My wife and I wasted a couple of hour’s dealing with a seemingly incompetent and definitely uncaring county tax assessor and three complete ‘yes’ men and women on the ‘review board’ at the Fort Bend County Central Appraisal District (CAD) office in Richmond recently. The worst part, by far, was witnessing first hand how our government employees don’t care about tax payers, have no interest in considering our input, and relish in talking in circles until we’re ready to go blind, explaining with smoke and mirrors that their ‘computers’ are correct. Reasoning? Thinking? Listening and using common sense?
If those are important traits you like to see in others, avoid the CAD office like the plague. Their lack of interest in listening to a tax payer’s position, reasoning, and/or questions, as they ramble on with their non pertinent nomenclature mumbo jumbo is maddening. They consume 98-99% of the face to face time with their meaningless rambling, get you out of there, and take credit for giving another tax payer their ‘right to protest’.
Even more maddening is to think that we are paying these people! And the rubber stamp, falling asleep, ‘volunteers’ on the review board? Wow. Very sad. They either have no conscience as they rubber stamp the assessor’s positions or they are as out of it as they appeared to be to us and were thinking about their great grand kids or upcoming afternoon naps as presentations were made.
I could see the surprise and shock in my wife’s eyes as the assessor rambled on by herself before we went before the board, ignoring the ‘elephant in the room’ facts, and our questions, over and over again. We could barely get a word in edge wise to explain our position but when we did it was promptly ignored and the rambling ‘nothingness’ continued.
We felt like we were in the Twilight Zone as the appraiser seemed not to hear us. I wanted to tell my wife that this is the kind of time consuming, meaningless rhetoric, by design, that you have to listen to, in their controlled environment, before you cross your fingers and ‘try’ to get them to ‘listen’ and ‘think’. Sadly, though both my wife and I respectfully tried, the appraiser we were dealing with had no interest in listening, thinking, or trying to do the ‘right’ thing. She was all about talking non stop and ‘justifying’ a totally unjustifiable position. It was a very sad expose’ of our considerably less than ‘free voice’ system..
Our assessed property value was increased the maximum 10% this year when prices in our neighborhood stayed even to slightly lower than last year and ‘nothing’ has changed with our house! Unbelievable? Yes, but it happened and it was rubber stamped by the clueless board as they followed the county line and went along with the droning-on appraiser who just followed what the computer displayed. She refused to allow herself to think, seriously consider our input and respond accordingly, or be confused with facts. Her interest was in simply keeping the smoke screen going and the board was her pathetic prop.
The board members had no interest in what my wife or I had to say, asked no questions after we presented our case, and looked completely disinterested. There was ZERO discussion. They just follow their little protocol and rubber stamp for the county.
The lead board member was confused and made a totally incorrect statement which even the appraiser had to shake her head at. If we had been in the Third World I would understand and expect what we saw. In America? God help us.
Sure, they repeat at nauseam that tax payers have the right to protest but they don’t tell you that they aren’t listening, the deck is stacked and they ‘own’ the old volunteers on the board. It’s amazing what a free lunch will buy you these days.
Fort Bend needs a government house cleaning badly.
Name withheld by request