GENERAL WICHITA APPRAISAL DISTRICT (WAD) INFORMATION
Who is the Chief Appraiser?
Lisa Stephens-Musick, RPA
What are WAD's office hours?
Monday - Friday 8 am - 5 pm
What is WAD'S physical address?
600 Scott Ave., 3rd Floor
Wichita Falls, TX 76301
What is WAD'S mailing address?
PO Box 5172
Wichita Falls, TX 76307
What does an appraisal district do?
Each Texas county is served by an appraisal district that determines the value of all of the county's real and personal property. Generally, a local government that collects property taxes, such as a county, city and school district, is a member of the appraisal district.
What are property taxes?
Texas property taxes are ad valorem taxes, Latin for according to value. Appraisal districts are charged with determining property value for the purpose of taxation by the taxing entities. The taxes collected each year are used to provide local services such as schools, roads, hospitals and services like fire and police departments.
What is a taxing entity?
Taxing entities are the local government entities such as cities, hospital districts, and counties. Taxing entities provide services to the taxpayers such as schools, roads, police, fire, and other services taxpayers expect.
What is a general homestead exemption?
The general homestead exemption is provided by state law for owner-occupied residential properties. The exemption removes a portion of your value from taxation providing a lower school tax amount for the homestead property.
Do I qualify for an exemption?
Possibly. Please click here for information.
I inherited a house, am I eligible for a homestead exemption?
Possibly. Please clinck here for information.
How do I apply for an exemption?
You may visit the “Forms” tab and download the desired exemption application. You can also call the Appraisal District at (940)322-2435 to request that a form be mailed to you.
Once completed, and the required document(s) are attached, you can:
1) Mail it to: PO Box 5172 Wichita Falls, TX 76307
2) Email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there a fee to file for an exemption?
There is no fee to file and you do not have to hire anyone to file for you.
Do I need to reapply every year for my homestead exemption?
No, you do not have to reapply unless the chief appraiser requests a new application in writing or you move to a new residence.
Do I qualify for a General Homestead on a mobile home if I do not own the land?
Yes, you will need to include a copy of your title to the mobile home or a verified copy of your purchase contract with the exemption form.
I own more than one home, can I get a homestead on both?
No, you may only receive a homestead exemption on your primary residence.
How many acres can I claim as my homestead?
State law allows you to claim that portion of your land that you maintain for residential purposes but this amount may not exceed 20 acres. Generally, one acre or less is maintained for homestead purposes.
Am I eligible for additional exemptions when I turn 65 years old?
If you are age 65 or older, your residence homestead will qualify for additional exemption deductions and you will receive a tax ceiling for that home on your school taxes. You may file for the over-65 exemption up to one year from the date you turned 65. Proof of age is required, such as driver’s license or birth certificate if driver’s license is not available.
Do I need to file an application when I turn 65 years old or is it automatically added?
If we have the owner's date of birth on file, we will automatically add the exemption to the account; you may have to file an application if we do not have this information. If you are unsure if we have that information on file for you, please contact us at (940)322-2435.
Do I qualify for a General Homestead exemption if I occupy/live in a section of my business?
Yes, if you occupy or utilize a portion of the business as your primary residence and are not claiming a General Homestead exemption anywhere else, you may qualify for a Homestead apportionment.
I am a surviving spouse. Am I eligible for any exemption benefits?
If a homeowner who has been receiving, or could have qualified for, the tax ceiling on school taxes dies, the ceiling transfers to the surviving spouse, if the survivor is 55 or older and has ownership in the home. The survivor must apply to the appraisal district for the tax ceiling to transfer.
I am a disabled veteran. Am I entitled to any property tax deductions?
You may qualify for a property tax exemption if you are either (1) a veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces or (2) the surviving spouse or child (under 18 years of age and unmarried) of a disabled veteran. You must be a Texas resident and must provide documentation from the Veteran’s Administration reflecting the percentage of your service-connected disability. Your disability rating must be at least 10 percent. In addition, the Texas Legislature passed HB 3613 in 2009 providing for a 100% exemption for the residence of qualified disabled veterans. To qualify for the 100% homestead exemption the veteran must own a home and occupy it as their residence homestead. The veteran is receiving 100% disability compensation from the US Department of Veteran Affairs for a service-connected disability. The veteran must have a disability rating of 100% or of individual unemployability. Beginning in 2012, the surviving spouse of a 100% or totally disabled veteran can receive the exemption if the property was the residence homestead of the disabled veteran when they died and remains the residence homestead of the surviving spouse.
I am a homeowner with disabilities. May I receive any property tax benefits?
