2013 Notice of Obfuscation (Appraised Value, I mean)

My favorite time of year. Property tax time. Always nice to see what the county thinks your house and land are worth. Personally, I’m always more concerned about the land. I want my house to retain or, better, increase in value, but it isn’t dictated nearly as much by the county appraisal. When people tell you that the house is appraised at such-and-such value by the county as a justification for their sales price, you should just look them in the eyes and say, “So?” Your house can be awesome or crap. The appraisers don’t come out to inspect and apply a true market value (just ask those who attempt protesting their appraisals).

But, whatever. Property taxes. You gotta pay ’em.

My favorite part of the tax notice falls two-thirds down the page. It’s printed in bold and italics.

I took a picture of it, but it came out really crappy. Nonetheless, the message reads:

“The Texas Legislature does not set the amount of your local taxes. Your property tax burden is decided by your locally elected officials, and all inquiries concerning your taxes should be directed to those officials.”

What I love about this is someone at the Texas Legislature was smart enough to pass a bill/amendment to shift the tax rate blame onto local officials, when the reason for such high property taxes is the low state contribution to needed public services like schools and community health clinics and other unfunded mandates.

I just love it. Every year, I look for it. I love the blatant obfuscation. Nothing wrong with(at least) annually all but outright lying to one’s constituents.

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