August 17, 2021 By Nannette Kilbey-SmithWilson County News
Due to the number of protests filed by property owners in Wilson County, the Wilson County Appraisal District has been granted an extension by the state; instead of certifying . tax rolls for county taxing entities by July 25, the appraisal district now has until Sept. 1.
The Texas Comptroller Property Tax Assistance Division granted the extension.
This is because the appraisal district still had 5.68 percent of property-tax protests outstanding. To meet its July deadlines, that needed to be 5 percent or less.
Taxing entities — such as school districts, the county, cities, and other governing bodies — received “certified estimates” July
25, in lieu of certified totals.Total values
“The appraisal review board approved the appraisal records on Wednesday, Aug. 11,” said Chief Appraiser Jennifer Coldewey. “The entities have been provided the certified totals.”
Although some taxing entities found little difference between the certified estimates and certified totals, Wilson County Emergency Services District 1 — which provides fire coverage in northeastern Wilson County — found the certified total was $100 million less
than the estimate provided in late July, down from the appraisal district’s estimate of $1.818 billion total property value in its coverage area, to $1.713 billion. This prompted the ESD 1 board to hold an emergency meeting Aug. 15 to revise its proposed tax rate (see related story, page 6A).
District 1 Fire & Rescue Chief Chris Thompson said this was a success for property owners, but the huge difference in property values presented a challenge for the ESD 1 board in finalizing its budget and calculating a tax rate.
The total net taxable property value for Wilson County, based on the certified totals, is $4.97 billion.
As of Aug. 13, there were still 1,594 outstanding protests. A total of 7,644 property owners filed to protest their proposed property valuations received in the spring. Hearings before the appraisal review boards (ARB) will continue through Sept. 16, according to Coldewey.Moving forward
“Now that WCAD has processed most of the protests, there is time to reflect and evaluate changes and policies that may help in future years,” Coldewey said. Suggestions from staff, taxpayers, and agents “hopefully will help avoid misinformation and improve the overall cycle,” she added.
•Utilizing the appraisal district website, www.wilson-cad.org
, “to provide owners with accurate information and updates”
•Creating print handouts, available in the office, for those who don’t own or use computers
•Posting areas where appraisers are performing field work; “We hope this will help address the community’s concerns with identifying when and where the appraisers are out in the field,” Coldewey said. Appraisers will return to the field once ARB hearings are complete.
Updates also may appear in ads in the newspaper, depending on available funds, the chief appraiser said.
“Most importantly, owners can come in any time of year, call, or email, and ask questions about their account(s),” Coldewey explained. “We’ve heard from quite a few owners who thought they could only come in during protest season to go over what structures are on their account or ask questions about the property tax process.
“Taxpayers are welcome to contact us any time during the year with questions, concerns, or suggestions,” she email@example.com