Resident Urging Others To Protest HCAD Property Values
West U. resident Joe Foster plans to dispute his appraised property value, and has been passing out a flyer recently urging other residents to do the same. Foster says values of as much as $95 per square foot are “absurd” in the current market, and that the more resident who protest, the more likely it is that the Harris County Appraisal District will have to lower the appraised values.
“What I am asking residents in our area to do is to protest the HCAD 2009 property valuation, which is West U. is even more absurd than it has been because they raised it 10 percent for 2009 even though the West U. market is, at very best, flat,” said Foster.
HCAD is limited to a 10 percent increase per year.
“They can raise the 10 percent every year until they run out of headroom, and that’s what happened this year,” said Foster, referring to the fact that the appraised value of a home cannot exceed the appraised market value. “West U. market values have not gone up significantly, in some cases they have gone down, but where there was headroom for the district to raise the appraised value 10 percent as usual and not go over the market, they did. Now the market and appraised are the same in many cases. Lets say the market next year is like this year – well, they can say, ‘we will raise the market value 5 percent, that way we can raise the appraised value too.’”
West U. Councilman-elect George Boehme received one of Foster’s flyers, although Boehme was unaware of the author. He responded on his blog, georgeboehme.com, saying that he appreciated the effort put into gathering the information and informing residents.
“Thanks for whoever did it,” said Boehme. “They did the research, paid to print the flyer, and then passed it out in the hot sun. They have some sweat in the game. It is worth a look.”
Boehme says he plans to protest online the valuation of a lot he owns.
“HCAD estimates our property’s market value on January 1, 2009. They value my lot at $95 foot,” said Boehme. “There is no way that was the market value on January 1. I thank the author of this anonymous authorship for alerting me to this overvaluation. And I will file a protest online with http://www.hcad.org/ . It is simple to do. It might be worth a shot for you too.”
The deadline to file a protest is midnight on May 31.