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BCRAGD puzzles over property values

By Bev Barr BCC Editor

The above spreadsheet was obtained from the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District through the Texas Public Information Act. This is sampling of data that compares lot values over the course of four years.

Editor’s note: According to the Bandera County Appraisal District’s website, since the BCRAGD meeting, the 2017 appraisals for lots owned by Trey West Vacations LLC were changed, increased, to reflect the same fair market value appraisal of 2015, a dollar amount in line with other property owners in the subdivision.

The Board of Directors for the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District (BCRAGD) held a special meeting at 9 am, Thursday, May 25.
After the call to order, roll call, the Pledge of Allegiance, and certification of quorum and compliance with Texas Open Meetings law, the directors excused themselves for executive session to consult with legal counsel and to deliberate a contested case hearing with Flying L. Guest Ranch Ltd. The directors returned from executive session, and made no decisions for action.
The next agenda item was a discussion about appraised values for the Flying L Ranch subdivision and surrounding properties as documented on spreadsheet that was sent anonymously to the BCRAGD by a resident. Wendy Garms, chief appraiser for Bandera County Appraisal District, attended the meeting and spoke to the directors. In accordance with the Texas Public Information Act, the Bandera County Courier requested and received a copy of the spreadsheet discussed at the open meeting.
The spreadsheet shows property lot appraisal values for 2014 through 2017. On the left side of the spreadsheet are lots owned by Trey West Vacations LLC and the appraised value of those lots for years 2014 through 2017.
For comparison, on the right side of the spreadsheet are the values of neighboring lots identical in size, owned by individuals other than Trey West Vacations LLC.
In 2015, the lot values of property owned by Trey West Vacations LLC increased to an amount equal to the appraisal amounts listed on the right side of the spreadsheet. Property values were assessed equally among all landowners.
The following year, in 2016, the appraised value of the lots owned by Trey West Vacations LLC were reduced in most cases to an even $100 or $200, which represents very roughly 1 percent of the 2015 appraised value for the same property. In total, Trey West Vacations LLC owned 41 residential lots and 15 commercial lots valued at $100, and 15 residential properties valued at $200. By comparison, there were no reductions in the appraised values for the lots listed on the right side of the spreadsheet, those properties owned by individuals.
In 2017, the discrepancies in appraised lot values continue. The appraisals for Trey West Vacations LLC increased by 80 to 90 percent of the 2016 appraisals, which reflects an appraised value of less than 10 percent of the 2014 appraisals, and roughly 7 percent of the appraised value for similar lots owned by individual landowners.