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State Representative Justin Holland sends letter in response to Rockwall County Mayor’s request regarding tax apprasials

Last updated on April 24, 2020

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In a letter dated today, State Representative Justin Holland called Mayor Jim Pruitt’s comments about Rockwall County state legislators’ role in the appraisal district notice procedures “misleading”.

Earlier this month, the mayors of several cities in the county sent a letter to Governor Abbott requesting that the values of 2019 be adopted for 2020 tax purposes.

In a video posted to the city’s YouTube channel posted on April 20, Mayor Jim Pruitt previously retracted his city-wide order placed earlier in the month. Pruitt stated in the video that the request was not accepted by Governor Abbott because of lack from community leaders, state representatives and the state senator.

“The appraisal notice represents your property value as of that date. There is no legal mechanism to shift strategy to new values in the wake of a state heath disaster or provision in statute for roaming apprasial dates based on economic activity,” Holland wrote. “The timing of the spread of COVID-19 could not have been any worse. Any impact on values as a result of the current health crisis will be considered by central appraisal districts for the 2021 property valuations next year.”

In the letter Holland states that he would have been very supportive of a 2019 value freeze, were that possible. Holland stated that Pruitt’s claims that he did not “inquire, support or advocate with the Governor’s office regarding” the request is “patently false”.

Holland said he made an inquiry to the Governor’s office at the Mayor’s request on March 28 and in response, the Governor’s office made it clear that he “would not be granting the numerous requests that his office was receiving on the freeze.”

“You simply did not like the answer that was communicated back to you. That answer was that the appraisal districts by state law, were required to mail out the 2020 notices as soon as practicable and with the January 1, 2020 values. As an attorney and former judge, you know the law. We both know that addressing the Texas Tax Code and a decision of this magnitude would take a special session of legislature. To say I did not advocate or communicate your request to the Governor is out of line and unappreciated. I was supportive and practical at the same time,” Holland wrote.

Holland ended the letter by saying “Rockwall needs your help Mayor. Now is not the time to score cheap political points.”

You can read the letter in its entirety below:

https://www.facebook.com/JH4TX/posts/1622083947967903

“Justin you know we have not raised city taxes in the City of Rockwall for the last 6 years so your asking us to adopt the “no new tax rate” is nothing new to us. That is exactly what we have done. I don’t know how many calls your office has received about tax appraisals this week, but we have had many,” Mayor Jim Pruitt said in a comment on social media in response. “I understand the law and the constitution of this state and you know as well as I do the Governor has suspended many constitution freedoms we have because of this crisis. Enacting one more to stop these ridiculous property appraisals seems a small one in the scheme of things.”


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