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Frequently Asked Questions

The following Questions & Answers should help address common concerns.

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Definition of 'Appraisal'

Appraisal: Professional estimate or opinion of the value of property, as of a stated date.

Definition of 'Mass Appraisal'

Mass Appraisal: A systematic appraisal of a universe of properties, as of a given date, derived through means that can be statistically tested.

Definition of 'Appraised Value'

Appraised Value: An appraiser's opinion of value which is based upon an interpretation of facts and judgments and processing those into an estimate of value.

Definition of 'Assessed Value'

Assessed Value: An appraiser's estimate of market value before deductions for applicable exemptions.

How can I change my mailing address? Can you change my mailing address by phone?

In order to protect the interest of property owners, it is CCADs policy not to make address changes over the telephone. Please request address changes in writing, stating the address or account number of the property to be changed, the new mailing address, printed owner name and signature. Please include a daytime phone number where you can be reached in case we have any questions. The request may be mailed or faxed to Customer Service at 469-742-9207.

What kinds of property are taxable?

The Texas Property Tax Code requires that all property is taxable unless the State Legislature has passed laws to exempt it. Houses, mobile homes, lots, acreage, commercial buildings, apartments, oil and gas reserves, industrials, utilities and business inventory and equipment are all taxable.

What is meant by the word "improvement" that appears on my Notice of Appraised Value?

Improvement means:

  • A building, structure or fixture erected on or affixed to land; or
  • A transportable structure that is designed to be occupied for residential or business purposes, whether or not it is affixed to land, if the owner of the structure owns the land on which it is located.

How did the Collin Central Appraisal District arrive at my value?

By utilizing comparable sales, income and/or cost data, a CCAD appraiser applies generally accepted mass appraisal techniques to estimate a value for your property.

What is the Collin Central Appraisal District's role in the tax system?

There are three main parts to the property tax system in Texas.

  • An appraisal district in each county sets the value of property each year and administers exemptions.
  • An Appraisal Review Board settles disagreements between property owners and the appraisal district about property values and exemptions; they also make determinations on challenges initiated by taxing units.
  • Local taxing units, which include the county, city, school district, and special districts, decide how much money they will spend. This, in turn, determines the total amount of taxes that property owners must pay.

Who sets the tax rates?

The governing body (such as a city council, school board, county commissioner's court, etc.) of each taxing entity sets the rates for their jurisdiction. The taxing units decide what services they will provide in the coming year and how much revenue they will need to provide those services. Each taxing unit adopts a tax rate that will raise the needed tax dollars.

What are the taxes on this property? How much are my taxes?

The Collin Central Appraisal District does not levy taxes, set tax rates or collect taxes. The appraisal district does not capture the amount of taxes on any property. Click here for the link to the Assessor-Collector offices in Collin County.

Are property taxes based on a percentage?

No, not since the creation of appraisal districts in 1982. State law requires property taxes to be based on the full, 100%, market value of a property less eligible exemptions.

Who is the Board of Directors?

The Board of Directors of the Collin Central Appraisal District is comprised of five members and one "ex officio" member who govern the operation of the appraisal district by setting policies, adopting a budget, approving contracts, etc. The County Tax Assessor/Collector, by law, serves as the ex officio member of the Board. The remaining five members must meet eligibility requirements. To be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors, the individuals must be a resident of the district and have resided in the same district for at least two years immediately preceding taking office. Board members serve two-year terms beginning on January 1 of even numbered years.

How is the Board of Directors chosen?

The governing bodies of all taxing units within the district select the appraisal district's directors. If the governing bodies do not select the county tax assessor collector as a director, the county tax assessor-collector serves as a non-voting director.

How is an appraisal district funded?

Each taxing unit located in the appraisal district pays a pro-rata share of the CCAD budget. Some appraisal districts have adopted different funding mechanisms. Most appraisal districts base each taxing unit's share on the amount of taxes levied by that unit compared to the total taxes levied by all units in the district.

Why did my value change?

