Why San Angelo Businesses are Facing Steep Property Value Increases and Tax Bills
SAN ANGELO, TX – Monday is the last day to file an appeal of a property tax appraisal in the Appraisal District of Tom Green County. The appraisal district mailed out 28,000 letters informing property owners their property values increased significantly this year.
Joe Lee is one of the property owners whose property value skyrocketed.
Lee owns Dean’s Marine at the intersection of Knickerbocker Rd and Johnson St. and is the owner of three properties in San Angelo. Within one year, Lee's tax bill increased from $6,500 to $11,600 because the appraisal district increased the value of his property; “My taxes nearly doubled in one year,” Lee said.
For example, the value of the storage units behind his business on Knickerbocker went from $20,930 to $178,750. Lee believes the increase was not in the value of the building, but the value of the land. “My business is on Knickerbocker and the increased value is because of Cane’s Chicken and Chick-fil-A. Those businesses inflated the land value along Knickerbocker and Jackson.”
Lee filed a protest on his business property but not his home. “I’m tired of the overall attitude of 'we don’t care about small business in San Angelo'. I can’t pass that cost on to my customers.” Lee explained that he has been in business for 30 years in San Angelo and 18 years at his current location, “I don’t want to have to shut down my business and sell the property. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Lee says taxpayers and property owners should file protests as soon as possible and flood the system, “I don’t want to sell. They are running small businesses out of town.”
Property owners can file a protest with the Appraisal Review Board. The protest form is online at the Appraisal District’s website http://www.tomgreencad.com.
Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd said value of taxable property in the county increased by $311 million in 2017. Certified taxable property in 2016 was $6.163 billion in 2016 and the preliminary estimate for 2017 is $6.474 billion. This information was presented by the appraisal district to county commissioners on June 29 during a budget hearing.
Floyd stated that in 2015 the Texas Comptroller’s office changed the way property value is assessed, “the Comptroller began separating the land from buildings and other improvements.” Now the land is given a value and the improvements are given a value, but it's the land value that is increasing the overall value. Floyd said the appraisal district is getting squeezed between the Comptroller’s mandates and property owners who are protesting the higher land appraisals.
Tom Green County does not set property values. The appraisal district sets property values at the direction of the Texas Comptroller’s office.
The Tom Green County Appraisal District directors are: Louis Gomez, chairman; John Begnaud, vice chairman; John Conn, secretary; and board members Bob Reeves and Russell DeVore.
The Appraisal Review Board members are: Ruth Ann McClain chair-person; Rick Howard, secretary; members Dean McIntyre, Paul Martin and Bobbie Foreman; and alternate member Scott Tankersley.