The Erath County Appraisal District board of directors is searching for a few good candidates to serve on the county's appraisal review board.
At the Monday meeting of the Stephenville Independent School District board of trustees, Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd said following the resignation of three appraisal review board (ARB) members, ECAD is seeking qualified applicants to serve.
Floyd said ARB board members Tillman Chaplin and Jerry Bradley recently tendered their resignations while another member had previously resigned.
According to ECAD board member and Erath County Tax Assesssor/Collector Jennifer Carey, the ARB typically functions as a five-member board, although it has at times functioned with fewer members.
Reading from a letter from Chief Appraiser Jerry Lee and the ECAD board, Floyd said the ARB does not have the numbers it needs to set a quorum. Currently, only two board members remain ready to serve.
According to the website of state comptroller Susan Combs, the ARB is the first level of appraisal review in the property tax system, and has no role in appraising property.
Simply put, the ARB is the first stop for property taxpayers within the ECAD who have a dispute with their appraisals.
While protests across the state are typically heard from mid-May until mid to late-July, Carey said local protests do not typically last as long. She said since property owners have not in most cases seen recent appraisal increases, fewer protests are being heard by the local ARB.
The letter from ECAD to area taxing jurisdictions said the board will elect members following the Jan. 7 application deadline.
As of Monday, one community member has stepped up to serve on the board - Billy Mobley.
Carey said Mobley, who has served as an ARB member in the past, would be a good fit due to his past experience, and agreed that finding applicants willing to serve has become increasingly difficult.
"The Appraisal Review Board is a very important and powerful part of the ad valorem taxation process," a separate letter signed by Lee stated. "It is to your advantage, as a taxing entity, to help place knowledgeable, conscientious people in these positions."
In regards to qualifications, the letter said elected officials may serve on the ARB, and applicants must have resided within the ECAD for at least two years.
An individual may not serve on the ARB it they are an ECAD board member; employee or officer of the ECAD or one of the taxing jurisdiction within the appraisal district; an employee of the comptroller of public accounts; closely related to an individual who is employed as a tax agent or a property tax appraiser in the district; or if the potential applicant has delinquent taxes.
"The appraisal district and the board of directors need your help in finding those who would be willing to serve," Lee wrote, adding that the positions are paid $20 per hour.
Applications to serve on the ARB are available at the ECAD office, located at 1390 Harbin Drive in Stephenville. For more information, call the appraisal office at 965-5434.