It`s that time of year again. Property tax estimates will be in the mail Tuesday and you could see an increase in annual appraisal rates. Some say an increase in property values is a good thing, it means a healthy market. While others are saying it`s just too much. "We`re not southwest Lubbock, we`re not Rush, this is central Lubbock. This is the heart of Lubbock. This is the place you hear all the police reports from. It`s not realistic, it`s not realistic." Ann Lacy calls central Lubbock home. She says it`s a real neighborhood with some good neighbors. But with the average appraisal value for a single family home in Lubbock going up about 4 1/2 percent not including new construction, it`s got her wondering what`s going on. "The residential, the home market single family, has been increasing each year for the last several years" says Lacy.
Those at the Lubbock Central Appraisal Office say the market in Lubbock, and statewide, is healthy. It’s on the steady increase so far and the property tax estimate, which will be in the mail Tuesday, is based on the increase in appraisal value plus last year`s tax rate until this year`s rate is determined. But there is good news; property owners could see some relief. A legislative measure and a constitutional amendment allow for additional tax relief this year when it comes to school property taxes for those who qualify. But that still raises questions for some who say the numbers don`t add up. "We complain, we talk to our council people, we talk to the police, and we talk to the detectives hanging out in the alley looking for whoever`s cooking in the back yard over here. That`s the kind of neighborhood we have and to be valued at this kind of rate is like, you gotta be kidding me” says Lacy. “If that`s reflected in sales prices in the homes in the neighborhood, then we would pick that up” says Chief Appraiser Dave Kimbrough with the Lubbock Central Appraisal Office. “It`s not something that we specifically go and do any survey on as far as crime rates and that type of thing because the market will take care of it themselves and reflect it in their price.” So when some residents open their mail Tuesday, it may not be met with a smile, but a guarantee for a whole lot of questions. "We`re the common people in Lubbock, you know, we`re your blue collar people. We`re the ones you hire to cut your yards, you know. Why are they doing it to us? We have no clue" says Lacy. If you feel like the appraised value isn`t right you can protest the appraisal. There is a form that comes along with the estimate.
The appraiser’s office says they send out over 100,000 mailers and usually get about 6 to 8-thousand people coming in with inquiries. Many of which are resolved just by getting a few questions answered. If you have any questions at all, the appraisers offices says please feel free to call them at 762-5000.