Milam A D

New name of entity recognizes independence from county

he Milam County Appraisal District (MCAD) has decided it will drop the word “county” from its title, and become the Milam Appraisal District.

That’s been a long-standing request of county government. In fact, county commissioners even formalized that request by passing a resolution asking for the change.

Here’s why. Decades after its creation, more than a few people are still under the impression that the MCAD is another arm of county government.

It’s understandable—County judge, county clerk, county attorney, county treasurer, county appraisal district.

Except the appraisal district is not, and never has been, part of the county government.

What is the county appraisal district anyway? It used to be virtually every Texas entity had a position called a tax assessor-collector. Some still call it that even though it has been a long time since any assessing has been done.

Problem was the assessing process wasn’t uniform. You could have your property worth one figure to the county, one to the school district and one to the city. (Note, we’re not talking about tax rates, just the assessments.)

Taxpayers kept asking how the same piece of property could have different value to different jurisdictions. And that was a pretty good question.

So Texas created the appraisal district, charged with placing one, hopefully fair, value on the same piece of property, giving that figure to all the entities involved and then letting the magic of calculating tax rates take its course.

The “new” MilamAD—that’s the way they’ll abbreviate it—will function the same as the old one. Except now, hopefully, Milam residents will understand the courthouse isn’t the place to go with a question about your appraisal.

That would be 120 North Houston Street in Cameron, about three blocks away from the courthouse.

In fact, that’s been the place to go for about three decades. Hopefully the new name will help.—M.B.

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2012-06-07 digital edition

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