El Paso

Mayor Margo questions accuracy of Central Appraisal District's values

Mayor Margo questions accuracy of Central Appraisal Districts values

EL PASO, Texas - The value of properties across El Paso County is going up this year by around seven percent.

But, Mayor Dee Margo believes properties still aren't being appraised accurately.

He has questioned the way the Central Appraisal District (CAD) measures the value of properties.

Margo believes the sale price of a property is way higher than CAD's appraisals. 

Dinah Kilgore, the executive director for CAD, gave a presentation to City Council on Monday.

She assured Margo the agency audited by the state every two years, and is in good standing.

"We have a knowledgeable and competent staff that is responsible for the entire County of El Paso, not just the city," Kilgore said. "We're doing the job that we're responsible to do. Our numbers show that with the state audits.

Margo said in 2017 the City of El Paso properties saw a 1.4 percent increase in market value, according to CAD.

He said with all the growth and businesses coming in, he would expect that to be higher.

"It's very frustrating to us, as we look around, and as I talk to other mayors -- from other cities -- and look at their, in some cases, double-digit increases," Margo said. "Some municipalities gave tax reductions which is exactly what we would like to do if we truly had fair market value."

Margo also questioned the qualifications of those who serve on the appraisal review board. The board hears appeals from property owners who don't agree with the CAD value. Any resident can apply to be on the board. The only requirements are you have to live in the county for at least two years, and you must attend a two-day training session.

Because being on the board is time consuming, Kilgore said the majority of the board members are retirees. Kilgore also said the reason El Paso is not seeing as large of a market value increase is because other cities are bringing in bigger businesses.

"We don't have the type of businesses that Austin has. We don't have the fortune 500 companies that Plano has. We don't have the growth that you see in San Antonio," Kilgore said."We're not economists, we're not folks who are out there to try to bring business, all I'm mandated to do by state law is to appraise."

Kilgore said the agency won't have the certified market value until July 25. It's these values that city council uses to determine property taxes.

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