#9 THE CHIEF’S APPRAISAL: Who Appraises the Central Appraisal District of Bandera County
Wendy M. Grams – Chief Appraiser
Did you ever wonder who was looking over the shoulders of the appraisers and administrative staff of the Central Appraisal District of Bandera County (CAD)? If you did, we thought you might be interested to know who has oversight authority concerning the property values that appear on the appraisal notices we mail to you each year. All appraisal districts in Texas have a Board of Directors that is directly involved in the governance of the CAD, but they are prohibited from discussing specific property values with the CAD.
The Texas State Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) is the agency responsible for auditing appraisal district values and appraisal operation. Their audit includes a Property Value Study (PVS) that is performed every other year followed by a Methods and Procedures (MAP) review in the alternating years. Both processes are comprehensive with serious consequences if the CAD is found not to be in compliance with state laws, appraisal standards and operating procedures.
The results of the PVS can impact state funding provided to local school districts. The school districts are notified of the results of the PVS. When it is determined that a school district is maximizing their local effort to generate revenue the school district will get their full share of state funding. However, if an appraisal district consistently falls outside of an acceptable range of value, the school district could suffer a loss in state funding. In addition, the State can appoint an administrator of their choice to come in
and assume control of the appraisal district. I’m pleased to inform the citizens of Bandera County that the Central Appraisal District of Bandera County’s Property Value Study results have consistently been within an acceptable range in all three of our tested school districts.
The Texas State Property Tax Code sets out the legal requirements that appraisal districts must meet. The Appraisal Foundation’s Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) provides the accepted practices that govern all aspects of property appraisal on behalf of appraisers and users of appraisal services.
State law requires appraisal districts to appraise all taxable property at 100 percent of its market value. Simply defined, market value is the price the property would bring if offered on the open market with both the buyer and the seller aware of all the attributes of the property and neither being under duress to buy or sell. To determine if property is appraised at 100 percent of market value, the state appraiser gathers market sales information, analyzes, confirms, and selects current sales, and then compares those sale prices with our appraised values. If our appraised values are statistically lower than the sale prices, our values will be considered under appraised and therefore, invalid. If our values are consistently determined to be invalid, a determination will be made that the school district is not maximizing their local tax effort and will be subject to reduced state funding.
The PTAD wants to ensure both taxing entities and taxpayers that the appraisal district is doing its job properly. They are also a great provider of resources to help make sure that we are properly performing our legally required tasks.
During the MAP review, the Comptroller’s auditor looks at “governance” issues to ensure that oversight and management of the district is in compliance with local government laws including open records and public meeting requirements.
Other areas reviewed include “taxpayer assistance,” “operating procedures,” and “appraisal standards, procedures and methodology.” Taxpayer assistance issues include transparency, customer service, and public awareness. This series of articles and our website at www.bancad.org are examples of our public awareness efforts. Operating procedures include the efficacy of the policies, plans and procedures used by the district. The standards, procedures, and methodology reviews help determine regulation compliance by the CAD.
The MAP review consists of hundreds of questions requiring responses and supporting documentation. The value of the audit for the taxpayer is the awareness that we must answer to a higher authority for all our activities. There is also value in the audit for the CAD. With the state examining 254 counties, they receive valuable information in the form of examples from other appraisal districts on processes that can be shared to help us improve our job performance.
Please remember we are pleased to help you with all your appraisal related matters. You can also visit our office at 1206 Main Street, call us at 830-796-3039, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.