A person with a disability may get exemptions if (1) you can’t engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability or (2) you are 55 years old and blind and can’t engage in previous work because of your blindness. If you receive disability benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program through the Social Security Administration you will qualify. Disability benefits from any other program do not automatically qualify. Contact our office for further information on determining your eligibility
Does a non-profit organization automatically receive a property tax exemption?
No, often organizations mistakenly believe they are entitled to a property tax exemption because they have received a federal income tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or an exemption from State sales taxes. The Constitutional requirements for property tax exemptions are different than the provisions covering income and sales taxes. A non-profit organization may qualify for a total exemption from property taxes, but they must apply by April 30th. Refer to the Forms page for exemption applications and requirements.
Charitable Organizations and Businesses
Texas law allows for a number of exemptions for charitable organziations and businesses. Please refer to the Comptroller's publiction Texas Property Tax Exemptions for more information about these exemptions. Most of these exemptions have specific forms that can found in the forms section of this website.
GENERAL ACCOUNT INFORMATION
How can I update my mailing address?
You may fill out the change of address form here or simply make the request in writing. Either way, the request must be made in writing by the property owner or the agent. Please note, if you are making the request for multiple properties, you will need to list every account that needs the mailing address updated in your request.
Once complete, you can choose to:
1) Submit the form/written request by mail to
PO Box 5172
Wichita Falls, TX 76307
2) Email the form/written request to CS@wadtx.com
I just bought/sold a property. How do I update the ownership?
Once the deed has been filed with the County Clerk’s office, WAD will retrieve the information and process the ownership transfer accordingly.
What if the ownership on file does not reflect the current ownership of a property?
You can contact us at (940)322-2435 to discuss the discrepancy. We will need to research the records we have on file for the account before making any changes.
What it a situs address? Does the appraisal district assign these?
The situs address is the physical address of a property. The appraisal district does not assign the situs address. This information is obtained through records provided by the cities or county.
Who sets the tax rates?
The governing body (city council, school board, county commissioners) 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 money 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?
Wichita AD does not levy taxes, set the tax rate or collect any taxes. The Appraisal district does not capture the amount of taxes on each property. You must call your appropriate tax office for that information.
How is my property appraised?
The appraisal district uses the three approaches to value property: market, cost and income approach. Generally for residential property, the appraised value of your property is an estimate of what the appraisal district believes your property would most likely sell for on January 1st of the current year. We calculate this estimate by analyzing current sales in your neighborhood and comparing your home to those homes that sold as well as considerations of size, classification, and depreciation due to its condition and age.
What is fair market value?
Fair market value 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 the purchaser know all of 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. Both the seller and the purchaser seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other.
What is a market transaction?
In real estate, there’s no better indication of market value or how much a property is truly worth than what someone has decided to pay for a property or what somebody has decided to sell the same property for, assuming the buyer and seller were represented by real estate professionals, the property was listed and marketed out in the open market and open to attract multiple offers, and neither the buyer or the seller is in a position to take advantage of the each other
How do I find out the appraised value of my property?
Property value information can be obtained by visiting the Property Search tab and performing a search of your property, or by calling our office at (940)322-2435.
What is an improvement according to the appraisal district?
In appraisal, the term improvement is a building, structure, fixture, or fence 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, unless the structure is unoccupied and held for sale or normally is located at a particular place only temporarily.
What is a Notice of Appraised Value (NOAV)?
The Notice of Appraised Value contains a description of your property, the market value, exemptions applied to the property, and the taxable value.
When do you mail Notices of Appraised Value?
WAD sends out a detailed Notice of Appraised Value to property owners or the agent of record annually, usually by April 15th.
Why did I fail to receive a Notice of Appraised Value this year?
The chief appraiser has elected to send a Notice of Appraised Value on all properties. Please verify that the district has your current mailing address. If you have a tax consultant representing you, the Notice of Appraised Value was sent to the consultant.
Why did my value change?
Value changes may occur for several reasons. Often sales information may indicate the previous year's appraised value is lower/higher than fair market. Also, corrections to appraisal records may affect value, such as: change in square footage, a pool not previously accounted for, or a correction of a property characteristic. If the property is income producing; the Income approach to value is utilized to estimate the value. Using current market rental rates in the area, occupancy rates, typical market expense ratios and cap rates district estimates a property’s net operating income.
How often do you reappraise my property?
Typically, Wichita Appraisal District reappraises all properties every year.
Are property taxes based on a percentage?
No, they are based on 100% of the fair market value of your property.
How do I file a protest?
