Here we are just over halfway through 2010 and the appraisal district is certifying 2010 values and starting the 2011 appraisal district process. The Appraisal Review Board has approved the records for 2010 in what was probably the lightest protest year in the history of Erath County Appraisal District. There were a total of 382 property accounts that were protested and set for hearings, 234 of those dismissed their protest prior to the hearing. That left only 148 property accounts set for hearings and 84 of those accounts did not show for the hearing. These low protest numbers are due to the small number of accounts that increased in value out of our 50,000 plus parcels.

Taxing jurisdiction roll values will have little change because of the low number of properties that increased in value. Many jurisdictions will see decreases in total value due to lower mineral and commercial values. Erath County and the Middle Trinity Water District values are decreasing by $32 million. The City of Stephenville is loosing $12 million in value on their roll. While the City of Dublin will drop $2 million. Stephenville ISD value is down by $6 million. Dublin ISD is seeing an increase in its value by $2 million. All of the smaller rural school districts in Erath County will have to deal with decreases in value. With Huckabay ISD off by over $1million, Lingleville ISD down by $20 million, Morgan Mill ISD decreasing by $10 million and Bluff Dale ISD off by $11 million. The ISDs’ that the Erath County Appraisal District also provide values to, that lie in adjoining counties, saw decreases in value except Hico ISD and Santo ISD. These two schools have increases of $1 million and $900 thousand respectively. Deleon, Gordon, Iredell and Lipan ISDs’ will see collective decreases of just under $7 million.

These value roll figures will now go to the taxing jurisdictions for the taxing process. The jurisdiction will determine effective tax rates and finally the tax rates that set how much tax each of us will pay. The budgetary needs of each jurisdiction determine the tax rate needed to produce enough revenue to satisfy that budget.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns with property tax values or how the Texas Property Tax system works, please contact us here at the appraisal district office.

Jerry Lee is the Erath County Chief Appraiser. His column runs monthly.