April 27th Property Tax Protest

Thank you to everyone who came to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) meeting Wednesday April 27th in Palo Pinto to protest the new appraisal values. They doubled, tripled and even quadrupled peoples taxes! This a disgrace to the hard working people in Palo Pinto county. The protest Wednesday sent a loud and clear message to the Appraisal Review Board and the county that the residence of Palo Pinto county are not going to sit back and take these unreasonable increases any longer. We will get involved and we will put an end to this tax hike madness! There is strength in numbers and we need everyone involved. Everyone needs to stand up and be heard, let them know you will not stand for it. Fill out the protest forms that came with your notices and get them in before the deadline of May 18th. This is the most important thing you can do, fill those forms out and send them in. If you need assistance, please reach out on Facebook or call a friend, someone will help you fill those forms out. Over the next few days/week, there will be workshops in Strawn, Mingus, Lonecamp, Palo Pinto, and Gordon to help with those forms. The location, times, and dates will be announced as soon as we find a venue and volunteers. I know many people say it does no good, but I am here to tell you it DOES!! It is vitally important that we protest, otherwise they will continue to steal our land and our money.

The meeting Wednesday was very productive. The ARB and other county officials witnessed the numbers that came out to protest (100+ by my headcount). Make no mistake, it made a difference! I spoke briefly at the very beginning of their meeting and expressed my concerns with their arbitrarily set values and also spoke against their protest processes which are based purely on opinions of that board. For example, comparing a property in Mingus to a new property at 7R or comparing anything in Mingus to the many other new developments popping up does a huge disservice to our community. The same goes for properties all over the county where they compare apples to oranges. I’m currently working with our state representatives and others to take action and fix this property tax disaster before it destroys peoples lives. The “taxing entities” constantly pass the buck, they blame the state, and the state blames the county, but the fact remains that the ARB has the power to lower appraisal values, albeit thru their skewed opinion of individuals and broken processes that are based on their personal feelings and personal opinions. They have the power to to reduce the appraised amounts if they so choose, otherwise that protest form and the hearing they schedule is just smoke and mirrors. Many people have had success in getting their taxes lowered, but as I’ve witnessed many times, it all depends on who pulls on their heart strings, or who has the best pictures, or who speaks the loudest or kisses their butts the most. It’s like playing the lottery if you are going to get your taxes reduced. But there is hope, if enough people in the county fill out that protest form, they will have to re-evaluate or have a public hearing on the values!! I can’t stress enough how important it is to send that protest form in.

In the coming week, there will be meetings and town halls to discuss this with our state representatives and others that can help. Stay tuned and get those forms filled out and turned in to the Palo Pinto Appraisal office!

We the people run this country/county, not the elites who sit in their ivory towers looking down their noses on the common folk. We have the power to stop this and we will put an end to their thievery!!!

**Please note that ARB and the Appraisal Office are not part of the county, they are a political subdivision of the state of Texas. All appraisal districts in Texas are political subdivisions.

Texas Appraisal Review Board information https://www.poconnor.com/property-tax-appraisal-established-6-01/

County Appraisal District Established in 1981 to Value Property in County

County appraisal districts were established in Texas in 1981. Previously, each tax entity was responsible for valuing the property in their district. Hence, if you wanted to protest the property taxes for your home, you would have to protest and attend hearing with: 1) county, 2) school and 3) city.

Section 6.01 – Appraisal Districts Established

Appraisal districts were established as a political subdivision of the state in 1981. Texas appraisal districts enjoy material privileges as a political subdivision.

While the claim seems ludicrous, Texas appraisal districts claim state district courts do not have jurisdiction to review actions of the appraisal district and appraisal review board. They further claim this is true even if they are knowingly and habitually violating Texas property tax law.

Being a political subdivision also provides some level of judicial immunity to appraisal districts and their staff who knowingly violate the Texas Property Tax Code and intentionally attempt to harm individual property owners.

There are limited options to affect change in errant behavior by appraisal districts. They include the judicial process, media, local political process and legislative process. There are currently no options for addressing individual unlawful actions by appraisal districts other than filing suit in state district court.

Filing a judicial appeal for each unlawful action by an appraisal district is an unsatisfactory option. It is expensive to exercise and at best achieves what was appropriate initially and provides the appraisal district no incentive to improve their behavior.

The appraisal district is run by the chief appraiser, who serves at the pleasure of the appraisal district board of directors, whose five members are appointed by the tax entities (served by the appraisal district). While there is a clear chain-of-command between appraisal district staff and the tax entities, there is not clear mechanism to protect against habitual unlawful behavior by appraisal districts and appraisal review boards.

Texas property owners should have an option to address unlawful behavior by appraisal districts and appraisal review boards. The Texas property tax system is superior to the system in many other states; however, Texas taxpayers have a right to expect and consistently receive lawful actions by tax assessors.

Sec. 6.01. Appraisal Districts Established

(a) An appraisal district is established in each county.

(b) The district is responsible for appraising property in the district for ad valorem tax purposes of each taxing unit that imposes ad valorem taxes on property in the district.

(c) An appraisal district is a political subdivision of the state.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2224, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 119, ch. 13, Sec. 12, 13, eff. Aug. 14, 1981; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4819, ch. 851, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 29, 1983.

Cross References:
Changes in membership of board in a district, see Sec. 6.031.

The elected county tax assessor-collector is not constitutionally required to appraise property within an appraisal district. Article VIII, Sec. 18, Tex. Const., separates appraisal from the assessing function of the county tax assessor-collector, and directs the legislature to provide for a single appraisal within each county. The appraisal districts are charged with responsibility for appraising taxable property. Wilson v. Galveston County Appraisal District, 713 S.W.2d 98 (Tex. 1986).

A central appraisal district is a “public agency” empowered by Health and Safety Code Chapter 771 to maintain information needed for the provisions of 9-1-1 emergency service in rural areas. This is an implied authorization because the appraisal district must cooperate with other local agencies that are maintaining this type of information. The appraisal district directors are immune from personal liability for information so retained. Letter Op. Tex. Att’y Gen. No. DM-95-035 (1995).

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