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Lawsuits over commercial property appraisals are on the rise in Texas, and taxpayers are footing an ever-bigger legal bill.
In Austin, 413 lawsuits are pending against the Travis Central Appraisal District. Property owners are contesting $11.3 billion in values.
Of the nearly 4,000 cases tried in the past 12 years, commercial property owners won an overall 7.5 percent reduction in tax exposure.
In San Antonio, companies sued Bexar County over $19.4 billion in appraisal disputes last year, more than double the amount litigated in 2012. Thus far, lawsuits shaved the valuations to $17.5 billion.
The rising tide of lawsuits comes as large commercial entities contest double-digit increases in property values that produce correspondingly bigger tax bills.