Overview of County Appraisal District
County History and Demographics
According to The Handbook of Texas, Tom Green County was founded in 1874 and named for Confederate Brigadier General Thomas Green.
Tom Green County is located in west central Texas and borders Sterling, Coke and Runnels counties to the north, Reagan and Irion counties to the west, Schleicher and Menard counties to the south, and Concho County to the east. San Angelo, the county seat, is centrally located 258 miles southwest of Dallas.
Tom Green County has two distinct physiographic regions: The Osage Plains, in the central, eastern, and southeast sections and the Edwards Plateau, in the northern, western, and extreme southwest. The major soil types in the county are silty clay loams and stony clays. There are three major reservoirs located in Tom Green County, O. C. Fisher Lake, Twin Buttes Reservoir, and Lake Nasworthy.
The 2004 county population, according to the Texas State Data Center, was 103,647, with the city of San Angelo having 88,170 residents. The other notable communities in the county - Carlsbad, Christoval, Vancourt, Wall, and Water Valley - have populations of less than 250 each.
The county includes the Christoval, San Angelo, Water Valley, Wall, Grape Creek and Veribest school districts.
Appraisal District Organization and Staffing
Tom Green CAD was formed in 1980 and became active in 1981. As of December, 2005, Tom Green CAD has a total of 21 full-time staff positions, with five supervisory positions. Seven positions are full-time appraisers. As of January 2006, the CAD has four vacancies, two cashiers, one abstractor and one appraiser. The CAD contracts with Thomas Y. Pickett for professional appraisal services on minerals, utilities and industrial appraisals.
Exhibit 1 presents the appraisal districts current organization chart.
The Tom Green CAD board of directors has no authority to set values or appraisal methods. The chief appraiser carries out the CAD's legal duties, hires its staff, makes appraisals and operates the appraisal office.
Tom Green CAD provides appraisal services for 13 taxing units (Exhibit 2).
Tom Green CAD Taxing Units
Name of Taxing Entity Tom Green County City of San Angelo Christoval ISD Grape Creek ISD San Angelo ISD Veribest ISD Wall ISD Red Creek Water Utility District Water Valley ISD Lipan-Kickapoo Water District* Tom Green County Emergency Services District #1 Sterling County Underground Water Conservation District* Irion County Water Conservation District* *Split with one or more taxing entities.
Source: Tom Green CAD 2005.
Exhibit 3 contains data concerning Tom Green CAD parcel counts by categories of properties. It compares the CAD's data to state and group averages. For analytical purposes, PTD groups appraisal districts according to the number of parcels. The Tom Green CAD is included with appraisal districts with 50,000 - 74,999 parcels.
Reported Data on Parcels and Categories
Comparison to State and Group Averages
Appraisal District Name: Tom Green State Avg. Group Avg. General Information Parcel Size Group (by number of locally appraised parcels) 50,000 - 74,999 Estimated # Locally Appraised Parcels 58,070 49,497 62,076 # Taxing Units 13 15 16 Comptroller's Estimated Locally Appraised Parcels per Staff 2,640 2,985 2,948 Composition by Percentage
of Value (Self Report):
Residential Value 54.6% 51.3% 49.5% Non-Residential, Non Mineral 44.4% 45.0% 46.3% Non-Residential, Mineral 1.1% 3.7% 4.2% Composition by Locally Appraised Parcel Category (Estimated from Self Report): Tom Green Parcel Type # Parcels % of Parcels A - Residential 32,842 56.56% 50.00% 44.4% B - Multi-Family 481 0.83% 1.16% 1.0% C - Vacant Lots 6,604 11.37% 14.70% 17.3% D - Agricultural 6,895 11.87% 14.42% 15.0% E - Farm and Ranch Improvement 1,815 3.13% 5.05% 6.7% F1 - Commercial Real 2,595 4.47% 3.44% 3.8% L1 - Commercial Personal 4,335 7.47% 6.80% 6.0% M1 - Mobile Homes 1,090 1.88% 2.53% 4.1% O - Residential Inventory 1,338 2.30% 1.80% 1.7% S - Special Inventory 75 0.13% 0.11% 0.1% Total 58,070 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% Source: All category parcel counts from 2004 Appraisal District Self Report of Value, except Category D, which is a sum of data reported in ISD Self Reports of Value in the CAD. Taxing unit and staffing data from the Comptroller's 2004-2005 Appraisal District Operations Report.
