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May 11, 2008

Some agriculture property no longer exempt

Part of the Hunt County Appraisal District’s reappraisal of all 68,000 pieces of property in the county focused on the tax exemptions that some residents are claiming — particularly the agricultural exemptions.

Hunt County Chief Appraiser Brent South said HCAD officials have already sent out about 1,800 letters to property owners currently receiving an agricultural tax exemption. Those receiving letter were notified that the district’s appraisers did not believe they still qualified for an agriculture tax exemption any longer based on visual inspections of their properties.

The letters and reappraisals are part of a full-scale effort to clean up the county’s exemption process, South said.

Those that currently have an ag exemption and did not receive a letter will still have their ag exemption in 2008, South noted. He said those that qualify should see the agriculture exemption noted on their overall appraisal district letter that will be mailed out May 15.

“No news is good news (in this case),” he said.

The 1,800 that received a letter will have to reapply for their ag exemptions and to show documentation that would justify their claims, South explained. Thus far about half have re-applied and their applications are currently being reviewed by the agricultural appraiser, South said. If an owner can prove that the property is still being used for an agricultural purpose, it will be added back to the list, he said.

“For those that did not reapply, then they no longer have the ag exemption in 2008,” he said.

Those wishing to appeal the decision of the appraisal district will have until June 13 to do so.

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Dale Mason, left, principal of Bowie Elementary School, guides a tour of the school, showcasing the deterioration of the facility. In order to replace the carpets in classrooms, the facility would need be abated for the asbestos to comply with state standards. Since the cost of that would be significant, Mason said teachers have been duct taping the carpet to hold it together.

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