During our annual reappraisal, value changes may occur for several reasons:

  • Due to market conditions, rising or falling values;
  • The correction of the data base, such as a change in square footage, a pool or other secondary improvement not previously accounted for or a correction of property characteristics; or
  • A value may be changed for equalization purposes.

Why are you inspecting my property?

In order to make accurate appraisals on every property in our jurisdiction, it is necessary to visit them periodically to ensure that the data used in making the appraisal is correct. For instance, since we last visited your home the condition of the structure could have changed. The appraisal district could have received a copy of a building permit indicating that a room was being added, the house was being remodeled, or some amenity such as a pool or detached garage was being added to or removed from the property.

What is market value?

Market value, often referred to as "fair market value" in the discussion of property taxes, means the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if:

  • exposed for sale in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser;
  • both the seller and purchaser know of all the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable restrictions on its use; and
  • both the seller and purchaser seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other.

Can I request an onsite inspection/re-inspection?

The appraisal district will complete an onsite inspection of your property at your request under certain restrictions. If an on-site inspection is required, which would likely include the inspection of the interior of the property, including photographs, an appointment will need to occur during normal business hours (M-F 8:00AM to 5:00PM). An inspection request during the Appraisal Review Board process could be difficult because of time and staffing constraints. However, it is our goal to accommodate all inspection requests and we will do our best to work around any timing issues.

Is my house ever depreciated?

Yes, however market appreciation can often offset physical depreciation.

How do you arrive at a value on a house?

The house is either measured in the field or taken from building plans submitted during the permitting process and verified by field review. The house is then classified based on construction type and quality, then depreciated according to its age and effective age (observed condition). Typically, the market value is based on sales of similar properties. In some circumstances, such as new construction, the appraiser may utilize the Cost Approach to Value, but typically a residential property is appraised via the Sales Comparison (Market) Approach basing the value on comparable sales within the subject neighborhood, adjusting for differences such as lot value, quality, condition, and size.

My house was not finished on January 1, how do you appraise it?

The improvement (house) is added to the appraisal roll at the percent of market value, generally based on completion, as of January 1st of the tax year.

My house is 30 years old. Is that taken into consideration?

Yes. Age, size, condition, quality and type of construction of the house/improvements are all taken into consideration.

What land qualifies for agriculture appraisal?

The Texas Constitution permits qualified open-space land to be taxed generally at productivity value instead of market value. The legal basis for this type of special valuation called "Ag Use Open Space" or "1-d-1". The land must have been devoted to a qualifying agricultural use for at least five (5) of the preceding seven (7) years. Land under agricultural production must be specifically identified and products produced clearly stated. The land shall be described legally and physically. Physical description identifies the land in categories or classifications such as dry land cropland or native pasture, as well as the number of acres in production. The productive capacity of the land must be described to allow for measurement of agricultural production intensity. If the land is located within the boundaries of a city or town, one of the following requirements must be met in addition to the normal requirements: the city must not provide the land with general services comparable to those in other parts of the city having similar features and population and/or must have been devoted principally to agricultural use continuously for the preceding five years.

Applications must be made on an acceptable form after January 1st and before May 1st of the tax year. If May 1 falls on a weekend or holiday, the next working day is the deadline. Applications received after the deadline will be accepted until the appraisal roll is certified. If approved, late applications will be subject to a penalty of ten percent (10%) of the difference between the amount of the tax imposed on the property at agriculture value (1-d-1) and the amount that would be imposed if the property were taxed at market value. See the Agricultural Valuation Policies link on this site for more details. Agricultural-Use applications can be found here.

What happens if land receiving an agricultural appraisal changes to a non-agricultural use?

If land receiving a 1-d-1 agricultural appraisal changes to a non-agricultural use, the property is subject to a rollback. The rollback tax is due for each of the previous five years in which the land received the special appraisal. The rollback tax is imposed on the difference between the taxes on the land's agricultural value and the taxes calculated if the land had been taxed on its market value. Plus, the owner pays seven percent (7%) interest for each year from the date that the taxes would have been due. For example, the fifth year of rollback tax bill may include as much as thirty five percent (35%) interest, depending on the date the use changed.