Tarrant County homeowners shocked by appraisal notices

Tarrant County property taxes spiking

FORT WORTH - It's the Friday before the big neighborhood yard sale in the Fairmount area of Fort Worth. But rather than talking about all the good deals they'll find, the Suasnovar family is talking about what they consider a bad deal that just showed up in the mail.

"It's discouraging," said homeowner Leah Suasnovar.

On April 1, the Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD), mailed out their annual property value notices, and the letter hit Suasnovar like a ton of bricks. Her 100-year-old, two-bedroom, one-bathroom home, valued last year at $92,401. This year the appraisal jumped to $158,251, which could mean, among other things, higher taxes.

"I know it's a necessary evil but explain to me an increase of $70,000 in one year when I haven't done anything to my house," Suasnovar said.

Blame the hot real estate market, said TAD's chief appraiser Jeff Law. There's less than a two-month supply of homes in Tarrant County right now, TAD says on its web site, so property values are going up, especially in lower-priced homes. Homes are, on average, up about 8 to 10 percent, Law said. This coming after a 2016 that saw a record 102,000 homeowners protest their home values.

Carey Rose was among them.

"We purchased our home just about three years ago for $140,000," she said. "And now, supposedly, it's valued at $265,000. That doesn't equate."

She said her increased home value led to higher taxes and issues with her escrow.

"We just hope we can afford it long term because we don't want to go anywhere," Rose said. "But if this continues, we may have to… and that's really sad."

"People are definitely getting priced out of their own homes," Suasnovar echoed.

So Suasnovar will protest her home's values and hope she doesn't become one of those people.

"Cross your fingers," she said with a laugh.

May 31 is the deadline for filing a protest. You can do so in person or online. Law says just under 1,300 people have filed protests since the appraisals went out less than a week ago.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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