Rockdale ISD, county eye ‘major decrease’ in values

CAMERON—The Milam County Appraisal District (MCAD) is certifying preliminary taxable values to tax units and the Rockdale ISD and Milam County can expect “major decreases” in 2012 values.

That’s the word from Chief Appraiser Pat Moraw, who said while the preliminary values should be viewed as a starting point, the county and RISD are going to show big decreases with slight increases for Milam’s other 16 taxing units.

HOMES, MINERALS— Moraw said new homes built in 2011 helped reduce the value loss of some taxing units along with the increase in minerals.

“Every property is unique, but overall, there should not be a value increase of residential properties that have not been substantially changed from 2011 to 2012,” she said.

Even though the market may be softening in the district, with homes staying on the market for a longer period of time, reported sales of residential properties indicate the 2011 values are comparable with the current market, according to Moraw.

She said mineral values increased in the five tax units which are subject of mineral production.

REAPPRAISALS—The Appraisal District reappraised all commercial improvements regardless of type of use for 2012.

“The process allowed the District to address the economics of the area. All properties were reviewed on-site to assure uniformity of class and depreciation. The District mailed income questionnaires to commercial owners and used the responses to determine an economic adjustment,” she said.

“ The process prov ided the means for the property owners to contribute to the valuation of that category of property,” Moraw said. “The Appraisal District appreciates their cooperation.”

The MCAD received less than the usual number of reported sales which Moraw contributed to a decrease in overall property transactions according to Appraisal District records.

“The lack of reported sales has always presented a problem when it comes to appraising property for ad valorem taxation.” Moraw said. “Property owners are the only source of sales the Appraisal District has. Local realtors represent their clients, so the responsibility rests with the purchasers and sellers.

AG UNITS—One category that affected all tax units was the ag valuation increase.

“Whereas cropland values were affected more than pasture land, the taxable value was affected due to the number of acres receiving this special valuation,” Moraw said. “The formula outlined in the tax code to determine values includes production for 2006—10 to calculate 2012 value.

She emphasized that the preliminary values include agricultural properties that may be subject to agricultural valuation after applications are filed. Applications filed after the notice cutoff date will be processed by June 15. The district will mail all agricultural denials by certified mail, allowing for a 30-day protest period. Property owners may continue to apply for the special valuation until certification of the appraisal records in mid-July. Late applications for ag use valuation would result in loss of value for all rural units.

Another projected loss for the tax units is the late application for homestead and over 65 exemptions. “This reduction in taxable value is in addition to value change due to appeals,” Moraw said.

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