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Port Aransas homeowners say their property-tax appraisals have skyrocketed

Some Nueces County residents said they saw an increase last year, but this time around, some are seeing double what they paid the previous year.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Some homeowners in Nueces County experienced sticker shock when they opened up their property-tax appraisal notices. 

Some residents saw an increase last year, but this time around, some are seeing double than what they paid the year prior. 

Nueces County Chief Appraiser Ronnie Canales said that more than 160,000 appraisal notices went out beginning April 3.

"We do anticipate there will be increases in parts of the county -- more so than other parts," he said. 

One of those areas is Port Aransas.

Canales said that sales in the beachfront city are very hot at the moment.

"Right now you're looking at an increase from last year to this year," he said. "From 50 percent for the city and 51 percent for the school district."

Canales said that, in Texas, the cap on homestead properties is 10 percent, but that doesn't apply to additional properties. 

Port Aransas resident John Zufall has been living in the area for nine years. He purchases vacation rentals as retirement income, but with the increase in taxes, he may have to get rid of them. 

"It's not right," he said. "Something needs to change. People are going to lose their houses. There's no way people can afford to live here if it's going to be like that."

Zufall said his appraisal went from $197,000 to $340,000, and there are some homeowners who are looking at worse. 

3NEWS spoke with one woman who wanted to remain anonymous. 

She said her 92-year-old mother's property increased from $170,000 last year, to $861,000.

"When she got the bill, her initial response was: 'It would be so much better if I would just die now so you kids could rid of my properties. Because I'm going to use up all of your inheritance (paying) taxes.' That's a really sick way to feel about life." 

The woman said she hopes the notices she received in the mail are a mistake -- something Canales said could be a possibility.

"We will check it out, and if it's correct, then we will show that person what comps we used to arrive at that number," he said. "But if we see it's incorrect, we will make that adjustment right then and there. We aren't perfect, but we will make corrections as soon as possible for the taxpayer."

Canales said that anyone who has concerns over the appraisal process can protest or appeal within the 30-day time period. 

If residents disagree with the district's appraised values, then they can contact the Nueces County Appraisal District's office at (361) 881-9978.

They will also be holding workshops for people would would like to protest their property taxes. They will be held:

  • Apr 22: Civic Center at City Hall, 710 W. Avenue A, Port Aransas, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 
  • April 29: Johnny S. Calderon County Building, 710 E Main Ave., Robstown, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 
  • May 6: Flour Bluff High School Cafeteria, 2505 Waldron Rd., Corpus Christi, 8:30am-3:30pm

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