Weatherford Democrat

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October 3, 2012

Attorneys ask for Supreme Court review

WEATHERFORD —  

Attorneys for the Parker County Appraisal District and the cities of Aledo and Willow Park are asking the Supreme Court of Texas to review a recent ruling by the Texas 2nd Court of Appeals on a local property tax issue. 

The lawsuit centers around city taxes retroactively billed to residents of three Parker County subdivisions after there was a failure to add the properties to the respective city tax rolls. 

In October 2008, the appraisal district sent bills to the property owners stating that the properties had been “omitted” from the appraisal rolls for the past five years and stating that the total for the previous years was due upon receipt.

The lawsuit was filed in response to a collection suit filed in 2010 by the city of Willow Park against the owners of one of the affected properties, Todd Brennan and Valerie Smith, residents of Willow Park Village. 

The residents allege the city taxes for those properties were assessed in violation of the state tax code, something attorneys for the appraisal district and cities dispute. 

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 improperly sent the bills two months before the appraisal review board added the records to the appraisal roll for the district.

A request that the case be dismissed because the court had no jurisdiction in the issue was granted by 43rd District Judge Trey Loftin in July 2011.

Attorneys for the cities and appraisal district have argued that, based on the tax code, the homeowners should have filed a protest with the Parker County Appraisal Review Board in a timely fashion before pursuing the case in district court. 

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