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Old 05-10-2010, 04:17 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,255 posts, read 1,753,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
The Assessment District reviews aerial photos of each property on a regular basis. Even if you were to build a structure on your land without the benefit of permits and even if that structure were not visible from the street, the aerials will enable them to find out about it.
Sounds like "Big Brother" and an invasion of privacy.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:42 PM
 
69 posts, read 159,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
The Assessment District reviews aerial photos of each property on a regular basis. Even if you were to build a structure on your land without the benefit of permits and even if that structure were not visible from the street, the aerials will enable them to find out about it.
I sincerely doubt this, that being said im not trying to secretly build some structure, i was just generally inquiring into HOW property taxes are determined, something that is incredibly hard to get a straight
answer on
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:45 PM
RGJ
 
1,902 posts, read 4,013,970 times
Reputation: 848
Here's a link to Bexar County Appraisal District you might navigate around in and get more info..

Bexar Appraisal District
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:50 PM
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Location: Ohio
16,814 posts, read 33,121,638 times
Reputation: 13587
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave72 View Post
I sincerely doubt this, that being said im not trying to secretly build some structure, i was just generally inquiring into HOW property taxes are determined, something that is incredibly hard to get a straight
answer on
Here's my source: http://www.city-data.com/forum/11484463-post10.html
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:50 PM
 
33 posts, read 74,390 times
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Ad valorem (property) taxes are based on the fair market value of your property as of Jan 1 each year. Fair market value is loosely defined as the price that a prudent and informed buyer would pay a seller, neither under any compulsion to buy or sell, for the property. The value of your property is typically calculated as the land value (based on a $/sf or acreage calc) and the improvements value, which includes structures (such as a home, garage, cabana, etc) and site improvements (paving, decks, swimming pools, etc.) Improvement values are typically calculated on a $/sf basis, but ancillary improvements (such as, say, a guest house) do get counted in the total sf, usually as a separate item and depending on the appraisal district, sometimes at a different $/sf rate than the main structure.

In general, the addition of structures and site improvements increases the value of your property, and thus, your property taxes. While there are indeed some structures that you could construct on your property that would deter buyers and thus could lend to the argument that your assessed value should be lower or flat as a result, a property improvement typically increases your assessed value, and thus, your property taxes.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:04 PM
 
3,139 posts, read 5,157,678 times
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If BCAD is now relying on aerial photos instead of periodic site visits, the policy must have changed within only the past couple of years.

It was either '07 or '08 when they came around to my sister's house. My BIL was home (outside) at the time. The guy identified himself as being with BCAD, doing a periodic visual assessment of the properties in the neighborhood.

My next door neighbor got one of those prefabricated storage sheds several years ago, and placed it on cinder blocks in the corner of his back yard. I just checked BCAD. That storage building is listed on his property assessment.

My own older home has central a/c, but it is a retrofit that was done some years prior to my purchasing the house. Apparently, BCAD's records did not reflect this upgrade until about ten years ago, when it suddenly showed up as a "new improvement". I figured they must have done a site visit that year, and noticed the condenser at the side of the house. That's the kind of thing that would be tough to spot on an aerial photo. Also, BCAD probably has a photo on file of the front of your home, and it's not the same as Google Street Views.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:36 PM
 
2,721 posts, read 3,408,798 times
Reputation: 1536
Default Property taxes,

Are based on a percentage of what the houses' market value is. This can vary depending on the location -prestigious or not, in or out of city limits, square footage, features and improvements, acreage, lot size, masonry or stick home, swimming pool etc..
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave72 View Post
I sincerely doubt this, that being said im not trying to secretly build some structure, i was just generally inquiring into HOW property taxes are determined, something that is incredibly hard to get a straight
answer on
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:38 PM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,257 posts, read 8,985,070 times
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Comal does aerial reviews - not sure of other counties. In the case of the storage shed, I MIGHT be wrong, but IIRC, if it's not a permanent structure, then it is NOT to be taxed, since it's "temporary" in nature. Bear in mind that you're not obligated to allow them onto or into your property...
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Smalltown, USA
3,111 posts, read 8,307,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasRedneck View Post
Comal does aerial reviews - not sure of other counties. In the case of the storage shed, I MIGHT be wrong, but IIRC, if it's not a permanent structure, then it is NOT to be taxed, since it's "temporary" in nature. Bear in mind that you're not obligated to allow them onto or into your property...
I thought the same thing about the storage shed. I don't live in Bexar county but in the county I live in if you have a shed on skids that you can move, it is not taxable. Bexar may be different?
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:02 AM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,257 posts, read 8,985,070 times
Reputation: 6341
Nope. With all due respect to the OP, part of the problem today is that so few folks that own property actually understand their rights/responsibilities - and how it works - before they become property owners - myself included. Taxes are something we SHOULD know a LOT about, but it's not easy to understand 'em all. Tends to make one wonder if some of it isn't done intentionally, eh?
For years, I thought seeing my "appraised value" was a good thing - then my Dad set me straight. "Appraised value" is nothing more than an arbitrary number some taxing authority employee has stuck on your property. Now, this isn't anything personal, but having looked to see what these appraisers are paid, I don't exactly expect professional results - so at best, it's a good guess.
And therein lies the problem....if you look at appraisals in your area by address, you can see what homes on your street have been valued at. This'll give you an idea as to whether or not you should protest. Now, it's possible that ALL the homes on your street are over-valued, but generally they're not. You know (or have an idea) as to the general size/layout of the homes on your block, so look and compare. If it's generally equitable, and the value placed on yours is reasonable, then you don't really have a lot to gripe over. Some folks will fight the value just on principle - while I detest paying taxes on something I bought with taxed money, I also realize it's what we do, so I grit my teeth and pay.
Anyway - know that just because the number on your appraisal looks "official", it's a guess by an underpaid employee who, at the end of the day, could care less one way or the other. So do your due diligence....or pay!
Also - if you're in an area that's still actively building, keep track of what comparable homes to yours are now selling for - that can help AND hurt you. In our case, it's killing us - the same home we bought 6 years ago is today selling for $55,000 MORE than we paid for ours - so it's kinda hard to fight 'em successfully on appraised value. The only bright side to it is that they miss the value of the upgrades we had done....
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