Milam Appraisal District values fall below state value assignment in Rockdale
Rockdale ISD is faced with losing state funding because the locally appraised values of homes and businesses did not reach the 95 percent of sales prices, the ratio mandated in state law.
Lesley Sootoo, Chief Appraiser for Milam County District, said the appraisal district and local schools learned of the study results in early February.
The difference between the state assigned value and the local value is $66 million. Categories of property not reaching state mandated levels were single family homes, homes on acreage, and local commercial property.
The results mean potential loss of state funding. Appeals have been filed by attorneys, but the differences are so significant that the appeals are not likely to bring the school into compliance.
Sootoo lamented the results.
“It is really bad news for all of us,” Sootoo said. “This means that we will have to increase values again this year after significant increases in the past two years. Sales prices have been out of sight for the past two years, and we feel there was some panic buying just before interest rates began to increase. We are watching the market for a hopeful downturn but are not yet seeing lower sales prices.”
“There is some good news for local taxpayers,” said Sootoo. “Persons with a homestead exemption are limited to a 10 percent increase from the prior year, and that will help to restrict major increases for homeowners. Also, for homesteaded properties whose owners are over 65 or disabled, their school taxes are capped so nothing will change for them on their school taxes, regardless of the value changes.”
Notices will be sent to taxpayers with value increases in May. A protest form will be included as well as instructions on how to file a protest on line.
“We just want to get the values correct so that the local schools will be fully funded,” said Ms. Sootoo. “If taxpayers have evidence that we are wrong, we will gladly correct our values. Good evidence to bring to the district are recent purchase paperwork, recent fee appraisals, or interior pictures showing problem areas that would impact sales prices.”
Sootoo said taxpayers should not contact the appraisal district until after May 9, 2023; as the values will not be set until then.