If you received a Notice of Appraised Value, a protest form will be included for your convenience. You can also download a Notice of Protest form by visiting the Forms tab. You can also submit a written statement indicating your desire to protest.
Completed protest forms can be:
1) Mailed to: PO Box 5172, Wichita Falls, TX 76307
2) Brought in person to our office at 600 Scott Ave, Third Floor
3) You also have the option of e-filing a protest by using our online portal, however, you will need to set up an account to do so. Please visit the “Online Services” tab for further information and instructions.
What is the deadline to file a protest?
Generally, the deadline is May 15th each year OR 30 days after receiving a Notice of Appraised Value. The deadline date is printed on the notice for your reference.
When I protest my property, am I protesting the market value or the assessed value?
Per the Texas Property Tax Code, market value is the only value permitted to be protested with the appraisal district. Assessed value is a statutory calculation based on the previous year's assessed value and cannot be protested.
My taxes are too high. Can I protest my taxes?
No, the appraisal district determines market value and has no control over the tax rates or resulting tax bill.
What is the process once I protest?
You will be scheduled to discuss the issues of your protest with the Appraisal Review Board and a final determination will be made. You are encouraged to contact the appraisal district and discuss your issues with the appraiser that valued your property
When will I get notice of the scheduled hearings?
Once your hearing has been scheduled, we will mail a Notice of Protest Hearing letter at least 15 days before the scheduled formal hearing date. Included with that letter will be a copy of Property Taxpayer’s Remedies (a publication of the State Comptroller’s Office), a copy of the ARB hearing procedures, and a statement that you have the right to inspect the information that the Appraisal District plans to introduce at your hearing, referred to as evidence.
What is the Appraisal Review Board (ARB)?
The Appraisal Review Board, or ARB, is a group of private citizens authorized by state law to review the appraisal district's work and resolve protest disputes with taxpayers. An ARB is established for each appraisal district in the State of Texas and is appointed by the Administrative District Law Judge.
Where are the ARB hearings conducted?
Hearings are conducted at the Wichita Appraisal District's office located at: 600 Scott Ave., Third Floor, Wichita Falls, TX
What should I bring to the hearing?
In preparation for your formal hearing you should gather any evidence that you feel will support your opinion of value of your home. This would include sales of comparable homes in your neighborhood, the purchase price of your home if obtained recently, photographs of your home that may reflect any negative conditions. By law, a copy of all evidence submitted to the ARB must be retained for public record; therefore paper is preferred.
What happens after the formal hearing?
At the hearing, the ARB will immediately inform you of the final determination of your protest case. Shortly thereafter you will receive, by certified mail, a written order from the ARB reflecting the final determination that was approved at your formal hearing. Included with the written order will be information on what options you have if you wish to appeal that final determination.
Can I reschedule my formal hearing?
If you have not designated a tax agent to represent you at your formal protest hearing, you are entitled to one postponement if requested prior to the day of your formal hearing. To reschedule your formal hearing, contact us by email at email@example.com or by call our office at (940)322-2435.
What happens if I do not come to the formal hearing?
Your protest will be dismissed if you do not appear in person, through a valid Affidavit, by agent or by pre-scheduled telephone hearing. You may request that the ARB Chairperson reopen the hearing by sending a letter within 4 days of the dismissal citing the good cause reason for failure to appear. Requests can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to PO Box 5172, Wichita Falls, TX 76307.
Has anyone physically come out and looked at my property?
Yes, someone has reviewed your property, but it may not have been this year.
Why are you inspecting my property?
In order to produce accurate appraisals on all property within Wichita County, we must visit them periodically to ensure that the data used in making the appraisal is still correct. For instance, the appraisal district could have received a copy of a building permit indicating that a room was being added and an appraiser may inspect the property to ensure the property characteristics are correct.
What is a Homestead Cap?
In general, the ASSESSED home value for a homeowner who qualifies for a General Homestead Exemption in the preceding and current year, may not increase more than 10 percent per year. There is no limit to the amount of increase in market value.
My house was not completed as of January 1st. How do you appraise it?
It will be added to the tax roll at the percentage of completion as of January 1st. If the home is finished by January 1st of the following year, percentage will increase as will the value of the property.
My house is 30 years old. Is that taken into consideration?
Yes. Age, size, condition and quality of construction are all taken into consideration.
Is my house ever depreciated?
Yes, but the increase in the fair market value may override the depreciation due to age.
How do you arrive at a value on a house?
The house is measured, classified, and depreciated due to its condition, and age. It is valued based on the sales of similar properties.
How is my Commercial property appraised?
