Increase in Wichita Co. property values causes concern for some homeowners

Local News

WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — 2019 property valuation notices have gone out and some homeowners have gone into shock after opening them.

Tax bills on the new values will come due early next year.

The Wichita Appraisal District wants to let homeowners know these valuations are not done by the city or the county.

The appraisers decide property valuations and are required to include what the possible property tax figures will look like.

Property valuations are going up in some areas of Wichita County, causing concern for its effect on property taxes for those not interested in selling.

“The market value they attached to my house and my land, I would never in 100 years be able to put it on the market and get that kind of a value,” Wichita Co. homeowner Glen Maynard said.

Wichita Appraisal District chief appraiser Lisa Stephens-Musick said the way they determine property values is a non-biased process meant to make sure values are fair and accurate.

The district is audited by the State Comptroller.

“Based on the sales of similar properties in the neighborhood, we’re trying to determine an estimate of value,” Stephens-Musick said. “The confusion lies in that we send out a notice that has an estimate of their taxes and so that’s what people focus on, and we understand that.”

Maynard said his valuation is the largest increase he’s seen in his 15 years of ownership, up 14.4% Others say they’ve seen similar or higher increases.

“I’m approaching the period in my life where they’re going to cap my property tax,” Maynard said. “One of my theories is that as we approach that age, that they may be thinking let’s go ahead and get this raised before that period happens.”

Maynard has filed a protest with the Wichita Appraisal District, even reaching out to Gov. Abbott and filing a protest with the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

The appraisal district said the homeowner’s views and evidence will be taken into account.

“It sometimes takes two or three years over a course of two or three even more years for that kind of an increase,” Maynard said.

“There may be damage to properties that we’re not aware of we don’t have the staff, the resources, or the law that would allow us to go into somebody’s property, so when they provide us documents or evidence, we’re going to review it,” Stephens-Musick said.

An increase in property value can be a positive thing for those hoping to sell and headache for others, but owners can voice what they find wrong with the appraisal.

Stephens-musick said because of Senate Bill 2, estimate of taxes will come off of the valuation notice next year.

The office is closed, but she said don’t hesitate to call or protest the valuation through the form attached to the notice.

Click here for more information, or call 940-322-2435.

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