Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify how taxable values have been impacted in 2024.

Property appraisals for 2024 have been mailed out, and despite Georgetown's cooling real estate market, homes' taxable values still increased, Alvin Lankford, chief appraiser for the Williamson County Appraisal District, said.

This is because the assessed values are still trying to catch up to the dramatic increases in market value experienced in 2022, Lankford said.

However, the median home value in Georgetown dropped from $398,211 in 2023 to $384,248 in 2024, WCAD data shows.

Terms to know

To understand how appraisals work, here's a quick explanation of terms from the WCAD.
  • Market value: This is the value at which a property would be sold in an open market. The market value may increase or decrease each year depending on market trends.
  • Appraised value: This is meant to reflect the market value as of Jan. 1 each year. The WCAD determined the appraised values for Williamson County properties.
  • Taxable value: This is the portion of the appraised value that will actually be taxed.
  • Homestead exemption: This is an exemption available for an individual’s primary residence. The exemption limits—or caps—the amount the taxable value can increase from one year to the next by 10% or less. The capped value is shown as the assessed value and is located at the bottom of the list of values on a notice letter.
Diving in deeper

In an April 23 presentation to Georgetown City Council, Lankford explained why market value decreases do not always translate to decreased taxable values.

In 2022, the real estate market saw a dramatic increase in market values statewide, Lankford said during the presentation.

The total market value for 2022, including commercial and multifamily properties, jumped 47% in Williamson County and 41% in Georgetown from the previous year.

"When we had those large increases in 2022, many of the properties, in fact, 100% of homesteaded properties hit their cap. ... Still, that left a gap between market value and assessed value," Lankford said. "I've been doing this for 24 years, and that was the first time I'd seen an increase of that magnitude."

For this reason, in 2023 and 2024, assessed values increased the full 10% as required by state law to close the gap, he said.

"Just keep in mind, that's not our choice to increase the assessed value. That is a mandatory increase," Lankford said.
The total market value for Georgetown has increased each year, but the rate of increase continues to slow. (Courtesy Williamson County Appraisal District)
Since 2022, median single-family home values in both Williamson County and Georgetown have declined. (Courtesy Williamson County Appraisal District)
In Georgetown, a gap remains between the total taxable value and the market value due to homestead exemptions. (Courtesy Williamson County Appraisal District)

What's new?

In 2023, new state legislation created a 20% appraisal growth cap available to nonhomestead properties under $5 million.

The new cap will have a three-year trial period to determine its effectiveness.

Lankford said the new cap is likely to apply to about 2% of properties within Williamson County.

What residents should know

If a property owner believes their appraised value should be lower, they can file a protest with the WCAD by May 15.

Lankford said he encourages homeowners to review the appraisal information sent by mail, which includes comparable sales of other properties in the area.