During these unprecedented times of the COVID-19, the Brown County Appraisal District (Brown CAD) is closed to the public. We are still here and working to serve the public.

Although we are working with a skeleton staff, you can still reach us for assistance. The best way to reach us is by email at appraisal@brown-cad.org . Specific employee email addresses are on our website, if you know who you are trying to contact. You may also call our office at 325-643-5676.

Tax payments can be made online on our website at www.brown-cad.org. Also, payments can be mailed, dropped off in mail slot at our office (403 Fisk Ave.), or by phone at the number listed above.

As you know, the law requires Brown CAD to appraise property at 100 percent of market value as of Jan. 1 of each year. The Coronavirus epidemic currently facing our state and nation began in full swing after Jan. 1. The real estate market was doing very well back on Jan. 1, meaning appraised values are higher this year than last year.

With so many Texans facing job layoffs, loss of income and wages, and `other hard times, it is a difficult time in our lives to face appraised value increases.

There are currently no legislative provisions to assist Texas taxpayers with the upcoming rise in property values. I would suggest you contact our governor’s office and your state representative and state senator to express your opinion and request assistance. Appraisal district directives must come from the state level.

Some people say taxing jurisdictions can make the decision locally to lower taxes. However, that is a double-edged sword because when values are below the acceptable parameters established in the State Comptroller’s Property Value Study (PVS), schools are in jeopardy of losing state funding. This would also cause an inequity in tax amounts. A statutory responsibility of an appraisal district is to pass the PVS to ensure our local schools are fully funded.

Six of the seven school districts in Brown County must pass the 2020 PVS in order to receive full state funding.

Appraisal notices are scheduled to be mailed on April 24th. Preliminary numbers indicate that most values will increase over the prior year’s value. This is a bad time in the history of Texas for appraised values to increase. But under current law, the appraisal district has no other choice. We are sympathetic to the situation Texans are facing because we are in those situations together, but the appraisal district’s hands are tied, and legislative directives are needed.

So do your part and contact our legislators and leaders in Austin to ask for help.