County Judge Tom Bonn rolled out his 2011-2012 with a big announcement that he was lowering the property tax rate by .0001 cent. That’s $1 tax reduction for every $10,000 your property is assessed.
But wait a minute. My tax bill is higher than it was last year. How could that be, if the tax rate went down?
With little fanfare, Judge Bonn’s budget letter had the fact that property valuations would be going up. When he was questioned about the increase in revenues during the budget public hearing, Judge Bonn said that property value increases accounted for part of the new revenue.
Again, how can that be, when property values all over the United States, including Texas, are decreasing. What is it in Caldwell County that would cause property values to increase? I can’t answer that question. I’m not even sure that property values are going up.
I checked with a couple of neighbors, and sure enough, their valuation went up as well. Some are double digit increases, like mine, others have a few zeros behind it. Go take a look at your own. Is the valuation higher? If so, is it reasonable?
Go to www.caldwellcad.org. Click on “Property Search” in the upper right of the screen. Now you can look for your property. (Mine didn’t come up with my address, only by using my last name.) Once you find your property, click on “View Details” on the right. Of particular interest are “Improvement/Buildings” (is there something there that’s not on your property?), “Land ,” and “Roll Value History” (Does this year’s valuation seem in line with the past valuations?) NOTE: 2012 valuations are not posted yet. But the 2011 valuation information is helpful.
What if you think your property has been appraised too high? There are some remedies still available. Please read Taxpayers’ Rights, Remedies and Responsibilities from the Texas Comptrollers office for possible appeals.
Even if you can’t get a re-assessment, if enough property owners let their displeasure known, county officials will know that this is not the way to do business.
What do you think about the property valuations?