News and Insights

City of Austin vs. Travis Central Appraisal District Litigation

Tax Development Aug 31, 2015

The City of Austin (“City”) has brought suit against the Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD), the Texas Comptroller, and the Texas Attorney General challenging the valuations of the TCAD for vacant land (State Code C1) and commercial properties (State Code F1). This suit excludes multifamily properties, as they are State Code B, B1, B2, or B6. Additionally, the City alleges the current Texas appraisal system violates the Texas Constitution in that Texas does not have mandatory sales disclosure nor is the taxation equal and uniform.

In order for the City to perfect its suit, the City must name every property owner of State Codes C1 and F1 as defendants. The City must also serve each of these property owners with the lawsuit. To date, the City has not taken that step, as that would require the City to serve more than 10,000 property owners. Due to the costs involved with the service to each property owner, it is possible the City eventually non-suits (dismisses) its appeal.

Please note nothing changes with your current obligations under the Texas Property Tax Code. In the event you are dissatisfied with the current appraised value as set by the Appraisal Review Board, property owners will still need to file suit challenging that valuation within 60 days of the date of receipt of the Appraisal Review Board’s order. When the taxing jurisdictions start mailing bills in October or November, the bill(s) must be paid by January 31, 2016, to avoid any penalties and interest.   


Zachary L. Fleming

Garland Rasberry
Senior Manager

Joe Mulcahy