Chamber asking CAD to consider changes

EL PASO, Texas - The Central Appraisal district -- one of the most-criticized agencies in El Paso -- has taken its share of shots for the way it values our properties.

Now the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce is hoping to do something about it.

On Tuesday its CEO will make a number of recommendations for changes to the CAD, starting with its board.

"There are fundamental aspects of the process that really need to be revamped," said Richard Dayoub, President and CEO of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce.

After speaking with members, Dayoub feels there needs to be change at El Paso's Central Appraisal District.

"The whole system needs revamping and what we're supporting is several of those most significant recommendations we make," he said.

Those recommendations include requiring Appraisal Review Board (ARB) members to have some level of expertise, like in real estate. Establish mandatory training for CAD board members, as well as a minimum number of board meetings each must attend and staggering terms.

Other recommendations include establishing methodology standards and appointing all members of the CAD board as "at large" members instead of elected officials.

"We're the only city in Texas that actually has elected officials on its board," pointed out City Rep. Emma Acosta, who also sees the need for change at the CAD. "We don't have that expertise and we think we need a board that has that expertise to properly evaluate those issues."

The Central Appraisal District Board of Directors is made up of two representatives from the City, two from EPISD, two from the Lower Valley, one from the County, one from YISD and one from the Upper Valley.

"The way it's set up, the governing bodies appoint and it does not have to be an elected official," said Dinah Kilgore, Chief Appraiser at the CAD. "That's not in the law. It's who they appoint or whomever they want to appoint."

Dayoub said something needs to be done.

"The way it's going right now, it does not bode well and as companies look to El Paso," Dayoub said. "As we are fortunately getting a number of companies moving here, one of the things they look at are property valuations and property taxes. So this can certainly become an issue for us to overcome in the future."

Dayoub is scheduled to make the CAD recommendations to City Council at Tuesday's regular weekly meeting, in hopes the changes could be put in place by August 2015. Kilgore said the CAD is open to change as long as it's in compliance with state law.

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