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On June 15th, 2024, Harris County voters will elect three new members to the Harris Central Appraisal District (HCAD) Board of Directors, seats created in the last legislative session. 

These Directors’ current primary responsibilities are to oversee an over $117M budget and name members to appraisal boards. These are volunteer, unpaid, presently non-partisan, elected offices that deal w legal issues concerning taxes, appraisals & collections.

Taxes affect everyone and everything in government. Services can’t happen without revenue, but folks can’t prosper when over-taxed. Appraisal and collection are part of this; protesting taxes is a tool that homeowners can use to protect their interests, a process overseen by the Harris Central Appraisal District. 

Property appraisal, taxes and collection touch on a surprising number of issues, starting w generational wealth through real estate inheritance. This seat would be an opportunity to advocate to adjust the level of awareness and education of many homeowners about their rights, and increase awareness about exemptions, as well as increasing transparency and the quality of appraisal boards. These offices could encourage educating the public on best practices for their own financial health, especially in areas regarding real property ownership and taxes. 

In addition to the stated functions of this board, I am concerned about the tenor and tone at the state level; strong local officials are a best bet to protect the interests of the people of Harris County. It’s likely that this position will have occasion to represent the interests of Harris County homeowners, small businesses & other property owners with or in front of the Texas Legislature going forward.

Property taxes affect everyone and are an essential engine for services, while needing to be fair, transparent and appropriate. City Council and the Lege, where I had the opportunity to serve, both dealt with appraisal and tax issues; it is helpful to understand the state, the city, the county, individuals and how it all works. As an aside, I also own a home, rental property and have protested taxes, both in person myself and through a legal representative in three counties. 

Over time, more and more of the tax burden in Texas has been assumed by individual property homeowners. Electing members to this Board is a opportunity for homeowners to have their own representation and to have their voices heard.