Allow me to add my opinion about the Fort Bend CAD. I have been fighting the review board since I moved to Missouri City in 2003. When I bought my house the appraisal was $183,000 and after I protested they brought it down to $149,000 based on the sales price. After a couple of years the valuation was back up where it was before so it would match other houses in the neighborhood. Houses in our neighborhood have always been $20,000 to $30,000 higher than the market value based on sale price of comparable houses.
I have investigated why this situation is allowed to continue and think I have the answer. Members of the ARB are appointed by the governing members of the groups that depend on tax revenues which are based on appraised values. It is in their interest to appoint members who will agree to keep valuations high and appointees owe their position to those who appoint them. I have attempted to get various people in state government who might have oversight over this sweetheart deal to take an interest without any success.
An active press seems to be our only recourse at this point so thanks for taking an interest. However it is hard to see how the light of day is going to change things. I can prove obvious violations of law. My neighbor paid $212,000 for his house 2 years ago and his valuation has been about $30,000 above that for the last 2 years. This is an outright violation of the law. If the ARB reduced their valuation, it would bring the valuation of all houses in the neighborhood under question so this is a big deal.