The market value of property shall be determined by the application of generally accepted appraisal methods and techniques.
Wichita Appraisal District uses 3 valuation methods: Cost, Market, and Income methods.
Each appraisal methods use different sets of information to arrive at a conclusion of market value;
- the Cost method calculates a property’s Replacement Cost New (RCN) and adjusts for loss in value due to physical deterioration, functional deficiency, and prevailing economic conditions.
- the Market method selects comparable market sales applying adjustments to the sale prices of the comparables for differences between the comparables and the subject property.
- the Income method is most commonly used in the valuation of properties that are bought and sold based on their potential to produce an income stream to the owner. This method calculates a property’s value using income, expenses, and rate of return.
How often is my property appraised?
Properties are valued on a yearly basis and the values are as of January 1st of every year.
Why is my property valued as commercial if it is used a residence?
Some properties may be considered to have commercial potential even if they’re being used as residential. For example, properties that are in an area where the “highest and best” use has changed due to zoning changes, gentrification, and/or if the area is growing or transitioning into a more commercial driven nature.
Are there exemptions available for Commerical properties?
There are a number of special exemptions available to commercial properties that serve a very specific purpose. Pleae see the Ccomptroller's publication Texas Property Tax Exemptions for more information.
How are Commerical properties categorized?
Commercial properties are categorized by their use/design and then grouped into subcategories such as construction type, size, age, condition, and/or level of service. General categories include: Apartment, Retail, Hotel/Motel, Office, Restaurant and Industrial.
Each category and subcategory of property is valued using the unique physical, functional and economic characteristics. All categories and subcategories are valued using their own unique characteristics and attributes which may be different from the major to sub-category.
What is a Capitalization rate?
The Capitalization rate indicates the rate of return that is expected to be generated on an investment property. The Capitalization rate is calculated by dividing the Net Operating Income (NOI) by the current market value of the property.
What is Direct Capitalization?
A method used to convert an estimate of a single year’s income expectancy into an indication of value in one direct step, either by dividing the net operating estimate by an appropriate capitalization rate or by multiplying the income estimate by the appropriate factor. Direct capitalization employs capitalization rates and multipliers extracted or developed from market data. The direct capitalization approach only uses one year’s income.
What does Income Producing Property mean?
This is a property that is held or purchased for its potential to produce an income stream through lease or rent payments.
What is Gross Building Area?
The total floor area within the outside surfaces of the exterior walls and the center lines of party walls, not including the area under open porches or steps or in courts or shafts.
What is Net Rentable Area?
The area within a building or structure that is actually occupied by a tenant. Net rentable area does not include any of the common areas, such as lobbies and restrooms that are shared by other tenants.
What is Secondary Income on an income producing property?
Secondary income includes all money an owner receives from income-producing property that does not come from the property’s primary business function. It’s normally the income which is produced by amenities or services or through creative strategies in either leasing or marketing.
What does Zoning mean?
Zoning refers to municipal or local laws or regulations that dictate how real property can and cannot be used in certain geographic areas. These laws can be modified or suspended if construction of the property will serve to help the community advance economically. Please contact your local zoning department for more details as Wichita Appraisal District does not assign zoning areas.
Can I request a site inspection of my property?
Yes, if you feel the appraisal district has the wrong information on your property, you may call us at (940)322-2435. You can also visit the Property Search link on the home page to verify the current information we have on file for your property.
BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY
What is a rendition for Business Personal Property?
A rendition is a form that provides the appraisal district with the description, location, cost and acquisition dates for business personal property that you own. The appraisal district uses the information to help estimate the market value of your property for taxation purposes.
Who must file a rendition?
Renditions must be filed by both owners of tangible personal property that is used for the production of income and owners of tangible personal property on which an exemption has been cancelled or denied.
How do I submit my rendition to the Wichita Appraisal District?
Renditions may be hand-delivered, mailed by first-class mail with a postmark of April 15th, or transmitted by facsimile by April 15th.
When must the rendition be filed?
After January 1 and not later than April 15th, except as provided by Section 22.02 of the Tax Code. If April 15th falls on a weekend, the rendition deadline is the next business day.
I went out of business during the year will my business personal property taxes be prorated?
No, if you were in business January 1st you owe taxes for the year.
What types of property must be rendered?
Business owners are required by State law to render business personal property that is used in a business or used to produce income. This property includes furniture and fixtures, equipment, machinery, computers, inventory held for sale or rental, raw materials, finished goods, and work in progress. You are not required to render intangible personal property (property that can be owned but does not have a physical form) such as cash, accounts receivable, goodwill, application computer software, and similar items. If your organization has previously qualified for an exemption that applies to personal property, for example, a religious or charitable organization exemption, you are not required to render the exempt property.
