Thousands Upset With Appraisal District In Sherman Over High Tax - - No One Gets You Closer

Thousands Upset With Appraisal District In Sherman Over High Taxes

SHERMAN, TX -- Homeowners in Grayson County are up in arms over the Appraisal District's valuation of their properties.

Thousands filed protests and a review board is now on its second week of hearings.

They don't want their tax bills to go up, and the property owners who went to a hearing today were hoping four people would change the magic number of how much their home is worth.

"It's not nothing fancy, but I would think the house would be worth $175,000 at the most," says Whitesboro resident Greg Roberts.

Angry taxpayers faced off against appraisers and a review board at the Grayson County Appraisal District in Sherman.

"Your pool was on there, but these coverings, this deck, none of that was on there. That's what I added this year," says appraiser Kelley Herring. "$228,122."

"We have to hear something that's a preponderance of the evidence to convince us the Appraisal District has not considered something or misapplied something," says Appraisal Review Board chair Will Mawer.

"Last year's value was based on if it was a screened-in porch," says appraiser Steve Spitznagel about a Lake Texoma property at the "Texins" Texas Instruments site. "Well we can clearly see that it's got windows in there."

Property owners got their new appraised values around May 1 and since then, the Appraisal District has received around 3,000 protests, some of which end up in hearings.

"The value increased from the $38,000 because he's made additions and changes to the mobile home, so this is not the same $38,000 mobile home. This is a better mobile home," says Spitznagel.

"Based off purchase price, I would say the value is $2,500," says protester Justin Briscoe.

Briscoe has been buying investment properties at sheriff's sales, and even picked up a few at the now-demolished Layne Elementary School in Denison.

The board decided to value those three lots between $5,000 and $8,500 each.

"They kind of met me in the middle, but I'm not completely happy with it, but I'm paying less taxes than I was gonna pay," says Briscoe.

"The decrease in property valuations are over. We're now seeing the upward trend, so probably more and more protests will be coming in the future as the valuations go up," says Mawer.

 Several property owners got some relief on Thursday, but not all they were asking for. Right now, they don't know how long the hearings will go, but they must wrap up by the end of July.