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Lawmakers should not confuse appraisals more

Staff WriterMay 23, 2019

Any session of the Legislature will have its share of disappointments for bills that didn’t achieve something new and significant. But at least lawmakers should remember the primary rule of medicine: First, do no harm. Unfortunately, they ignored that advice by passing a bill that would remove deadlines for appraisal appeals and expand a problem that is already undermining industrial tax payments. Gov. Greg Abbott must veto it even though it is being passed off — inaccurately — as property tax relief, a key campaign goal of Republicans in this session.

Property owners currently have 30 days to protest a valuation, usually by the middle of May. That time span could have been extended a bit, but the bill effectively removes it, allowing owners to file retroactive appeals going back many years. If their appeal is approved, local governments would owe them refunds, even though that money would have been spent long ago.

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