Where can I find the rendition form?
The rendition can be found on the FORMS page of this website. The district mails rendition forms to business owners or their agent each January.
Will I get a notification that my rendition was received?
No. If you would like notification we suggest you mail your rendition form via certified mail.
Does my rendition have to be notarized?
No. Notarization is only required if you are not a secured party, property owner, an employee of the property owner or an employee of a property owner on behalf of an affiliated entity of the property owner.
How do I fill out the rendition form?
If you need assistance filling out your rendition, Please contact our office at (940)322-2435.
May I use my bookkeeping records as my rendition?
Yes. Attach these records to the rendition, sign and date it and return it to our office. Include asset listings with the date of acquisition and original cost. All assets owned by the business must be rendered.
If nothing has changed in my business how do I report this on the rendition form?
If after careful review of your records you determine the information on the most recent prior year rendition you filed is still complete and accurate as of January 1st of this year and in compliance with Section 22.01, then you would qualify to file an abbreviated rendition. To do so, check the box titled “By checking this box, I affirm that the information contained in the most recent rendition statement filed for a prior tax year (the ______ tax year)...” on the second page of the rendition form. Please sign in the Signature section. Return the completed, abbreviated rendition to Wichita Appraisal District.
Is the information I render to the district confidential?
Yes. Information contained in a rendition cannot be disclosed to third parties except in very limited circumstances. In addition, the Texas Property Tax Code specifically provides that any estimate of value you provide is not admissible in proceedings other than a protest to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) or court proceedings. The final value we place on your property is public information, but your rendition is not.
What will the appraisal district do with the information I render?
Your rendition will be analyzed along with other information we collect on similar businesses, to develop an estimate of value for your property.
If I cannot file the rendition on time, what should I do?
The law provides for an extension of time to file a rendition. In order to receive the extension, you must submit the request to the Wichita Appraisal District, in writing, by April 15. With the receipt of a timely extension request, the rendition filing deadline will be extended to May 15th. Please note that requests for extensions must be submitted by the business owner or the business owner’s authorized agent on file with the Wichita Appraisal District. Extension requests submitted by unauthorized agents will not be granted.
What happens if I do not file a rendition, or file it late?
If you do not file a rendition, the appraised value of your property will be based on an appraiser's estimate using comparable business types. In addition, if you fail to file your rendition before the deadline or you do not file it at all, a penalty equal to 10% of the amount of taxes imposed on the property will be levied against you.
SPECIAL INVENTORY DEALERS
When is the Monthly VIT Statement due ?
Dealer Motor Vehicle Inventory Tax Statements are due on or before the 10th of each month.
When is the Declaration due?
Declarations, except as provided by Tax Code Section 23.122(l), must be filed not later than Feb. 1 of each year or, in the case of a dealer who was not in business on Jan. 1, not later than 30 days after commencement of the business. A dealer is presumed to have commenced business on the date of issuance of a dealer’s general distinguishing number as provided by Transportation Code Chapter 503. Notwithstanding this presumption, a chief appraiser may, at his or her sole discretion, designate another date on which a dealer commenced business.
I filed my Declaration after the deadline, can I have the penalty waived?
No. The Tax Code does not supply any provision for waiver of the penalty.
How do I send a copy of the Dealer Motor Vehicle Inventory Tax Statement to WCAD?
You can choose to mail to: PO BOX 5172, Wichita Falls, TX, 76307, or by fax (940) 322-8190, or hand deliver to our office.
What is considered heavy equipment?
Section 23.1241(a)(6) defines heavy equipment as any item of equipment that is self-propelled, self-powered, or pull-type equipment, including farm equipment or a diesel engine, that weighs at least, 500 pounds and is intended to be used for agricultural, construction, industrial, maritime, mining, or forestry uses. It does not include a motor vehicle required to be titled or registered.
Is anyone who sells, leases or rents heavy equipment a dealer? Or must the person be engaged in the business in this state of selling, leasing or renting heavy equipment?
Section 23.1241(a)(1) defines dealer as a person engaged in the business in this state of selling, leasing, or renting heavy equipment. Note: An appraisal district can check to see if the person has a Texas sales tax permit. A dealer engaged in business in Texas that sells or leases heavy equipment must be permitted to collect state and local sales tax since these are taxable.
If you are a heavy equipment dealer, do you still have to render under Chapter 22?
Yes, a heavy equipment dealer is required to render all tangible personal property used for the production of income, as required by Section 22.01, Tax Code.