By John E. (Jack) Cavenah Sr.–
Our local school systems are financed through the collection of property taxes on the basis of Value as appraised by the Parker County Appraisal District (PCAD). The same is true of our county roads, community colleges, regional hospital districts, EMS districts, volunteer fire departments in the form of subsidies, and many other services too numerous to mention here. This is not cheap as you very well know each time you look at your appraisal and write the check for the payment of the taxes on your property.
Why then would the PCAD Chief Appraiser allow an agricultural exemption to be “passed” from one owner to another when property changes ownership? (in direct violation of state mandated guidelines) This causes Parker County to lose millions of dollars in lost revenue each and every year. This Chief appraiser also has granted appraisal reductions amounting to many millions of dollars in lost revenue, at a time when according to Texas State Property Publications indicate property in Parker and surrounding counties is increasing in value at a rate far surpassing the rest of the state. See link below.
(www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/cadreports/asr/parker.ch02b.html ) This link also addresses the poor performance of PCAD in complying with state guidelines on appraisal techniques. I don’t know the actual date of the report, it is not listed.
I went over 50 random properties that have received reductions in evaluation ranging from $270.00 to $225,270.00, and the tax loss on the $2,038,150.00 reduction on just these 50 random properties is $50,725.45. These properties also enjoy agricultural exemptions, so the true loss of revenue is really much higher.
Are you now getting a little clearer picture of why you are being taxed to and beyond the limits of your budget?
One think that the folks at PCAD, who are in complete control of the amount of revenue is available to this county would be just a little more conscientious in the awarding of tax breaks in the form of cutting appraisals which have existed for years on open or so called “agricultural land”. After all, what can you possibly do to the land to earn a reduction in value? When was the last time your taxes went down because your property received a lower appraisal? Never? Mine hasn’t either.
My complaint to the TSLR has yet to bear fruit, but I will not, repeat not, just quit trying to bring some form of fair taxation and lawful application of the State mandated rules, which PCAD so cavalierly disregards.
Hopefully we will get a new (different) County Judge in the next election, one who will make the effort to reign in county employees who refuse to follow the rules and cost this county millions in lost revenue. It is within Judge Riley’s scope of influence and authority to alleviate this situation; he just refuses to do so.
The “GOOD ‘OLE BOY CLUB” is alive and deeply entrenched in Parker County Texas, and they are picking your pocket on a daily basis. Don’t like that scenario? Vote the incumbents out, and start fresh with someone who doesn’t care about more than their fame and public image than they do about you and I.
See ‘Open Letter to County Officials’ written by Jack Cavenah.