• October 24, 2014

Local tax districts exceed state standards

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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:52 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

Area tax appraisal districts passed the state’s mandatory requirements and mostly exceeded expectations for conducting business when reviewed by the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

Bell and Coryell counties exceeded all mandatory requirements of the Texas Property Tax code, according to the Methods and Assistance Program reviews released in December. Both entities earned perfect scores.

“I am not surprised, because we have a very dedicated and very professional staff here, and they do a very good job,” said Marvin Hahn, the Bell County Tax Appraiser District’s chief appraiser.

According to the comptroller’s website, the review aims to identify problems within appraisal districts and establish efforts to help districts comply with relevant statutes and appraisal practices.

“I am pleased that our organization is abiding by the rules that are in place, and that we are able to serve the taxpayers,” said Mitch Fast, Coryell Central Appraisal District chief appraiser.

Lampasas’ appraisal district exceeded the state’s expectations in all areas but one — appraisal standards, procedures and methodology — only meeting the state’s requirements, which was enough to pass.

According to the report, Lampasas needs to:

Ensure calculation for all agriculture use categories are reproducible in its documentation.

Create a process for regularly inspecting open-space land designated for wildlife management use.

Consider the income approach in the appraisal process for income producing properties.

The chief appraiser in Lampasas couldn’t be reached Friday for comment.

According to the comptroller’s website, the program “also serves as an outside assessment to identify which appraisal districts are meeting minimum statutory requirements and which are exceeding in those efforts.”

Hahn and Fast agreed the process is beneficial to their organizations and lets them know they have good practices in place.

Despite receiving good marks, Hahn and Fast both said there’s room for improvement.

“No one is perfect and there are things we can strive for,” Hahn said.

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