Most appraisal districts contract out some work to private firms. The Tom Green CAD appraises all categories of properties in-house with the exception of minerals, utilities, and industrial properties, which are contracted with Thomas Y. Pickett & Co., Inc. PTD does not track appraisals performed by external appraisers. Contracts with external appraisers generally do not include a parcel count for the number of appraisals to be performed. In assessing the staff-to-parcel count ratio in each appraisal district, PTD uses parcel counts reported in the appraisal district's 2004 self report and the independent school district self reports to calculate parcels per appraisal district staff.
PTD includes commercial real and personal property parcels in the calculation, since it cannot determine how many parcels are assigned to in-house staff versus private firms. The total parcels appraised in-house are calculated by summing the total number of parcels reported in categories A, single family residential; B, multifamily residential; C, vacant lots; D, rural land; E, rural improvements; F1, commercial property; L1, personal property; M1, mobile homes; O, residential inventory; and S, special inventory.
Exhibit 4 provides financial and staffing data for the Tom Green CAD and how it fares with other appraisal districts throughout the state and in its groups.
Reported Budget, Staffing and Training Data Comparison to State and Group Averages
Financial and Staffing Information
Tom Green State Avg. Group Avg. Financial Information 2004 Budget $955,108 $1,108,158 $1,192,039 2004 Surplus $49,000 $48,656 $53,077 2004 Surplus as % of Budget 5.1% 4.4% 4.5% 2005 Budget $1,009,771 $1,150,302 $1,263,557 Percent Change in Budget 5.7% 3.8% 6.0% 2004 Budget per Total Parcel $15.49 $9.33 $14.11 2004 Budget per PTD Estimated Locally Appraised Parcel $16.45 $22.30 $19.20 Staffing - 2004 Budget Full Time 22 17 21 Part Time 0 1 1 Supervisory 1 3 4 Programmers 1 1 4 Supervisory to Staff Ratio 0 1:5 1:6 Chief Appraiser (CA) (CA) Performs Appraisals? No 2004 Total Compensation - Actual $65,000 $52,557 $67,791 Appraisers - 2004 Budget Full - Time 7 6 8 Part - Time * 0 0 Salary Range: Low $36,541 $25,476 $27,039 High $55,625 $38,313 $48,860 2004 Training Budget $4,125 $9,140 $9,432 # Registered with BTPE 9 8 11 Note: An asterisk (*) is shown where data was not reported.
Source: All data from Comptroller's 2004-2005 Appraisal District Operations Report, with the exception of "per parcel" numbers, which are calculated by PTD.
In Exhibit 5 operations information is provided for the Tom Green CAD, state and group.
Reported Data Comparison to State and Group Averages
Tom Green State Avg. Group Avg. Reappraisal Last Year of Reappraisal 2004 Next Year of Reappraisal * Type of Reappraisal: Cyclical Method of Reappraisal: In-House Protests (2004 tax year) 499 3,164 1,950 Protests per Estimated Locally Appraised Parcel 1% 6% 0% Consolidated Collection Yes Collection Budget $543,723 District Has or Plans to Purchase Geographic Information System (GIS)? No Percent GIS Complete * 80% 92% Board of Directors - 2004 Members 5 6 7 Tax Assessor Votes? No Elected Members 0 3 0 Note: An asterisk (*) is shown where data was not reported.
Source: All data from Comptroller's 2004-2005 Appraisal District Operations Report, with the exception of "per parcel" numbers, which are calculated by PTD.
Based on this comparison, the Tom Green CAD appraised 2,640 parcels per full time employee. The IAAO Standards state that the ratio of parcels per full-time employees for a small appraisal district is between 1,500 and 1,700. For a large appraising entity these numbers are between 3,000 and 3,500.
Workloads in appraisal districts can vary due to any number of considerations other than parcel count. The geographic size of an appraisal district, for instance, may have an impact on the time required to work all parcels, as can the types of properties involved. Complex commercial and some residential properties may require more staff work to appraise. The data given here are meant only to give the reader some basis for comparison with other appraisal districts with similar parcel counts.
