It's surreal to think about how much the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the course of our lives right now -- every day routines and activities have ground to a halt and we are all facing unprecedented challenges. But yet some things haven't changed -- the Williamson Central Appraisal District (WCAD) has been engaging in their usual activities for this time of year, namely, the 2020 appraisals.
Where is my Notice of Appraised Value?
It's April 5th, 2020 and you may be wondering where is your Notice of Appraised Value (NOAV)? Are the property values frozen for 2020? Bexar County officials petitioned Governor Abbott to freeze property values this year for all of Texas to relieve the tax burden for homeowners amid the coronavirus outbreak. As of this writing, unfortunately, it doesn't look like this is going to happen. As a concerned homeowner, I contacted WCAD representatives to find out what is happening with the 2020 appraisals.
Usually, notices of appraised value are mailed by WCAD on April 1st. However, because of the lockdown the notices will be mailed out on April 14th and we can expect some changes to the protest process. I was told that the informal walk-in period, which runs the month of April, is cancelled. Personally, this is my favorite time to protest, but I won't go into the details as to why because it's not an option this year. There will be additional changes to the protest process described on the NOAV, so be sure to read it once you receive it.
Protesting by Affidavit
What's the next best thing considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? All of Texas' appraisal districts offer homeowners an avenue to submit a notarized affidavit along with the evidence for ARB to review in your absence. Basically, you fill out the form 50-283 (https://comptroller.texas.gov/forms/50-283.pdf) including your evidence, notarize it using an online notary service and email to WCAD. That's it. You don't even have to leave your house! This will be the best option this year given the lockdown and to keep yourself, your families, and the appraisers safe and healthy.
What to expect on your NOAV?
Given the Austin area real estate momentum in 2019 and the unwillingness of the Texas government to freeze property values, I anticipate property values to increase significantly from last year, especially in the more densely populated parts of Williamson County.