UCAD head outlines new appraisal plan

Jennifer Fry

Staff writer

Uvalde County Appraisal District chief appraiser Roberto Valdez’s preliminary reappraisal plan includes processes for the next three years.

Though Valdez called it a tentative plan when he outlined it May 15 to UCAD board directors, he hopes to begin to implement the plan as early as September.

Valdez plans to submit a more complete reappraisal plan on May 5 to both the board and the taxing entities in order for them to look it over before the board meeting.

Proposed Plan

Every three years, the appraisal district is required to inspect one-third of the county. Beginning Sept. 3, the district plans to reappraise properties in Nueces Canyon, Leakey, Utopia and Sabinal Independent School Districts – a total of 11,988 parcels. The district plans to end appraisals for the named properties April 30, 2019.

For the 2020 appraisal season, slated September of 2019 to April of 2020, the district plans to reappraise properties within the city limits designated under Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District jurisdiction, along with Knippa Independent School District properties. A total of 12,763 parcels are planned to be appraised at that time.

In 2021, UCAD plans to revisit properties that have just been reappraised, those under UCISD jurisdiction which are outside the city limits, which total 10,689 parcels.

Public Action

According to section six of the Texas Tax Code, appraisal districts are to put together a reappraisal plan every two years. In order for the plan to be approved, the district must host a public hearing, which is set for Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Though by law they have until Sept. 15, the board of directors are set to adopt the plan on Aug. 14. Copies of the approved plan will then be distributed to the taxing entities UCAD services, as well as to the Texas comptroller of public accounts, the following day.

Process of Reappraisal

Legally, there are several reasons for the reappraisal. At the board meeting, Valdez summarized them into three categories: re-inspection of the property, updating the value of each property to reflect new construction and its current condition, and keeping up with the market.

“Value updates is what I believe was lacking in this office,” Valdez said.

Valdez said the UCAD office had been valuing properties under market value for three to four years. The methods and appraisal process had not been re-evaluated in eight to 10 years.

“That’s what’s kept the values so behind,” he said. “We’re just trying to bring them up to fair market value.”

Monica Lara, who has been an employee of the appraisal district for much of the last 10 years, said previous administrations did not focus on land values. However accurately they would assess a house, the value was still low – an oversight Valdez and his team is working to correct.

“We’re not always out to raise value,” Lara said before adding that the goal is to make them fair values.

“We’re correcting the inequalities,” Valdez said. Through the reappraisals that have already taken place, the values are approaching or even at the market value.

“A big part of this is to level the playing field,” said Blaine Bennett, UCAD board president, at the board meeting. “One thing they all [the public] didn’t realize is that we haven’t been keeping shop. It eventually benefits everybody.”

Notices

More than 18,000 notices of reappraisal were mailed Friday. If property owners disagree with the appraisal, they must submit a protest to the UCAD office by June 25.



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