Following Hurricane Harvey, many local officials have repeatedly opposed requests by taxpayers and other lawmakers to reappraise property damaged by the storm. But, one county tax assessor is leading the charge for reappraisals to give recovering taxpayers a bit of a break.

Galveston County Tax Assessor-Collector Cheryl Johnson has been vocal in her support of property reappraisals since the storm hit, but her office recently sent a letter to the county commissioners court formally asking them to do so.

Johnson is asking for a few things from the county commissioners:

  • Galveston Central Appraisal District (GCAD) Chief Appraiser reappraise all properties damaged by Harvey
  • Board of Directors of the GCAD insure the reappraisals are done using the most efficient and cost effective methods allowable by law
  • Chief Appraiser submit a detailed statement of costs associated with reappraisal for review by County Auditor
  • In addition to the Supplemental Roll, a list of all properties, account numbers, jurisdiction codes, January 1 value, and post-Harvey value be provided to the County Auditor and Tax Assessor-Collector

In a previous post, Johnson said, “We deserve to know where every single government taxing us (in Texas) stands on disaster reappraisal.”

Johnson has been in a small club of locally elected officials pushing for disaster reappraisals. Many, like Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, have been outright hostile towards the idea. Galveston County taxpayers should take notice, and encourage their commissioners court to approve the request.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.

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