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Deadline nears for Central Texas homeowners to protest their property appraisals

It's the last chance for many Texans to keep their property taxes down.

AUSTIN, Texas — Homeowners only have until May 15 in Texas to protest their property appraisals to try and keep their property taxes down.

Eder Velazquez is protesting his Onion Creek home's market value for the first time by himself.

"It was probably 30% higher than what I thought it was," Velazquez said. "Nothing around the area was selling for that, from what I could tell from Zillow, so I decided to go ahead and start the process then."

As homeowners decide whether to protest their home appraisals, Chief Appraiser Leana Mann with the Travis Central Appraisal District is noticing something different.

"This year, we actually saw on average a 7% decrease for homeowners. So that was a change from past years," Mann said. "I think it's just higher interest rates, more inventory that's available. We're seeing a stable sizing of the market, which is a change from past years."

RELATED: Voters elect who will oversee Travis County's property appraisal process

This year, property owners can protest their property values online and meet with appraisers virtually.

"It's the easiest and most convenient way," Mann said. "You can upload any evidence through that online portal that you want our appraisers to look at. You can also download the evidence that we used in appraising the property."

For Velaquez, the protesting process showed him more than just the value of his property. It also showed him the meaning of planting his roots in Central Texas.

"Everything that goes behind the scenes of ... You're not just paying for the home," Velaquez said. "There's other things that come within living within a community that you had kind of have to contribute as a citizen of this city."

RELATED: Texas voters decide fate of $18B property tax plan

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