist?
  • 2. Who runs the operation?
  • 3. Who funds the operation?

Travis County Appraisal District is a quasi-governmental operation made possible by Tax Code Section 6 regarding the establishment of one appraisal district in each county. Appraisal districts were legislated into existence in 1979 to begin operation in 1981; the legislation is known as the “Peveto Bill”, based on the sponsor. Previously each city, county and school district valued property in their jurisdiction separately and had hearings regarding value. The board of directors consists of representatives of largest tax entities (school, county, city, MUDs, special districts). They are largely a “budget board” with two responsibilities: 1) select the chief appraiser (who runs the appraisal district) and 2) approve the annual budget. Texas appraisal district budgets were $523 million in 2018. We hope to provide insights with the graphs.

TCAD Total CAD Budget Including ARB

Travis County Appraisal Districts annual budget, along with the budget for the ARB are below. Texas appraisal district budgets are substantial. These are public servants paid with public money. Do you feel like a valued client when you visit the appraisal district? Are you surprised of the amount of budget for Travis County Appraisal District.

Total Property Taxes Levied Travis CountySource: Texas Comptroller, compiled by O’Connor, and not affiliated with any appraisal district.

Billions of $
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Property Taxes Levied 3 3 4 4 4

Texas property owners should protest annually since Appealing annually helps the appraisal district avoid over-taxing a property for both market value and unequal appraisal.

Travis County Total Amount of Property Taxes Levied

Travis County tax entities total tax levies have been growing much faster than inflation. This has caused property taxes to rise much faster than inflation. Wage increases have been lean for the past 10 years. However, the total property tax levy for Travis County and others have increased 7 to 10% consistently. This was a primary factor in the legislature passing Senate Bill 2 in 2019.

Total Texas property taxes are huge; approaching $100 billion per year.

FTE Positions In Budget Total - Travis CADSource: Texas Comptroller, compiled by O’Connor, and not affiliated with any appraisal district.

FTEs
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total Number of FTEs 129 130 128 128 132 131 132 123

Texas property owners should protest annually since Valuation is a subjective matter where reasonable people can differ.

FTE Positions In Budget Total

Travis County Appraisal District staffing levels are illustrated below. Texas appraisal districts reported a total of 4,609 FTEs (full-time equivalents). Increased use of technology may reduce the need for appraisal district staff, or at least slow the level of expense growth.

FTEs Assigned to the Appraisal - Travis CADSource: Texas Comptroller, compiled by O’Connor, and not affiliated with any appraisal district.

FTEs
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
FTEs Appraisal Total 57 53 60 61 62 62
Residential 30 29 32 43 44 44
Commercial 10 10 7 9 9 9
All Other 15 14 21 9 9 9

Texas property owners should protest annually since It is a great way to slow the growth of government spending (of your money).

TCAD FTEs Assigned to the Property Appraisal

Travis County Appraisal District has two groups of staff: 1) appraisers and 2) administrative staff / everyone else. Statewide appraisers (2,221) account for just under half (48%) of total staff at Texas appraisal districts. The graph provides a total and individual numbers for residential and commercial by year.

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