Weatherford Democrat

Local News

October 3, 2012

Attorneys ask for Supreme Court review

(Continued)

WEATHERFORD —

Imagine waking up to find a $4,000 tax bill, due immediately according to the cities, and then finding out they were never allowed to do that, Carden said. 

The houses were on the district’s rolls being taxed by the county, hospital and school districts, but the cities did not go through the process needed to add them to their tax rolls, Carden said. 

Not counting penalties or interest, the total amount of taxes at stake totals to more than $231,000; some property owners have bills as low as $700, others have bills as high as $12,500, according to Carden.

Some have paid the bills, others have not. 

They are asking for refunds with interest for those who have paid, according to Carden. 

“I’m fairly confident that the court of appeals’ well-reasoned decision will stand,” Carden said. 

Fredrick Quast, an attorney representing the city of Aledo, said they filed a petition for review with the Texas Supreme Court Monday afternoon. 

They have several issues, but the main one for the city has to do with whether the city should be a party to the lawsuit. 

The issue is whether the chief appraiser complied with the law, and the City of Aledo believes the city is immune to being sued under those circumstances, Quast said. 

The city also believes the court of appeals misinterpreted the tax code, Quist said. 

The court of appeals’ reading of the tax code calls into question its constitutionality, according to Quist. 

The Supreme Court of Texas only grants petitions to hear cases about 12 percent of the time, according to Quast. 

If the court of appeals decision does stand, the case will return to district court in Parker County. 

And if that happens, Carden said the next battle will be over whether the suit becomes a class action suit and includes the remaining affected property owners.

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