He was elected by the citizens of Lubbock and now he's standing up for the very people that put him in office. City Councilman Gary Boren is speaking out about the 2003 appraisals, that includes an almost 12% increase on property values. Boren is proposing a state wide resolution to balance the increase.
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In the last three weeks more than 1,000 Lubbock County citizens have gone to the Central Appraisal office to protest their taxes. "I received our tax appraisal statement and the amount had gone up a little over 10%, I guess and we had our house refinanced about a year ago and the value was about eight thousand less than what they have it appraised for on this statement," said Lubbock citizen Paula Wilkinson.
"I received the appraisal for our house and it increased 9.9% which I think is a little bit high," says Brent Cejda, Lubbock citizen.
Director of Appraisals Patrick Brown says people protest every increase, but this increase has some people upset because it's two in a row. "What we are commissioned to do is to come up with market value and whether the market is strong like it is right now or whether its weak, we have to follow those trends and if there's an increase in the general market value there will be here too."
But City Councilman Gary Boren says that is unacceptable. He says people shouldn't be subject to such dramatic increases whether they improved their property or not. "What I propose is it doesn't matter what a person's home value is as whatever amount the money goes up your home goes up, that your tax rates go down automatically to equal the same amount of money the taxing entity brought in the previous year. We hope to put this in effect for our citizens to get our State Representatives Carl Isett, Representative Delwin Jones and Senator Robert Duncan to carry this to Austin to amend a state code so that in all cities across Texas if values go up the tax rate by law has to go down. Then at budget time every tax entity has to vote to increase taxes."
Boren is hoping this resolution will pass the city, and be addressed in the special legislative session this fall. He urges any concerned citizen to voice their concerns to local elected officials.
You can protest your appraisal until June 23rd.