Tarrant County residents have been receiving their annual appraisal statements in the mail this week and learning that their property taxes will increase another 10 percent this year—but not Grapevine-Colleyville School Board President Lisa Pardo.
Below is the Tarrant County Appraisal District (TAD) record for Pardo’s home in Colleyville.
For purposes of explanation, TAD has literally nothing to do with setting tax rates or budgets. Each local taxing entity—your city, county and school district—establishes their own budget and sets its respective tax rate accordingly in order to raise the “revenue” required to fund its own budget. TAD simply establishes the value of your home; your local tax entity decides how much you actually pay.
In the case of GCISD, the board of trustees has raised taxes 40 percent in the past five years alone and proposed another 8.5 percent tax increase for the coming budget year. That’s what most of us are paying—but not Ms. Pardo, the 14-year incumbent school board president.
As you can see, unlike pretty much everyone else in Colleyville, Pardo’s appraisal values have not changed at all in the past three years and have actually declined during the same period when the rest of us have paid 40 percent or more in additional school taxes.
Even more curious, Pardo’s assessment value this year is exactly the same as last year’s before TAD had even started the protest process. I encourage all of you to check your own statements to see if you can say the same.
Hint: You can’t, because this tax phenomenon is almost completely unique to Ms. Pardo. Interestingly, local taxing entities, like GCISD, appoint members of the appraisal board. And because local taxing entities’ voting power is in proportion to the property taxes they collect, school boards almost always have the most influence.
Draw your own conclusions as to how Ms. Pardo’s values have remained unchanged, but the simple fact is that she has not paid one dollar of the tax increases she has personally passed onto the rest of us in the past six years. But her neighbors have—we checked. We even had three real estate professionals do independent market analyses on her property using the exact same tools that TAD does to establish tax value. They all came up with a $680,000+ value for her property, which is significantly above the TAD value.
The bottom line is: While Pardo continues to materially increase our school property taxes every year, she isn’t paying one dollar more herself. Apparently, what’s good for Pardo’s constituents isn’t so good for her, so “let them eat cake.” Tax increases are for the little people.
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