Dennis Alexander couldn’t believe the central appraisal district thought his duplex was so valuable.

The investment property on Avenue M in Galveston he bought two years ago is a fixer-upper. He has been trying to do most of the fixing up himself. It needs a new roof, new bathrooms, new air conditioning and new plumbing. He has gotten repairs under way in only one of the units, he said.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(3) comments

Carol Dean

"Tens of thousands"? The Galveston County Appraisal Review Board would be "hard pressed" to hear that number of protests.

ARB ARE required to take annual , monitored training in regards to their work. No, you do not have to have previous experience to apply for a position, but the State Comptroller's office requires annual training for all of the ARB members.

People who are interested in applying for a position on the Galveston County ARB should look for advertising in the GCDN and the CAD website , in the fall, for information on "how to apply".

Bill Sterchi

I am certainly protesting mine, however mark my words - IT WILL NOT DO ANY GOOD. The taxing "authority" is beyond control, and they will do whatever they want to. My Land value, which has been the same for 20 years, went up 800%. Real estate prices have taken a healthy rise from last year, adding a bit over 20% in value to my property. Just 12 months, 20%. I can certainly remember a time when the tax value of property was 15 to 25% below market value. The potential buyer, upon having the property appraised for loan value was pleasantly surprised when the asking price was much closer to appraised value and the tax value did not rise. No longer. It seems the County Appraisal District started looking at MARKET value to base their TAX value on. Makes their job pretty easy - just copy what Zillow has and stick it to 'em. Far as I'm concerned, they can all take a long walk off a short pier.

Carol Dean

There are multiple reasons that some of the values have gone up this year, but that does not necessarily mean you cannot get YOUR values reduced. The CAD uses "market" to determine land and "improvement" taxes. Improvement refers to your house or other building structures on your land. It does NOT mean you have done any improvements to anything.

With mortgage rates at an all time low, people appear to be buying a lot more land and houses then ever before. Land prices in some areas started rising in some specific areas about 3 years ago. Other areas of land were not evaluated over an extensive period of time, no fault of the taxpayer, and are recently being being raised to overcome previous shortcomings.

PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST! Take in photos of the condition of your house and other improvements if there is damage. The best thing to do is to include a copy of the estimate from a qualified repair person or company to support your losses. Unless your house and improvements are "ready for sale", they should not be compared for a house that is currently listed for sale.

Real estate listings do not use the same required comparisons and adjustments that the State requires the Appraisal District to use. Normally Real estate values will be less.

Also let your County Government officials know that you are not happy with their established tax rate. I don't care what Mark Henry and Ken Clark tell yo when they brag about how much they have reduced the rates...it just is not in line with the increases in Market Value.

Ask for a Formal Hearing with the Tax Appraisal Review Board if you are not happy with what an appraiser offers you in the Informal Hearing. Remember, whatever value that is offered to you in the informal Hearing will be null and void when you go to your Formal Hearing.

An in person hearing is highly recommended versus an Affidavit, Phone, or Online Protest. Good Luck! You can DO this!

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