Howard County Property Owners Upset With Rise in Property Taxes - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Howard County Property Owners Upset With Rise in Property Taxes

By Zora Asberry

NewsWest 9

HOWARD COUNTY - Property owners in Howard County are outraged after many received a letter that their property appraisal taxes were going up.

Judge Kathryn Wiseman of Howard County, said, "We are just now beginning to look at the tax appraisal values and trying to set a tax rate. Ronnie Babcock, our tax appraiser for this district, tells me that there has already been many protests filed, as many as 200."

Scott Emerson, property owner and protester, said, "Every Texan has the right to protest the value of the the property tax that's placed on his property."

Outraged property owners have already planned on protesting the rising property appraisal taxes on May 21 outside of the Howard County Appraisal District.

"I understand people are upset because their property appraisal values have gone up. Well the other side of that is that is that their effective tax rate will go down for the county, the schools and the city," said Wiseman.

Officials say that this will help balance out the budget to keep it around the same amount as it was last year. But property owners still feel strongly about keeping their property taxes at an affordable rate.

"Protesting your taxes on the valuation side, there's a five prong process. The first process is to turn the form over, fill it out, take it back to the office saying you want to protest," said Emerson.

The next step in the process is to go before the appraisal review board and make an appeal, then property owners can begin a class action suit.

"Ten years from now, fifteen years from now, if they go up a little bit every year or a lot every year, does it ever stop?" said Emerson.

Wiseman says the best to do if you are unhappy with your appraisal value is to work on a negotiation.

"If they get their appraisal value, and they don't like it, then they should make an appointment with their tax appraisal office to talk to them about it. Come to an agreement. We can do nothing until all of the tax property owners agree on a tax so we can set the rate," said Wiseman. 

The deadline to fill out paperwork is May 28. Property owners can go online to www.southwestdata.com to view their property tax information and to fill out the necessary forms to begin the protesting process.

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