As I hope you are aware, I have attended several hearings of the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform & Relief. At each hearing I heard homeowner after homeowner testify on how the rapid growth in their local property taxes has burdened their family and, in some cases, threatens to drive them out of their home. Texans are demanding property tax relief and appraisal reform.
One of the major drivers of the growing property tax burden is the increase in appraisal values. Typically, your county’s Appraisal District selects the Chief Appraiser and tasks him or her with hiring all personnel necessary to carry out the district’s operations. Meanwhile, members of the Appraisal Review Boards are appointed with the responsibility of hearing all the protests of the assessed values on properties. Certainly, the Chief Appraiser and members of the Appraisal Review Board strive to do a great job for their communities in these roles; however, the current system does not allow for direct accountability to the local taxpayers.
To increase taxpayer representation in the appraisal process, I am planning to propose legislation next session which will provide for the election of the Chief Appraiser in a partisan November election. The elected appraiser will then be responsible for directly appointing the members of his or her county’s respective Appraisal Review Board. Under this new structure, taxpayers will have an elected official to hold accountable at the ballot box for their appraisals and for the review board’s management and attitudes towards them, and the outcomes of their protests.
Also, I need to hear from you! Here are two ways for you to interact with my office:
- Please take the five minutes to go to my website and take my SD10 Legislative Survey. Tell me what matters to you!
- Grab your cell phone and text KONNI to 97000 to join my text alert system! Next session I will be sending text alerts on priority bills for SD10 and keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in your state Capitol.