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Marion County judge signs resolution to roll back property tax to 2019 rates

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MARION COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Marion County, Texas, Judge Leward LaFleur on Monday signed a resolution asking to freeze all property tax appraisals at their Jan. 1, 2019 rate.

The judge noted that the fight to contain the COVID-19 virus has resulted in a significant economic downward trend across the country and Marion County is no exception.

In the resolution, LaFleur wrote that the 2019 rates already were significantly higher than in previous years, but the state-mandated local property tax valuations determined on Jan. 1, 2020, “will set new record highs.”

Pointing out the shuttering of businesses, layoffs, loss of income, LaFleur wrote, “the increased property tax burden resulting from the heightened property valuations will harshly impact and compound the financial hardship to the citizens, taxpayers and property owners within the county.”

This year, he estimated the average property tax valuation will exceed a 10 percent or higher increase over the 2019 rates, but noted in a true economic sense, the fair market value of property “is substantially less than the tax appraisal values set on Jan. 1, 2020.

He explained the actual fair market value of property in a true economic sense now, “and for the foreseeable future” is substantially less than tax appraisal valuations set on January 1,2020.  

The resolution “recommends, requests, strongly urges and fully supports all state government officials, representatives, senators and directors of the Marion County Appraisal District in taking immediate action to freeze all property tax appraisal valuations in Marion County at levels set on January 1, 2019, and not in anyway implement or utilize the significantly incrasted property tax appraisal valuations as determined on January 1, 2020.”

In addition, the judge asked the directors of the Marion County Appraisal District and the Chief Appraiser to stop and withold mailing of more than 10,000 notices of current property tax valuations until April 30, 2020.

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