Many of the affected residents paid the tax bills, according to Carden.
However, when Willow Park filed a collection suit in 2010 against Todd Brennan and Valerie Smith, residents of Willow Park Village, 13 homeowners filed a counterclaim against the government entities.
The property owners say their taxes were assessed illegally, in violation of procedures specified by the Texas Tax Code.
The cities had no authority to tax the properties during those years because they didn’t notify the appraisal district that their boundaries had expanded to include the subdivisions and the cities failed to challenge the district’s records each year, the homeowners argue.
They are also alleging Hammonds, who also serves as assessor-collector, improperly sent the bills two months before the appraisal review board added the records to the appraisal roll for the district.
Attorneys for the cities and appraisal district dispute the homeowners’ claims.
The attorney for Hammonds told the Democrat Hammonds’ actions were within the bounds of the tax code.
The City of Aledo has also argued they should not be a party to the lawsuit because they have immunity in the circumstances.
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.
The situation is an unusual circumstance because the positions of chief appraiser and assessor-collector are filled by one person wearing two hats in Parker County, according to Carden, adding that it would be rare for the tax assessor to go back and change anything in a county such as Tarrant, where different offices handle the responsibilities.