Areas Residents Headed for Property Tax Increase - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/25/04

Areas Residents Headed for Property Tax Increase

Property value notices were sent out Monday for Lubbock and surrounding areas. In Lubbock County, they went up more than 8%. That means an increase in property tax is inevitable.

In the city of Lubbock, a healthy real estate market this year means property values are on the rise and they're bringing property taxes with them. Just last year, homeowners in Lubbock were slammed with increased taxes after a 7.5 % jump in average property values. This year they increased an average of 8.4%. Homeowner, Melanie May says, "Last year was a significant increase in property value so our taxes of course went up. Overall it was a 15% increase."

That above average increase last year has May dreading what could be in her mailbox on Wednesday. She says, "Who wants to open their mail and see how high the taxes are going to be next year. I'm not looking forward to it."

City Councilman, Gary Boren, says increasing property values is an underhanded way for governments to raise money. He says, "We're just pushing for truth in taxation. When appraisals go up, by law, the tax rate has to go down."

Chief Appraiser for Lubbock Central Appraisal District, David Kimbrough, agrees the property tax system is overburdened in Texas, but he says the market value system is fair, "Market value appraisal is simply the allocation of that tax burden amongst all the property owners that have to pay it. So, from an equity standpoint market value is the best measured standard."

Most homeowners pay their taxes through their mortgage, so that means a higher monthly payment if your taxes increase this year, but you don't have to sit down and take it. Boren says, "The people need to get aggressive. You need to get to the appraisers office and protest if your value is too high. We need an onslaught on our appraisal office to lower those appraisals."

Residential appraisals were sent out Tuesday and many homeowners will receive them Wednesday. They have 30 days to protest at the Lubbock Central Appraisal district. The number is (806) 762-5000

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