The new $4,831,861 budget for the Grayson Central Appraisal District is up $524,326 over the current budget. The proposed 2020 budget for the Grayson Central Appraisal District was approved by the Grayson County Commissioners Tuesday.


Brett Graham, who is the county’s representative on the GCAD’s Board, said most of that increase is in salaries and new staff.


Information on the GCAD’s website shows that the entity added three new positions to its staff in the 2020 budget. The current year’s budget compensated 34 employees and 2020’s budget will compensate 37.


Graham said the 2019 certified tax roll for Grayson County is $17,160,000 which is a 12 percent increase over the 2018 certified tax roll of $15,300,000. The new value or new construction for 2019, Graham said, is approximately $325 million. That does not include business personal property which is estimated to be around $200 million.


“So you’re looking at about a half a billion dollars in new construction along with business personal property,” he said.


The number of accounts managed by the GCAD, he said, is up to 106,000. In 2008, the data Graham provided at the meeting showed, the GCAD had 98,000 accounts.


“But that’s a good thing. The growth has been exceptional,” he said.


There were 8,213 protests in 2019 as compared to 5,769 in 2018, and the number of protest hearings also went up this year to 1,800 from 800 in 2018.


“Obviously when you have the kind of and property appreciation that we’re seeing, that is not a surprise,” he said.


Some of the things that state law makers require the GCAD to do for property owners now includes emailing value notices upon request, and Graham said they happy to do so, but it will cost labor to get it done. Appraisal districts must also create and maintain a property tax database website that is separate from the CAD website which will cost around $5,000 to maintain annually plus staff to operate, he said.


Graham likes the one such website he has seen which was for Travis County.


“It’s pretty cool. If you’re a tax payer, you can look at basically a dashboard of your property and all of the history on it and past years,” he said.


In addition, the state also decided that appraisal districts can no longer charge those appealing an appraisal for making protest evidence packets.


He then explained to the commissioners how the state checks to see if the local appraisal district is doing the job its designed to do.


“The state comes in each year and does a property value study. That means they go into the county and they’re gonna pull samples of appraisals all over the county,” he said. They will pick different kinds of property including residential, land and commercial.


“They are gonna basically perform their own appraisal on it and then they’re going to compare it to our assessed value. If, after all of that’s done, they determine that the Grayson Central Appraisal District is more than five percent plus or minus, if we are not in the confidence interval of 95 to 100 percent, that’s trouble.”


He said if the GCAD misses that mark two years in a row, the taxing entities, most of which are school districts, lose revenue.


“I know the public is frustrated with their assessments,” Graham said, but he wants people to know that what the GCAD is up against with the state.


In 2018, the GCAD was at 98 percent, which meant they were one percent undervalued on the state audit.


Grayson Central Appraisal District Board of Directors has two roles, to hire and fire the chief appraiser and to set the budget. Members of that board include, in addition to Graham, Charles Williams, Lynn Mitchusson, Ryan Johnson, Michael Baecht, and Bruce Stidham who is an ex officio member.


What do you think about the appraisal district’s 2020 budget? Let Editor Jerrie Whiteley know at JWhiteley@HeraldDemocrat.com.