AUSTIN, Texas — The Travis County Appraisal District said they will not be re-appraising homes this year. They're having a tough time figuring out what homes are worth and they're blaming the Austin Board of Realtors

That will have a big impact on local school districts that rely on property tax dollars. 

This is the first time this has ever happened in Travis County. 

TCAD sets the property value the dictates property taxes. To do that, they've used home sales data.

"So we've had some difficulties this year acquiring specific market data to appraise specifically residential properties," said Marya Crigler, the chief appraiser for TCAD.

She can explain their problems.

"Austin Board of Realtors sent us a cease-and-desist order. We had a valid contract in 2018-2019 to get data from a third-party vendor, and they objected to our ability to get that data," she said. "We're trying to get market data just so we can do the job we need to do."

So that leads us to the Austin Board of Realtors, or ABoR. They have the sale prices for all homes in the county.

They said that the cease-and-desist order that Criger referred to only stops TCAD from using ABoR's proprietary info.

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In a statement, they said the following:

"Travis Central Appraisal District's claims that they don't have the ability to reappraise residential property accurately are misleading. Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD) obtains sales price data that homeowners provide willingly. TCAD can create statistically sound models for the bulk appraisal of residential property using the rendered data they collect.

The cease-and-desist order that was sent to TCAD called on the appraisal district to stop using the proprietary data of the Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service (ACTRIS). Unauthorized use of a proprietary data set is not the only means of doing the job by an appraisal district. The cease and desist order should have no impact on TCAD's ability to reappraise homes. It did so for many years without use of ACTRIS proprietary data.

Our mission is to make Central Texas a better place by protecting the rights of property owners. The Austin Board of REALTORS is a strong supporter of our local school districts, and we recognize that schools are critical to our community's success. It's unfortunate that TCAD is threatening to stop the reappraisal process at the expense of our schools"

That last part is where the school district part comes in. TCAD told 15 districts Wednesday that they wouldn't be able to re-appraise homes without this market data.

Because of that, school districts will have a harder time budgeting for their next school year. State funding can be dependent on how close TCAD is to the real value in the area.

Reporter Hank Cavagnaro talked to the superintendent of Lago Vista ISD, Darren Webb, who said it makes figuring out their budget a shot in the dark.

AISD gave KVUE the following statement: 

"The Austin ISD Budget and Finance Department staff is looking at the methodology to determine what effect this decision may have on our operating and debt budgets. Over the years, we have worked to ensure that our legislature recognizes the increasing effects of Robin Hood on Austin taxpayers. We greatly understand the need for property tax relief. Though we understand why the Austin Board of Realtors has taken such measures, we also realize this could reduce revenue growth for local school districts. It could also potentially shift more funding burden to the state, and create more instability in public education funding."

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