Appraisal values

Galveston resident Pamela Vinton, like many homeowners in the county, was shocked when she recently received her property value appraisal in the mail. The land value for her small, two-bedroom, one-bath home increased more than 200 percent.


The appraised value of Holly Stevenson’s Galveston home rose this year by roughly $70,000, from about $240,000 to $310,000, an increase of more than 31 percent.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter @HeathKeri.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(34) comments

Aubrey Garcia

Our's went from $276k to $443k!!!!

Carol Dean

PROTEST and bring evidence for your neighborhood!

Susan Fennewald

If your assessment is too high- protest it.

But -does the rise in the assessment reflect the rise in the price you would ask for your house if you were going to sell it? There have been years where a huge assessment was shocking- but still reflected what I would sell it for (or less). This is probably true of the land valuation in Galveston. The price of a lot (within town) has been higher than the assessment value for many years now. And house values on Galveston have risen. Though not the 50% increase in my assessment. I am going to protest.

One thing I've noticed when trying to find comparable houses - is that houses the same size as mine often sell for more $/sq ft than mine should - but have new kitchens and baths, or new wiring , or redone master suites etc. It means that the cost/sq ft is deservedly higher than it should be for my house. I can see why that would help drive up assessments.

Carol Dean

Protest! Bring photos of the inside of houses that yours is being compared to.

Ron Shelby

"...and leaving many to pay significantly more in taxes..." Incorrect. If its a widespread increas, and taxing jurisdictions make corresponding reductions in their tax rates to keep revenues flat,... most taxpayers should turn out all right.

Also, if the property is homesteaded and seniors have taken advantage of the Senior Exemption option, they should be OK as well.

Reporters need to be more "responsible" how they report before they rile people up.

Michael Woodson

It's not really incorrect as stated. Reducing the tax rate to keep revenues flat when assessments rise will shift the burden; homestead exempted payers will pay a smaller share, and unexempted payers will pay a larger share. Most taxpayers should be all right, as you say, but many won't.

Jack Cross

Michael, that is not true, lowering the tax rate helps everyone Tax rate X $100 valuation.. The only exception is 65 and disabled exemptions whose taxes are frozen.

Carol Dean

Your comments are inaccurate, IMHO. I am a member of the Tax Appraisal Review Board here in Galveston County. There is a lot more involved.

Jack Cross

Ron you are half right. It is true that with increase in appraisals, it should not impact your taxes because like you say the commissioners and board can lower the tax rate.

That is not the case with schools. Legislators put tax caps on school districts who must set the tax rate as $1.00 per $100.00 valuation and can't go over 1.17/ This narrow window ties the hands of school trustees. This allows the state to reduce their share of school funding, shifting this responsibility onto the backs of local property owners. School taxes statewide is 55 percent of you tax bill. Texas constitution prohibits a property tax yet the state is talking billions of local property tax values and puts it in the state budget.

They won't tell you this but property poor school districts as a result of migrants and laws mandating that non citizens must be enrolled in public schools, plus another law that requires equal funding coupled with open boarders results the the state taking $7 billion local property taxes as a result of these laws and another 3 billion for robin hood. I can only guess that this is kept out of the election campaign is that the Hispanic population has grown so large that Democrats see that as a positive and republicans fear a backlash if they address this,

The fix is easy, all they state has to do is leave the school values here in the district and like cities, the trustees could lower the tax rate, but they can\t do that because it would leave a big hole in the state budget. The border must be secured or this will never stop.

Gary Miller

Jack> Home owning taxpayers paying for illegal immigration? Every illegal immigrant adds to local, county and state tax bills. State and federal costs increase with increased illegal immigration. Bureaucrats spend on illegals and pocket a service fee for each. A constitutional amendment is needed that prohibits illegal migrants from citizenship or voting forever. All the extra costs of Democrats open border are paid by taxpayers because democrats want a permanent under class that votes for Democrats.

Donald Roccaforte

I did an extensive download of my entire block evaluating home values of all the homes on my block. I looked at year built, square footage and appraisal district valuation for 2020 and 2021. I did an online protest hoping for some compromise. You are allowed a limited number of characters in your protest text. I provided comparison information of several neighboring properties which are substantially newer some of which have greater square footage and are valued less than mine as well as some of comparable age and square footage which were valued much less than mine. The average increase across my entire block was 21%. Mine was 27.7%. They promptly countered with an offer reducing the appraised value by $500. This is going to be an uphill battle. I promptly declined the offer.

