The board acted to approve a recommendation from Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler.
“It’s clear that property owners value these meetings and want them to be part of the protest process,” Crigler said in a statement.
The TCAD made the switch to an electronic process in an attempt to handle the increasing number of protests, Crigler told Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.
Last year, nearly 150,000 property owners in Travis County protested their appraisal values, according to TCAD data. Nearly 87% were homeowners.
This represents a threefold increase since 2005, when 46,495 property owners protested their appraisal values.
In that same period, the average home value in Travis County increased 76%, from $197,874 to $347,655, according to budget documents.
Because of the continued influx of protests, the TCAD has needed extensions in recent years to certify the property tax roll, which area taxing entities such as the city of Austin and Austin ISD need to set their tax rates.
This year, the informal protest process is expected to begin in early April and run through the end of May.
While most in-person meetings will take place at the TCAD office in Northeast Austin, TCAD is considering a pilot program that would host additional meetings at area community centers on a walk-in basis.
Additionally, the appraisal district hopes to improve long wait times by developing an online scheduling system for property owners who are protesting their appraisal values.
Those protesters who do not accept the offer they receive from TCAD following their informal hearing will present their cases to the Travis Appraisal Review Board, an independent group of citizens who resolve disputes between property owners and the TCAD.