I read with interest the letter from “Name withheld by request” in the May 16 issue and the articles in the May 23 issue, and feel that a response is in order. The Board of Directors of the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District (CAD) is committed to providing the best possible service to Fort Bend County property owners. Toward that goal, every visitor to the Fort Bend CAD office is asked to complete a Property Owner’s Survey rating the service received in a wide range of categories. The results of these surveys are compiled and carefully reviewed at each monthly Board Meeting. This information is a matter of public record. These surveys consistently show favorable ratings of approximately 90% in all categories.
The Board takes seriously the 10% of surveys expressing unfavorable opinions. The reasons arevevaluated and improvements are sought where possible. Any property owner can request a telephone call to discuss concerns, and that call will be made. In addition, any property owner can address the Board at the beginning of each Board Meeting (held the third Monday of each month at 5:15 P.M.).
The Board cannot, by law, be involved in setting appraisal values. That is the job of the Fort Bend CAD staff who derive property values based on actual sales, regardless of whether they are increasing or decreasing and following nationwide appraisal methods. The Texas Property Code specifies the steps available to all property owners in resolving appraisal value disagreements: starting with an Informal discussion with the Fort Bend CAD staff, formal Protest hearing before the Appraisal Review Board (an independent, impartial group of citizens appointed by the Administrative District Judge), an appeal to an independent arbitrator appointed by the Texas Comptroller, and finally an appeal to the State District Court.
The Fort Bend CAD does not set tax rates (this is done by the taxing entities governing body) nor does it collect taxes. This is done by a separate organization, the Fort Bend County Tax Assessor/Collector’s office and others which are not involved in the appraisal process.
The Texas Comptroller’s office conducts audits of the Fort Bend CAD, comparing sales price to appraised value and verifying the districts procedures and processes. Poor performance can result in penalties to the school districts. The Fort Bend CAD consistently receives high marks in these reviews.
Taxpayer Liaison Officer
Fort Bend Central