Published on Friday, May 22 2015 10:12
The chief appraiser for the Hidalgo County Appraisal District went before the court to explain the recent controversy over the increase in appraisal values to Hidalgo County homes and property. From the onset, County Judge Ramon Garcia and Chief Appraiser Rolando Garza made it clear that the Appraisal District is not affiliated with the county or a department within Hidalgo County, but is its own entity overseen by Texas Comptroller. None of the local taxing entities, including Hidalgo County, have jurisdiction over appraisals.
In April, about 158,000 appraisal notices were sent to 45 percent of Hidalgo County residents. Garza says of the 94 employees in his office, 45 of them are appraisers and each year they physically inspect about a third of the properties in the county. The rest of the properties are appraised according to section 23.01 of the Property Tax Code.
Garza explained the process his office takes to evaluate property is complicated. There are three methods appraisers use: the market, income approach, and cost approach, what it would cost to rebuild a home. When reviewing properties, appraisers look at a number of criteria including data of verified sales of properties, building permits, mapping changes and surveys, and aerial photography. They also evaluate recent sales of nearby homes and take into account the current market value of homes for sale.
Read more: Chief appraiser answers questions regarding hike in property appraisals