To the editor:

Appraisal Review Board of Appeals: Kangaroo Court.

This is in response to Brad Goodman’s letter to the Bulletin a few days ago. In that letter he stated “…what a treat to find that the Appraisal Review Board listened intently, considered the facts with common sense and genuine concern and had a true regard for the fairness and equality.” He must be talking about different circumstances than what I witnessed when I appealed the outrageous appraised value of my property located in Early. The appraised value of the property in 2006 was $80,250 with taxes paid in the amount of $2,015.38. This appraisal board at the hearing set the appraised value of said property at $184,200. This represents an increase of 130 percent, which increased the taxes levied to $4,440.83, which is an increase of 83 percent over the year of 2006.

A fair and considered treatment in this decision? Hardly. The board members’ minds were already made by considering information presented by the appraisal board’s staff and not what is fair, right and reasonable. There has been no modification nor major improvements in this property, other than normal and usual maintenance. The staff used comparisons that were out of the market place, (such as a location in Bangs) and others that were not actual sales “at arms length” as required by the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisals, to establish a true market value of properties.

In the year that the State of Texas has issued and voiced great pride in the fact that ad valorem taxes will be lowered to give some relief to taxpayers seems meaningless to the Brown County Appraisal District.

The City of Brownwood and the City of Early, which are recipients of many of our tax dollars, seem to agree and condone these outrageous increases, since they both have provided “tax incentives” for new businesses to move here while ignoring the existing similar businesses that have been established and [in] operation here for up to three decades.

The only other avenue for relief from this problem is to appeal to a court hearing, which an attorney has told me would cost approximately $3,000 for attorney fees, court costs, additional appraisals, etc. All for the chance of another “binding arbitration” to be issued by a court in favor of the appraisal district.

Jerry D. Wheat

Early