The Grayson Central Appraisal District has mailed out the 2020 Notice of Appraised Values.
Chief Appraiser Shawn Coker said that with residential sales volume being at an all-time high, there has been no shortage of data to use for analysis.
In 2019, there were over 2,000 home sales in Grayson County, and through the most current data for 2020, there have been almost 600 sales as of the end of April. With Grayson having such a demand for housing, there has also been over 1,000 new homes built in 2019.
"When you take out the value for new construction, there was an approximate 6 percent change in overall market value across the county," Coker said. "This average includes residential, commercial, industrial, minerals and all other property types. Some areas in higher demand saw double-digit increases whereas some areas saw a decrease in value."
Due to the COVID pandemic and delay in sending notices, GCAD has extended the deadline to file a protest until June 15, even for those not receiving a notice of appraised value.
GCAD is encouraging taxpayers to use their "Online Protest" portal on their website as a means of communicating with the staff. You may also file a written protest and deliver by mail or in the drop box at the GCAD office.
"We are not having in-person informal meetings this year. It is critical that I mitigate staff exposure during this pandemic so that we can expeditiously assist as many taxpayers as possible. We realize that many people would rather visit in person, but we are finding that using our online tools, we can assist more taxpayers and exchange documentation in an effective way. Since we interact with thousands of protests this time of year, we are trying to help taxpayers stay safe as well, while still being able to serve in an efficient manner," Coker said.
For those who are not able to settle a filed protest prior to a formal hearing, there will be several options for taxpayers to choose from.
"If we can’t reach an agreement and if a taxpayer wants a formal hearing, we are encouraging a hearing by affidavit or by telephone," he said. "The Appraisal Review Board sets the hearing schedule, and being independent of the appraisal district, they tell me they will aim to hear the affidavits and telephone hearings first in hope the pandemic will continue to flatten. Then they will have the in-person hearings as soon as they can, ensuring everyone wanting a hearing is afforded one."
The appraisal review board should start hearings in mid-June.
The Texas Property Tax Code requires appraisal districts to value as of January 1st of every year and to be at market value. Coker, along with various organizations, has reached out to state representatives, the Attorney General’s office and the Governor’s office to see if any considerations would be given in light of the COVID pandemic.
To date, the state officials have not given appraisal districts any authority to deviation from the requirements of the tax code.