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Appraisal review board lawsuit settled

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler, the Travis County Appraisal Review Board and two companies that represent taxpayers seeking to lower the appraised value of their homes have reached a settlement agreement that will afford a hearing for each of the 135 Travis County property owners who filed suit in October. According to a written statement from attorneys for Crigler, the review board, Texas Protax-Austin and Five Stone Tax Advisers, the parties are dropping all claims against one another and the review board will provide hearings for each of the property owners. In the lawsuit filed by attorney Bill Aleshire on behalf of the tax advisers and their clients, plaintiffs claimed deliberate mistreatment by the appraisal review board, alleging that Crigler was scheduling hearings in such a way that the plaintiff tax companies could not participate. Some of the property owners, if not all of them, have already paid their 2018 tax bill since it was issued based on the original appraised value. The due date for those taxes is Jan. 31 but many people pay them in December. Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant has assured the Austin Monitor that his office regularly issues refunds when there is a determination that the taxpayer has overpaid. Texas Protax-Austin and Five Stone Tax Advisers filed suit against the review board and Crigler in October. She responded by filing a claim against them under the Texas Citizens Participation Act.

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