Did your property value go up? Here is how McLennan County is handling appraisals during COVID-19

Posted at 4:39 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 19:45:42-04

WACO, TX — COVID-19 hasn’t stopped the value of property here in Waco from going up.

But even though county appraisal district offices may be closed, you can still apply for an exemption, and they appraisal review board is still up and running.

On May 5, the first round of property appraisals were sent out, and many individuals were shocked to see a 4 to 8 percent increase in their property value this year. Now some are spent wondering why the increase during COVID-19?

Well... The appraisals reflect the state of the market as of January 1.

“As of January 1, we were still optimistic that nothing was gonna happen to McLennan County specifically and it definitely was being seen in the market and as far as fear of buying and its still being seen in the market,” acting chief appraiser Joe Bobbitt of McLennan County said.

Despite the coronavirus, the real estate market is hot in McLennan County, specifically Waco.

“Our prices are not where Dallas and Austin are. They are not super high. Typically we are places that people like to visit. We are right there on I-35. There are a lot of companies coming here. We are growing, and I believe people from out of state see that. Waco is on the map and people see that and they want to have property here,” Leighton Cromwell, owner of Cromwell Residential Division, said.

During COVID-19, many people are experiencing hard times, and some are worried about the idea of their property taxes increasing.

“We reached out to the state, and the governor's office asking what can we do. What leway can we have? The governor's office told us all the local officials don’t have the authority to change the property tax system outside of what the law says,” Bobbitt said.

You can still file to protest the appraisal. The county said that in-person hearings may be delayed, and they are putting forth steps to conduct hearings remotely.

The district encourages taxpayers to settle any disputes through online appeals. You can find the forms to file by clicking here.

The next wave of appraisals will be sent out at the end of the month. The due date protest your appraisal will be one month after you receive your notice... So the first round will be due June 15.