Why Tax Values Cannot Be Relied Upon

I have just a short entry for the blog today, but I want to discuss county tax appraisal values. Many people are under the impression that the value the county appraisal district assigns to your property is “true market value”. Generally speaking, this is not the case. The appraisal districts are only concerned with determining a value for taxing purposes; they are NOT concerned with the accuracy of that value. Allow me to explain further.

County appraisal values are not true market value, they are “assessed value” derived from a mass valuation – a computer generated value that is never reviewed by a real person.  The “appraisal” is performed site unseen, using assumed and often errant data  that assumes quality, condition, living area and more. Their values can not be relied upon for determining true market value; otherwise banks and lenders would just use the county values and never need and independent appraisal. Furthermore, the values are based off of a Jan 1st date, so the values are actually from the previous year. Speaking from first-hand experience, tax appraisal protests are a big business due to the high percentage of incorrect values assigned to properties.

So does that mean an independent appraisal will never be the same as the county’s value? Not at all. There are times when the county gets it right or very close. These are usually in areas that are highly homogeneous with recent built homes. However, there are still instances where the appraisal district has bad data especially when it comes to living area.

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