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City lawsuit against TCAD officially over

Thursday, December 29, 2016 by Jo Clifton

The city of Austin has quietly given up on its lawsuit against the Travis Central Appraisal District by declining to file a petition for review by the Texas Supreme Court. During a mid-December briefing by the appraisal district on methods it was using to make appraisals more fair for homeowners, Mayor Steve Adler said he thought the city did not need to pursue litigation any further. Because the city did not file the appeal, the opinion of the Third Court of Appeals “affirming the dismissal of the entire case is now a final and non–appealable judgment,” attorney Lorri Michel said in an email. Michel was the lead attorney for Junk Yard Dogs, the owner of the office of Pro Tax, which represents homeowners and businesses challenging TCAD appraisals. In their opinion, judges with the appeals court said the city should look to the legislature, not the courts, to correct inequities in the state’s property tax system. Legislative leaders have given no indication that they intend to tackle the problems with the system, which is particularly acute for school district tax payers. Instead, there has been discussion about further limiting the amount of property taxes cities can collect. Austin and other cities will be trying to prevent such legislation from passing.

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