A judge will likely hear testimony into the accuracy of valuations in Texas County, an official of the State Tax Commission said Monday.
Members of the Texas County of Equalization voted 4-2 last week not to comply with a state order that sought to raise the value of residential structures by 20 percent and would double the valuation of a residential lot by a factor of two. The body’s vote comes after County Assessor Debbie James refused to follow the state’s edict and the six-member board of equalization agreed.
Robert Epperson, manager of technical assistance with the State Tax Commission, said Monday that the county’s failure to follow a state order rarely occurs and is complicated by the fact that a parcel-by-parcel review was just completed at the end of May.
“The market analysis performed by the assessor and then reviewed by me has in the last several years consistently been below the market value. And that’s what the law says. The law says the assessments must reflect market value. That’s the assessor’s job,” said Epperson.
Meanwhile, until the dispute is settled, computers with the data have been preserved. No access is available today in the offices of the collector, assessor or clerk.