Press "Enter" to skip to content

Rockwall County mayors request Governor Abbott roll back tax appraisals to 2019 values

Share this story

Mayors in Rockwall County, including Heath Mayor Kelson Elam and Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt, have joined their counterparts statewide in asking Governor Gregg Abbott to avoid a probable double digit property tax increase for Texas property owners by adopting the 2019 property tax valuations for the year 2020.

The Mayors also asked that any newly developed property that was not on the tax rolls in 2019 be added to the tax rolls at the 2020 valuations. A lot has changed since January, in Texas and around the world. In fact, the entire State of Texas has been hit hard by the COIVD-19 pandemic this year, and with the end still uncertain, effects will potentially be felt for quite some time.

“There is so much stress in our communities right now as we navigate through this COVID-19 crisis; it seems unconscionable to generate the expected double digit increase in valuations during this time,” the letter reads. “In addition to the stress created, it would also require residents to present themselves to the Central Appraisal District for protest hearings, which would fly in the face of the stay-at-home and physical distancing orders we have all implemented.”  

“This would alleviate at least one of the many challenges Rockwall County citizens are facing during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mayor Elam. “It is our understanding that we could have double digit increases with the new 2020 valuations, which seems unconscionable when there is already so much stress in our communities.”

Beyond citing the financial strain a double digit increase would cause property owners, the Mayors’ unified letter to the Governor also stated that residents would have to present themselves to the Central Appraisal District in person for protest hearings at a time when stay- at-home and physical distancing orders are in effect.

Without relief, residents will receive the new assessments and have to follow the same appeal process as in previous years. Unfortunately, that means long lines of frustrated citizens who are supposed to be social distancing and staying at home. There are thousands of protests filed each year in Rockwall County alone.

There are no ulterior motives behind this request—only a concern for residents in a time of crisis. The Rockwall City Council has voted to lower the tax rate every year for the last six years. Governor Abbott is the only one who can fix this problem by executive order.

The timing of this request is critical, as valuation letters are scheduled to be mailed out to property owners on April 14. Citizens are urged to contact their county and state officials in support of the property tax freeze now. (Texas State Senator Bob Hall; Texas Representative Justin Holland; and Rockwall County Judge David Sweet.)

Rockwall County Mayors included in the unified letter to Governor Abbott are: Keith Short, McLendon-Chisholm; Kenny Phillips, Mobile City; Jim Pruitt, Rockwall; Janet Nichol, Royse City; and Tammy Dana-Bashian, Rowlett.

Share this story