A LOCAL FIRM THAT CHALLENGES PROPERTY TAXES IN FORT BEND COUNTY IS BLAMING THE COUNTY FOR LATE PROPERTY TAXES. O’CONNOR AND ASSOCIATES HAS SENT OUT LETTERS TO TAX PAYERS SAYING THE FORT BEND COUNTY APPRAISAL DISTRICT COULD BE AS LATE AS MAY OR SEPTEMBER GETTING ACCURATE TAX BILLS TO PROPERTY OWNERS IN THE COMMUNITY. THE AGENCY SAYS THIS DELAY MAINLY AFFECTS THOSE WHO HAVE CHALLENGED THE PREVIOUS YEAR’S PROPERTY TAXES. I PUT IN A CALL TO THE APPRAISAL DISTRICT AND A REP SAYS THEY WILL GET ME ANSWERS FROM THE CHIEF APPRAISER WHEN HE RETURNS NEXT WEEK. BUT THE OFFICE DID CONFIRM HUNDREDS POSSIBLY THOUSANDS OF PROPERTY OWNERS COULD BE AFFECTED BY THIS DELAY.
HERE’S THE EMAIL FROM THE FIRM –
Property Tax Statement Alert
It saddens me to report that we believe the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District (FBCAD) may not complete your property tax appeal until perhaps April to August 2015. This means you may not receive your 2014 property tax bill(s) until as late as May to September 2015.
We approached FBCAD in early 2014 to discuss starting hearings as early as March or April 2014. FBCAD declined to work with us on early hearings. They attempted a limited number of informal hearings in May 2014. However, they seemed unreasonable in attempting to resolve tax appeals. Their position was we should take their value with little or no discussion. Real estate valuation is a combination of art and science; there is no right answer. Reasonable people can disagree but still find room for compromise. Our belief is that FBCAD had no intention to work in good faith to informally settle tax protests in 2014; other consultants have reported the same.
FBCAD has still not provided an appropriate means to handle hearings. We are currently doing hearings at the pace of 1,100 to 1,700 per month. Based on having more than 6,500 remaining hearings, FBCAD hearings will not be completed until the end of April to August of 2015. This does not allow for any breaks for the Christmas or New Year’s Day holidays.
Tax Bills Will be Late
Your tax bill for 2014 will not be sent until about 30 days after the hearing. This means that tax bills may not be completed until the end of May to September 2015 (not accounting for the holiday breaks).
Please Contact Your Elected Officials
Fort Bend is required to substantially complete hearings by July 25. We offered to start hearings in March or April 2014, but were not able to start in volume until August. The FBCAD management owes its clients, Fort Bend property owners, to complete hearings timely and honestly. The timing is already way behind, with over 6,500 hearings left to complete. We also believe FBCAD is presenting misleading and dishonest information at the hearings. You deserve better from FBCAD.
Please call or email the elected officials listed below and ask them to encourage FBCAD to: work informally to quickly resolve the balance of the hearings, and to stop presenting misleading information at hearings.
O’Connor & Associates
PS: A separate letter will provide information on how to make an estimated prepayment of 2014 property taxes prior to the end of 2014.