How Texas Can Fix Broken Appraisal Process
The 84th Texas Legislature starts in a few weeks and Texas BOMA is circling the wagons to oust subjective property appraisals. Texas BOMA incoming president Karisa Johnson (in her BOMA jacket with her Transwestern team) tells us there have been unpredictable and uncontrolled valuation increases on property values. In Austin, commercial property valuations rose an average of 20% in 2014, she tells us. It’s not a new phenomenon, but has been steadily getting worse. The appraisal districts haven’t been forthcoming with the way they appraise and the valuations fluctuate dramatically, Karisa says. BOMA's new statewide initiative,Taxed out of Town, advocates for Texas property appraisal reform.
BOMA would like to see the appraisal process more standardized to keep it uniform, Karisa says. That way, the players know the rules. For example, Transwestern built two identical buildings 10 years ago. Occupancy was similar as well as rents, yet one was valued significantly higher without any explanation, Karisa says. The tax values in Austin have increased, yet the tax rate hasn’t decreased in proportion. That’s a burden to both commercial and residential property owners, she says.