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Property owners protest new appraised values
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
Some homeowners and business owners are protesting the appraised value of their home or business. Protest hearings in front of the appraisal review board began Thursday, and will continue through July 20th.
One small business owner says she won't be able to afford the property taxes on her business's new appraised value. Thuy Truong owns Nails by Tweety off Highway 105 in Beaumont. She built the shop in 2003. Truong says she couldn't afford an architect, so she drew the blue prints herself and hired a contractor.
Last year, her property was appraised at 69 thousand dollars. She was shocked when she got notice of its new appraised value this year.
"200 thousand dollars versus 69 thousand dollars last year," said Truong. "So, basically they tripled it."
Meaning a substantial increase in property taxes, so she went to the county.
"They'll reduce it down to 125 thousand and I still did not agree with that, because this property is over ten years [old] and I have never done anything to improve inside or the outside."
Truong protested to the appraisal review board Thursday. She showed pictures of her damaged ceiling and cracked parking lot. The review board listened to Truong and put her case on hold while waiting for new information. The appraisal district looked at her evidence and reduced her property's value to about 114 thousand.
"The board will hear both sides of the protest, ours and the taxpayer's, and make a decision based on the preponderance of believable evidence presented," said Roland Bieber, the Chief Appraiser for the Jefferson County Appraisal Office.
Bieber says property values increased 4 to 5 percent this year in Jefferson County.
"Most of it is going to be market driven. The market is coming back," said Bieber. "When the market fell we reduced property values. Statistically, about 55 thousand of the 85 thousand homes in jefferson county stayed the same. About 17 thousand went up and the balance went down."
He encourages those who would like to protest their property's appraised value to bring evidence to the hearing.
"Bring pictures, pictures speak a whole bunch. Take pictures, if you've got a cracked slab, if you've got some areas of your home that are settling, if you've got rotted wood in your home, take pictures of it," said Bieber.
Truong will have another hearing in a few weeks. She hopes the value is brought back down to 69 thousand.
"I have 3 boys that I raise all by myself, and I try to be self sufficient, and not depend on the government, and not depend on anybody else," said Truong.
Something she hopes to continue doing at her business.