By JUDY SHERIDAN
The Parker County Appraisal District is reporting that property appraisals are up 2.5 percent county-wide this year, according to preliminary tax rolls, with $232 million added to the tax rolls, including $168 million in new construction.
Parker County Chief Appraiser Larry Hammonds said the new construction values reflect about 2,000 new parcels in the county’s 80,000-parcel total, which includes land, homes and commercial buildings.
“It’s been up as high as $350 million,” Hammonds said, “so it’s better than last year, but not as good as three years ago, when all the shopping centers went in on the Interstate.”
The appraisal district reappraises every two years, Hamonds said, beginning with field work in October and mailing appraisal notices at the beginning of May.
“We only mail notices to [properties] we propose an increase in,” Hammonds said. “We’ve mailed 20,000 notices, so about 25 percent showed an increase in value.”
Hammonds said the district will hear protests through the first few days of July. He said the number of protests is “a little lighter than usual.”
“The values inched up,” he said. “We didn’t rock and roll anybody. Some stayed the same, and some were lowered.”
Hammonds said there was no information on which to base a significant increase in property values. Appraisals are based on the sale prices of homes in neighborhoods, he said.
“We’re continually chasing the market,” he said. “We don’t try to set it.”
The district must have a certified tax roll — with final numbers — by July 20. Hammonds said he doesn’t expect things to change much between now and then.
Following are the percentage changes in appraisal values for Parker County school districts and cities, as reported by Hammonds, as well as new construction values.
In the Weatherford ISD, values are up 3.7 percent, with 2.2 percent due to $61.7 million in new construction. In the City of Weatherford, values are up 4 percent, with 2.3 percent due to $38.8 million in new construction.
In the Aledo ISD, values are up 5.15 percent, with 3 percent due to $56 million in new construction. In the City of Aledo, values are up 8 percent, with 3.9 percent due to $6.2 million in new construction.
“A lot of homes have increased in value in Aledo,” Hammonds commented. “It’s just the market. Aledo’s the hot place to live in Parker County.”
The City of Willow Park is projected to have a 3 percent increase in value, with 2.9 percent of it coming from about $9.4 million in new construction.
In the Springtown ISD, values are up 0.5 percent — with a 2 percent increase due to $11.8 million in new construction. The district lost some valuation due to lower reappraisals that were based mainly on the foreclosure and repossession of mobile homes, Hammonds said. The City of Springtown was up 2.5 percent over all, with a 1.5 percent increase due to $1.6 million in new construction, again reflecting a loss in value related to lower mobile home reappraisals.
The Brock ISD experienced a 9.6 percent overall decrease in values, despite a 2 percent increase due to $7.1 million in new construction, because Green Field Energy, a fracking yard worth $45 million, moved out of the county, Hammonds said.
The Peaster ISD went up 2 percent in value, and the Millsap ISD was virtually unchanged in value. The City of Millsap had no change in appraisal values, because a 2.9 percent increase due to new construction was offset by a loss from lower existing reappraisals.
The Garner ISD went up 1.8 percent in value, with a 0.75 percent increase due to $2.1 million in new construction.
In the Poolville ISD values are up 3.1 percent, with 2.8 percent due to $1.2 million in new construction.
“Parker County has really survived very well,” Hammonds said, reflecting on the long-term economic downturn. “There’s a good economic base; we haven’t lost a lot of value, and the values are only going to increase from this point.
“We’re seeing more sales occurring, more people looking for property. The growth is slow and steady, more sustainable than in New Jersey and California, where there were huge property increases all at once, so they fell a lot.”
Hammonds said he was not aware of appraisal figures statewide, which will be communicated by the comptroller’s office later in the year.