Carol Dean

An in person Protest can be much more effective.

Jack Cross

Donald, you are a little off, there is no cap on how much the CAD can increase your property value. The 10 percent cap is for those having a homestead exemption caped at 10 percent per year until you reach the increase amount.

Ron Binkley

First, you will do much better hiring a company like Texas Protax to fight your taxes. This what they do for a living. The only way they make money is if they save you money.

Secondly, Texas caps the amount taxes can go up or down at 10% for your homestead BUT, there is no cap for investment properties. In the last few years, I've had increases of 40-60% in one year. I can't pass that tax increase to my tenants. For one, it would be too big of a rent increase that they couldn't afford. Secondly, it's unfair to the owner to raise taxes so much and so quickly. It's like raising the cost of gas from $2 to $3 in one day.

Finally, if I'm correct, New Mexico caps their taxes at 3% for you homestead property and 6% for investment properties. This what Texas needs, a cap on all properties.

Carol Dean

It depends on who you hire. Some Tax Agents come in with NO Comment as their favorite reply!

Jack Cross

Ron don't use a tax agent, the CAD will probably get 30,000 protests from agents. They come in with a dolly loaded with box loads of protests. If you protest in person it takese a minimum of 20 minutes. There is no way the Cad can give the time to handle 30,000 protests. The Cad gives them a little break to get them out of there. This is not much of a saving to the taxpayer but agents are dealing in volumes and a whole lot of small adjustment makes it worth while for them but not the property owner..

Gary Miller

What Texas Needs is repeal of the CAD law. Return to the old way of no tax increase between sales. Letting buyers pay the increase unchanged until they sell, based on selling price. From purchase to sale valuation could increase for improvements.

Gary Scoggin

I think this is how it is done in California. It works in tha rising valuations don't make an existing home unaffordable, but since the bottom line is revenue, tax rates would have to be adjusted to account for all the frozen valuations.

Bailey Jones

I'm going to agree with both Gary's today. I like the idea of freezing valuations between sales. And I like the transparency that would put upon tax rates - you couldn't hide a tax increase with increasing valuations.

Freezing valuations also has another good effect - especially in a place like Galveston. People would no longer avoid painting and maintaining their houses for fear of their taxes going up.

But then that raises the issue of renovation - if you buy a wreck for $50K and turn it into a jewel worth $250K, do you still get to claim the $50K valuation? I think I'm going to say yes - the county loses out on some tax money but a house gets improved which raises the value of every nearby property.

Theresa Elliott

The City and County should help the businesses and residents by calling for a zero revenue increase tax rate. Protesting is good but won't result in enough of a reduction to really help.

Carol Dean

Theresa, sometimes your ARB members will surprise you and manage to squeeze a lot more of a reduction then just having an informal protest with CAD appraiser.

Jack Cross

Theresa, for the past 5 years the county has cut the tax rate. They use what is called the effective tax rate meaning that they set a tax rate that will bring in the same amount of taxes as the previous year.

Dan Freeman

On June 1, 1937 Roosevelt gave a speech on the topic of tax evasion, where he quoted Mr. Justice Holmes: “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” He then continued “Too many individuals, however, want the civilization at a discount.”

Carol Dean

Not relevant to this discussion.

Gary Scoggin

Since my appraisal is based on market value, here's how I view it. If I was trying to sell my house right now and if the appraisal was an offer....

If I would jump on that offer immediately, my appraisal is too high.

If I would reject that offer out of hand, my appraisal is too low.

If I would really have to think it over, my appraisal is about right.

Based on this, my latest appraisal is too high, not wildly so, but if I wanted to move and it were an offer I'd take it.

Patricia Smothers

Suddenly our previously 2 bdrm 2 bath home appraisal went from $290,000 to 805,000. We are looking for anyone that will pay the higher appraisal. Outrageous!

Bailey Jones

I hope you have the homestead cap!

Dwight Burns

I pray people remember this as they vote these Law makers into office.

Jeannette Guest

Sounds like a cash grab by the greedy city democrats.

Gary Scoggin

What Democrats are you talking about? The County and the State are both firmly controlled by Republicans.

Carol Dean

Republicans may hold the majority, but that doesn't mean they are in control. Yes, there are many RINOS amongst us!

Gary Scoggin

Specifically, who are the RINOs that are driving the increases in appraisals?

Dwight Burns

Bull. Galveston County is for a fact one of the most controlled Republican strong holds in America.

Richard George

I'm still waiting on the approval of the state lottery to help with the school tax burden..

Follow the money...

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