Get Started

Glossary

Glossary

Appraised value- your “appraised value” is your taxable value. Unless a residential property has a homestead or over-65 exemption, all taxable property is appraised at its market value as of January 1st. However, sometimes your appraised value can function as what is often called a “cap.” In this case, an exemption will prevent the appraised value from reaching its market value, because an exemption only allows a 10% increase of value (unless there is a remodel that year).

CDU- CDU stands for condition/desirability/utilities and ranges from Excellent to Unsound. The CDU of a home can have a large influence over the purchase price of a home and should always be considered when comparing properties and sales in order to find the proper appraisal value of a house. The condition of a home, the age, and whether the property has up-to-date utilities (such as AC systems or countertops) can all influence the CDU status of a home.

Disability Exemptions- You are entitled to the exemption if you meet the social securities test for disability and have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which prevents your from engaging in any substantial gainful activity and must be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months.  A disability exemption essentially freezes school taxes so that do not increase in the coming years. The deadline to file for this exemption is between January 1st and April 30th.

Extra features- extra features are structures that are not affixed to the living area of an improvement. This can include but is not limited to sheds, pools, and detached garages.

Fiduciary- A person or institution who exercises a service or standard of care as allowed by law or contract. An appointment of agent form and signed contract is necessary for Novotny & Company to act as a fiduciary on behalf of our clients.

Good Faith Estimate of Market Value- for the function of filing a rendition for your business personal property, the market value of your inventory is defined as “the price for which it would sell as a unit to a purchaser who would continue the business” (Sec. 23.12, Texas Tax Code). The market value of property must reflect the sale price if placed on the open market in which both the buyer and the seller are knowledgeable of the capabilities and restrictions of using such property and both parties seek to maximize the benefits of such purchase.

Grade- the grade of an improvement can range from X+ (the highest) to E- (the lowest) and is determined by an appraiser who assesses the quality of your improvements. This can be determined20by the quality and appearance of materials used to build a structure. When comparing sales or appraisals in a neighborhood, grades are taken into account in order to find an equal appraisal value.

Homestead Exemption- You may apply for a homestead exemption on only one of your properties which you must own and occupy on January 1st of the tax year. If you temporarily change residences but do not establish another principal residence and return within two years, you may keep your homestead exemption. The deadline to file for this exemption is between January 1st and April 30th. Homesteads may be filed later if filed no later than one year after the date taxes become deliquent. 

Improvement- an improvement is a structure which is designated for residential or business purposes and includes buildings, structures, fixtures, or fences on land.

Market Value- the “market value” of your house and land is the value that your county believes your property might sell for on the market. A sale is considered valid when a house is sold on the open market with reasonable time to find a buyer. Often times cash, corporate, or foreclosure sales are not considered valid. Unless your market and appraised value are equal to one another, you will not be taxed based on your market value.

Original Cost (Historical Cost When New)- the price of a property when new, including sales tax or any additional cost other than material.

Over-65 or Older- in order to acceive an over-65 exemption you must provide proof of your birth date and apply before the first anniversary of your qualification date. If you turn 65 in November, for example, of the current year, you must apply by May 31st of the next year to apply for the current year. Because you are taxed based on the market in the previous year, your exemption will then apply to the year that you qualify for the exemption even though your apply for it in the next year. An over-65 exemption essentially freezes school taxes so that do not increase in the coming years. The deadline to file for this exemption is between January 1st and April 30th.

Partial Exemption- this exempts only a portion of total property. For example, if there are two structures on a land, the house that a property owner lives in might have a homestead exemption, but the other structure will not.

Personal Property- any type of property that is not considered real property and is generally easy to transit without damage. 

Property- property is anything that can be privately owned.

Real property- includes land, improvements, a mine or quarry, a mineral, standing timber, or an estate.

Rendition- a form that provides information concerning the various types of property owned by a company or institution. You must render if you own tangible (physical) personal property that is used to produce income unless income is $500 or less, property on which an exemption has been denied, or if you have been formally notified that you must render. Novotny & Company will submit your rendition for you.

Taxable value- your taxable value is the property a county can tax an owner on after exemptions.

Type/Category- pertains to personal property groups such as vehicles, machinery, and miscellaneous assets.