Common Misconceptions

Common Misconceptions

The Milam Appraisal District has access to ALL sales information.

False. The Milam Appraisal District does not have access to all sales information due to Texas being a non-sales disclosure State. This means that real estate sales transactions are not given to the Appraisal District. Each appraisal district must research all available data in the market place by contacting realtors, brokers, property sellers, and buyers to obtain sales information. Through this process the district receives some of the sales, but not all. Any and all sales evidence you can provide to the district will ensure proper valuation of your property.

Property value determines taxes.

False. Market value is a component of the property tax calculation (market value – exemptions x tax rate = property taxes due) and is directly related to the price a willing buyer would pay for the property. The primary component of the calculation is the tax rate which is calculated by the taxing units to fund their operations. The tax rate fluctuates based on needs of the taxing unit, while the market value is strictly a reflection of what the property would sell for in an arms-length transaction or as if the buyer and the seller had no significant prior relationship and neither party has an incentive to act against his/her own interest (e.g. the seller seeks to make the price as high as he/she can, and likewise the buyer seeks to make it as low as he/she can).

The Milam Appraisal District raises values as a result of the request from the taxing entities.

False. Per the Property Tax Code 23.01 (a)(b), the Chief Appraiser must value property as of January 1st at its market value using mass appraisal standards that comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Additionally, the Comptroller’s Office biannually produces a Property Value Study (PVS) to review the District’s appraisal techniques and values throughout the District.

Property owners can protest their taxes

False. Taxes cannot be protested, however, a property’s appraised value may be protested. If the property value is reduced it may lower the property’s taxes. The appraised value is only a component of the property tax calculation. Another determining factor of the taxes is the associated tax rate. A property owner may attend tax rate hearings at the local taxing unit to discuss tax rates.

Taxes are not due if a property owner disagrees with the property value.

False. If a property has a late protest and the case is pending, this does not affect the delinquency date for the taxes on the property.  The taxes for the property cannot go delinquent. The lesser of the amount of taxes due on the portion of the taxable value not in dispute or the amount of taxes due on the property before the delinquency dates must be paid. If payment is not made before the delinquency date, the property owner forfeits the right to proceed to a final determination of the appeal.

The Milam Appraisal District can change Ownership without legal documents.

False. The Milam Appraisal District must have a legal document to change ownership (e.g. living will & testament, deeds, etc.)