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Central Texans experiencing sticker shock as 2022 property appraisals are sent out

Travis County began sending out property appraisal notices to 400,578 this week and as a whole the residential homes increased by 56% in 2022.

AUSTIN, Texas — Central Texas counties are sending out property appraisals and quite a few homeowners are dealing with sticker shock, thanks to the area's booming growth.

Travis County began sending out property appraisal notices to 400,578 property owners this week. As a whole, residential home appraisals increased by 56% in 2022.

The chief appraiser for Travis County, Marya Crigler, said the figures are shocking but they were expected.

"It really is an issue of supply and demand in the Austin area. We have tremendous demand for housing, but very limited supply," Crigler said. "A stabilized market should have four to six months of housing inventory in Austin. We've been below one month for over a year," she added.

Crigler said this shouldn't be a cause for panic about future tax bills. Instead, she encourages homeowners to focus on filing for exemptions.

"The biggest thing you can do is file for your homestead exemption," Crigler said.

The homestead exemption prevents your taxes from rising more than 10% per year.

Charles Denson, the owner of Gill, Denson & Company a property tax protest service, said there are misconceptions about the homestead exemption.

RELATED: Change to homestead exemption law causing confusion for some property owners

"We spent a lot of our time on phone calls during this time of year, especially right now in this year, to explain to clients what that means. That means that their property is going to automatically increase 10% every year," Denson said.

His message to homeowners everywhere is to protest your property taxes every year.

"This is something that you have to keep in control year after year or else it could spiral out. If you plan on owning your home three years, five years, 10 years, those taxes, even at a max increase of 10%, can increase quite a bit," Crigler said.

RELATED: Texas property appraisals are going out again, but you can protest them. Just make sure you have a homestead exemption first

In years past, Denson said his company is usually able to get local homeowner's appraisals lowered by about 7%. However, with the current market conditions, this year his customers may only see a 4% to 5% reduction.

"Tax protesting is a vital part of owning your home just like it would be maintenance," Crigler said.

The deadline to protest your appraisal in Williamson and Travis counties is May 16.

The Travis County Appraisal District will have a webinar on how to protest your appraisal on April 27.

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