WF residents seeing raise in appraisals

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Wichita Falls residents are getting their home appraisals back. Many are seeing an increase and are not happy.

On Newschannel 6's Facebook page Gene Guthrie said "Down? Whoever heard of that? Just another way to tax people without a vote".

Cindy and Ron Pierce said theirs are going up as well.

However, the Wichita Appraisal District said it's just a typical year.

Most people are seeing no more than an eight percent increase. But the rise has some people upset, and against seven Wichita Falls bond propositions.

"Last week I got my appraisal notice and it went up $10,000 on my house," Resident, Roger Canon said. "And then we come along with these bonds. So I thought well I need to do something."

Chief Appraiser for the Wichita Appraisal District Lisa Stephens-Musick said it depends on where you live whether or not it went up or down.

"I don't see this year as any different than years past," she said. "We will always have neighborhoods that increase or decrease just depending on what the market is doing that particular year."

She said it's much worse in other counties across Texas.

Denton and Travis County are seeing their appraisals go up 15 to 20 percent.

One Newschannel 6 viewer sent us their paperwork showing a 43 percent increase.

Stephens-Musick said that typically only happens if changes are made to your home.

"It could be an addition," she said. "They may have added a swimming pool, they may have totally rehabilitated a property."

It's also the first time in as long as Stephens-Musick can remember that the state moved up the deadlines to get your paperwork and submit a protest.

C.E.O. of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce Henry Florsheim doesn't think that's a coincidence.

"I think they did it on purpose," Florsheim said. "The state is really concerned about local communities being able to raise taxes and I think we should be able to make that decision ourselves as voters."

He said it hasn't made advocating for the bond propositions easy, but added the chamber will continue to educate people because the issues Wichita Falls had before the documents were released still exist now.

"We've got to figure out how to pay for these things that will help us move forward," Florsheim said. "When tax bills are sent out it doesn't affect that."

Florsheim said people understand they pay taxes and that they would go up with a bond.

But he added that the chamber is getting just as much positive feedback as negative.

If you are upset with what your house has been appraised at, you have until May 15 to file a protest.

Stephens-Musick encourages people to call sooner rather than later to make sure everything is submitted on time.

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