Contact: Matthew Tepper
McCreary, Veselka Bragg & Allen P.C. Attorneys at Law
Direct Line: (512) 323-3251
Fax: (512) 323-3205
FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLIC RELEASE:
SCHOOL DISTRICT SUES COMPTROLLER FOR OUTLANDISH LAND VALUES
Frost Independent School District Challenges Property Value Study Conducted by the Comptroller
HILL COUNTY, Texas (August 18, 2016) – McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen, P.C. (mvba) filed a lawsuit August 15, 2016 on behalf of the Frost Independent School District (Frost ISD) appealing Comptroller Glen Hegar’s findings in the 2015 Property Value Study of the Frost ISD located within Hill County. Hegar determined agricultural property values were too low and needed to be raised. The Property Value Study used by the Comptroller is considered “outdated and unreliable” by the Hill County Appraisal District (HCAD) and does not justify raising the agricultural values. On 61 counts, the lawsuit requests declaratory and injunctive relief and an order vacating and remanding the final determinations made by Hegar.
If Hegar’s findings are sustained in court, HCAD will be forced to raise agricultural valuations or risk the Hill County school districts losing out on some of their state aid dollars. The changing values in the Frost ISD will ripple throughout all school districts within Hill County.
Chief Appraiser Mike McKibben is one of many who disagree with Hegar’s pronouncement. “Our agricultural values are based on information we receive from local farmers. It is the best information available. The information used by the Comptroller’s appraiser in Austin [the 2015 Property Value Study] was outdated and unreliable. We are confident our values are more accurate and we want the values to be as accurate as possible so the school children in Hill County do not suffer from their schools losing state aid.”
McKibben also speculates Hegar is not impartial when it comes to Hill County. “For some reason it seems the Comptroller’s Office has been picking on or discriminating against Hill County for several years now,” McKibben said. “I’d like to see it stop, because ultimately it’s the taxpayers who lose.”
The law firm handling the suit is optimistic the court will rule in Frost ISD’s favor. “We at mvba are confident that the Appraisal Districts lower values are correct,” Matthew Tepper, mvba Attorney for the Plaintiff said. “We will do everything we can to insure that land owners in Hill County have their land appraised at the correct values.”
mvba has worked with ISDs, counties and municipalities throughout the state for the past fifty years. They are headquartered in Round Rock, TX.
Read more about our school district and property value appeals here.