Appraisal District elects new Appraiser Review Board

By Edna Clark

Culberson County Appraisal District, (CCAD), Board of Directors met on Tuesday, April 11, with Angie Gonzales, Lolo Urias, Jack Dorris, and Raul Rodriguez present.  The Directors discussed the possibility of once again changing meeting dates and times to better accommodate each person’s schedules.  Newly appointed Director representing the Town of Van Horn, Rudy Hinojos, was unable to attend.

Future meetings will remain the second Tuesday of every month at 5:00 p.m.

Directors approved a refund of $108.91 from the Escrow account to a taxpayer who had sold his property.

Pursuant to CCAD employees change in retirement accounts, Directors approved an amendment terminating a Money Purchase Plan and Trust with Ohio National.  Employees are enrolled in a new retirement plan which pays a better return without early withdrawal fees such as the $400 that Ohio National charged when CCAD employees changed plans.

Directors extended 2018 and 2019 contracts with Pritchard & Abbott, Inc. for telecommunication computer software leases.  Real estate software will cost $25,000 for 2018 and $26,000 for 2019. Tax collection software is priced at $17,950 for 2018 and $18,5000 for 2019.  Mrs. Chello Gonzales advised the Directors that using this software will ensure that no CCAD appraisal data will ever be lost.

2017-2018 Appraiser Review Board (ARB) members and officers were approved by Directors. Incoming officers are Chairperson Chelsea Snyder, Vice-Chairperson Chandley Turner, Secretary Mary Nix, and new members are Lisa Cottrell & Lonnie Hillin.

As this writer learned, the purpose of the ARB is to officiate in hearings between the CCAD and property owners who cannot agree with annual appraisal of their properties. Initial property values are determined annually in the month of May with statements being sent to property owners.

If property owners disagree with the assessments, they should complete the appropriate enclosed forms that are mailed to them in their property assessments and return the forms to the CCAD.  A meeting between property owners and the CCAD will be held to reach an agreeable assessment between all parties involved.

If no agreement can be reached between property owners and CCAD with a mediator presiding, the case is turned over to the ARB for a final hearing.  At that point, property owners and CCAD present their cases to the ARB members. Final determination of property value and assessment will then be determined by the ARB.

Upon recommendation of CCAD Attorney Jim Evans, Directors approved for Mrs. Gonzales to apply for a CCAD credit card which will be used for travel expenses when Directors or employees attend required workshops and training conferences.  Currently, paper checks are used on the road, or Directors/employees pay for expenses and are reimbursed upon return from their trips.

The next regular monthly meeting is scheduled for May 9, 2017.