Usually, around this time of year you might find us encouraging you to get to know the elected officials who will be representing your district in the upcoming legislative session. But this holiday season, we have someone different to recommend for the top of your list: whoever is responsible for appraisals in your district. We're not talking about just sending a Christmas card and taking them an extra fruitcake, but that's a start.
Your local Appraisal District has the potential to play a very large role in your district's finances next year. With the move to current year values plus the ongoing compression of tax rates (to be determined by TEA in a manner that is still unclear), preliminary values will likely play a large role in the process. While we don't yet know if April or July values will be used, there is certainly the possibility that April values will be used to set or inform tax rates.
In the past, April values haven't mattered as much. They were a starting point, but everyone knew updated data would be available before it really mattered. That may not be the case this year, so this possibility needs to be communicated to your local appraiser to make sure there is a clear understanding of how those preliminary values might be used and how important it is to make the preliminary values as accurate as possible.
We will be providing details on the process once it is available, but for now, we strongly encourage all districts who don't already have a strong relationship with their local appraiser(s) to schedule some time for relationship building soon.