Editor’s note: This is an open letter from state Rep. Dan Flynn to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Dear Gov. Abbott:
Governor, in response to your direction that locals can freeze taxes at previous year levels I would ask for guidance on whether each appraisal district can issue that declaration on their own or if they need approval from commissioners court, specifically for counties who have already sent out their appraisal letters.
We would also like your support on another route that few Texans or even local officials know about. Many times we both have heard constituents complain of appealing their new property tax appraisal, prevailing in that appeal, only to see their valuation raised right back up at the next appraisal. This hasn’t been unique to any of our 254 counties. Last session the legislature passed, and you signed a property owner protection measure to address this problem.
HB 1313, which went in to effect Jan. 1, prohibits an appraisal district, after a successful appeal by a property owner, from increasing a valuation during the next appraisal cycle without “clear and convincing” evidence to justify the increase. As you know, clear and convincing is the highest standard of proof in civil law and citizens need to know this law to help in their appeals.
So how does this play out? State law requires county appraisal districts to reappraise all property at least once every three years. This means without clear and convincing evidence your valuation could and should be locked in for four years.
I would ask that you on your next call with county judges share that information and also add it to your website and Facebook page. In addition, if you could share with county judges other options they can take to assist Texans who don’t fall under the new law to reduce the appraisals of their constituents it would really help many from choices of food, rent and taxes.
Tax protest deadlines are looming so again, if I can be of any further assistance or serve on any task force on these issues please let me know. God bless Texas.
House District 2