Texas GOP considers eliminating property appraisal boards


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Property appraisals may be a thing of the past if some Texas Republicans have their way.

This comes as the state’s GOP convention kicks off in San Antonio Thursday, where party leaders are planning a vote to do away with appraisal boards.

Jeff Cotham has protested his Hyde Park home appraisals at least a dozen times since the early 1990s. But this last year may be the biggest hike he has seen yet. 

“I said, ‘y’all raised me $160,000, 40 percent of my property, in one year,'” he said. “And, I’ve never seen that before.”

So, he is protesting again. But if the state GOP approves this plank in their platform, Cotham and thousands of other homeowners may not have to visit the appraisal district anymore. 

At the Texas GOP Convention in San Antonio this week, Republican party leaders are voting on party priorities. 

One idea: do away with appraisal boards and, instead, tax properties based on the most recent purchase price of a house. Homeowners like Cotham are all for it. 

“We do this every year,” said Jason Kawamura, who was protesting the assessment of his Steiner Ranch home. “Just really trying to understand why the value of the home went up year-to-year and all we’ve been doing is live there.”

Texas is one of a handful of states that do not require property sellers to disclose sale prices. Without those numbers, homeowners say the real value is anybody’s guess. 

But realtors who usually get a sale commission say the disclosure would tamper with a seller’s privacy rights and bring in more government control. 

“For the first time in Texas history, if a proposal like this went into effect, that ultimately people would have to tell the government what they pay for a piece of property in a private transaction,” said Daniel Gonzalez, the director of legislative affairs with the Texas Association of Realtors. 

Republican party leaders say the proposal would also include replacing some school property taxes with sales taxes. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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