Kerrville Breaking News

Understanding the property tax appraisal process

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The recent release of 2019 Kerr county property appraisals has prompted several calls to the City of Kerrville regarding the property appraisal process.

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Property valuations are determined by the Kerr Central Appraisal District (KCAD) and by law are based on KCAD’s assessment of a property’s fair market value, or the price of similar property in the same locality. KCAD is an independent government entity with a governing board that hires a chief appraiser, but by law the Board cannot interfere with the day-to-day operations of the KCAD staff, a group of trained and certified professionals.

Central Appraisal Districts (CADs) are regulated by the State Comptroller’s Office, which regularly reviews and audits CADs by testing values and evaluating appraisal methods and procedures. State funding for school districts is impacted if the Comptroller finds that a CAD does not appraise at fair market value.

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Taxing entities such as the Kerrville Independent School District (KISD), the City of Kerrville, Kerr County, the Upper Guadalupe River Authority (UGRA) and the Headwaters Groundwater Conservation District all collect property taxes based on KCAD’s appraised property values, but NONE of these entities have any influence over KCAD operations or the property values they set. This “arm’s length” relationship is set by statute in order to protect the independence of the appraisal districts and to separate the property value setting function from the property tax rate setting function.

In the case of the City of Kerrville, property tax collections pay for basic city services like police, fire, parks, library, permitting and code enforcement. In fact, the City’s property tax allocation is only a small portion of a citizen’s overall property tax bill. A breakdown of recipients of annual property tax collections in Kerr County are as follows:

Property Tax Rate per $100 of Assessed Value (% of Total)
Kerrville Independent School District $1.18000 (52%)
City of Kerrville $0.55140 (24%)
Kerr County $0.48270 (21%)
Kerr County Lateral Roads $0.03230 (1%)
Upper Guadalupe River Authority $0.02283 (1%)
Headwaters $0.00740 (003%)
Total Tax Rate $2.27663 (100%)

The City of Kerrville has not increased its property tax rate in 10 years, and in fact reduced the rate to the current $0.5514 per $100 of assessed value (shown above) in 2017, based off modest growth in overall property valuations in the community over time.

In addition, the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) that the Kerrville City Council established in 2018 does not factor into KCAD’s property appraisal process. The TIRZ is simply an imaginary line set around an area of the city, in this case a defined “downtown boundary,” in which incremental increases in tax collections in that area are designated to be used only within that same area for specific purposes, such as public infrastructure. Property owners in the TIRZ pay the exact same property tax rate as the rest of the city.

Property owners who wish to address their specific property tax valuations must file an appeal by May 15 by contacting KCAD. KCAD’s website can be found online at http://www.kerrcad.org.

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