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City drops sales price disclosure request

Monday, November 2, 2015 by Jo Clifton

In its lawsuit against the Travis Central Appraisal District over valuation of commercial property and vacant land, the city of Austin has dropped its claim for mandatory disclosure of real estate sales prices. The city’s lawyers say they are no longer pursuing that request in their response to a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendant Junk Yard Dogs LP. Junk Yard Dogs owns the building where Protax, an appraisal protest business, is located. “The city is only seeking a fair tax process where all parties are taxed using the same value – market value – meeting the constitutional mandate of ‘equal and uniform’ taxation,” the city says. The decision to drop the claim that real estate sales prices be disclosed eliminates one of the grounds the defendants used to argue that the city’s suit should be dismissed. The city’s response was filed on Friday. The parties will gather at the courtroom of Judge Tim Sulak this Friday to argue about whether the suit should continue or be dismissed. The state of Texas intervened in the lawsuit last week, claiming that the city was attempting to usurp legislative duties in the realm of tax policy.

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