Tyler and surrounding southeast counties troubled by huge tax increases

Tyler and surrounding southeast counties troubled by huge tax increases
(Source: KTRE Staff)
(Source: KTRE Staff)

TYLER, TX (KTRE) - Over 20,000 thousand letters are being prepared to be sent out to property owners in Tyler County informing them they could pay a lot more in taxes this year.

The chief appraiser said the cause is a clerical error that went unnoticed by county leaders.

Residents of Tyler and surrounding southeast counties were taken aback as they got word of some substantial changes in their taxes.

"All over Southeast Texas and other parts of Texas, I'm getting the calls, I'm getting the messages about these exceptional increases in property values," said District 19 State Representative James White.

With transparency in mind, White took to Facebook book to share with working class citizens the heads-up he received from Tyler County Chief Appraiser, David Luther.

"They don't have an opportunity to sit in a board meeting or a Rotary Club or a Lion's Club, so it's important that you get the information out, so tax payers are informed, and they can take the appropriate action on the most important investment in their lives," White said.

Luther's letter read that "Part of reason is 'mistake' or 'use' of erroneous data last year which should have caused an increase last year but did not."

"They said that initially Tyler county did not get their values validated last year," White said.

Luther notified White that the appraisal office would be sending out over 20,000 appraisal notices with values have increased quite a bit.

"I had a small businessman in Jasper tell me he received a valuation increase on one of his properties at 9,000 percent!" White said.

White shared his response, a list of 14 questions digging into the reasoning behind the astonishing changes. It was all followed by raging residents who said they're ready to protest.

"I that know on the first day what's going to happen. We're going to begin legislative action in January 2017 to scale some of this foolishness back," White said.

White said the appraisal office has been cooperative, and they are planning to sit down and sort things out, but until then ...

"I'm asking all the people to get involved with this. If they don't get a handle on this now, we can't wait until January," White said.

We reached out to the chief appraiser in Tyler County. He said he would be prepared to comment next Tuesday.  His letter read that residents, land, and business owners have 30 days to protest appraisal changes.

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