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State of Texas seeks to join city appraisal suit

Friday, October 30, 2015 by Jo Clifton

Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a motion to intervene in the city’s lawsuit challenging the Travis Central Appraisal District’s valuations of commercial and vacant properties. The state of Texas “seeks to intervene in this case to defend against the City of Austin’s invalid attempt to take control over Texas tax policy from the Legislature by challenging the constitutionality and the validity of” certain sections of the Texas Tax Code, according to the petition filed Thursday afternoon. The attorney general’s petition states that although the city limits the relief it is seeking to the appraisal of commercial properties, “its claim challenging the constitutionality of the state’s tax appraisal system applies to all Texas property owners, residential and commercial alike.” Because Judge Tim Sulak granted TCAD’s motion to strike the attempted intervention by six homeowners, the state claims that “homeowner taxpayers have been deprived of a voice in the city’s attempt to rewrite Texas tax law.” The city, TCAD and commercial property owners are scheduled to return to court for a hearing on a motion to dismiss the case filed by Junk Yard Dogs LP next Friday morning. Junk Yard Dogs LP is the owner of the building in which the property tax protest business, Protax, is located.

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