Self Evaluation Questionnaire
In preparation for this ASR, the Tom Green CAD was asked to complete the IAAO's Self Evaluation Questionnaire, which asks the appraisal district to assess its compliance with acceptable procedures, standards and organization. Each appraisal district received an electronic version of the questionnaire and an IAAO manual that explains each question and how to answer them. PTD asks each appraisal district undergoing an ASR to perform the self-assessment.
The Tom Green CAD answered all 111 questions, providing concise responses where necessary. A summary of the self-assessment follows.
In responding to the self-assessment, the appraisal district pointed to certain strengths. Among the identified strengths are:
- a well trained and conscientious staff;
- customized appraisal software; and
- good public relations.
Tom Green CAD also indicated an area in which they are working to improve. Tom Green CAD has begun a computerized mapping program to reduce dependence on old paper maps and to better assist staff and taxpayers in locating property and defining market areas.
In Chapter 1, on legal issues and assessment cycles, the CAD indicated that it understands the legal framework, value standard and assessment cycles required of the CAD. The CAD stated it keeps current with legislative proposals, laws and court decisions by attending workshops and the Comptroller's annual Truth in Taxation seminar; and reviewing weekly updates on proposed legislation when the Texas Legislature is in session from the CAD's law firm, professional organizations and the Comptroller's Web site. Question number four on size and resources was answered by describing the CAD in terms of square miles and total parcels and stating the combined appraisal and collection budget had increased for 2006 providing for additional staff.
In Chapter 2, on resources and management, Tom Green CAD indicated that it engages in formal planning, has adequate funding, has sufficient office space and is well organized and well managed. The district staff are quality conscious concerning their work. Question 7 asked if salaries and benefits are competitive and the CAD replied that a salary and benefit survey was currently being conducted for use in 2006 and subsequent years.
In Chapter 3, on computerization, the CAD indicated its computer system is sufficient to meet the CAD's needs. The district stated a geographic information system is in development and imaging capability is currently limited to personal computers. The Tom Green CAD also stated it has a Web site.
In Chapter 4, on mapping, the CAD indicated that district maps comply with IAAO standards and Comptroller Rules. Tom Green CAD is in the process of converting from a hardcopy mapping system to a computerized system. Parcel "splits" and combinations currently are completed in a timely manner.
In Chapter 5, on data collection, the CAD indicated that it knows what data is required by Comptroller Rules, state law, and appraisal standards. The CAD stated that it collects and uses all relevant data in the assessment process and operate on a 3 year reappraisal cycle. Tom Green CAD does not use hand held computers for field data collection.
In Chapter 6, on land evaluation, the CAD indicated that it understands the land evaluation process using market data as its primary source. Tom Green CAD stated it will use the GIS system to assist in data control and currently uses the comparative sales method rather than cost method to appraise undeveloped land.
In Chapter 7, on residential property valuation, the CAD indicated that it uses extensive sales data and market analysis in the appraisal process for residential properties. Depreciation based on sales analysis is used when using market driven value schedules.
In Chapter 8, on commercial property valuation, the CAD indicated that it uses many sources of information to compile cost, income, and market data for appraising commercial property. Tom Green CAD acknowledges the property's total depreciation and complex appraisals are reviewed by management.
In Chapter 9, on legal sales data, ratio studies, and stratification, the CAD indicated that it follows the accepted procedures for gathering sales data and can generate ratio studies at will with value stratification being a new feature. When fully operational the computerized mapping system will assist in identifying market areas.
In Chapter 10, on personal property assessment, Tom Green CAD indicated that it follows the accepted procedures for discovery and appraisal of personal property. The CAD uses a variety of discovery methods and cost guides. The income approach is not used to value leased equipment due to lack of available data.
In Chapter 11, on assessment administration, the CAD indicated it believes that it is following the accepted practices of assessment administration in the Comptroller Rules and IAAO standards.
In Chapter 12, on defense of values, Tom Green CAD indicated that the appraisal review board process encourages communication between taxpayers and the CAD. Informal hearings between appraisal staff and appellants are required before a formal hearing and the CAD contracts with an outside appraisal firm to appraise complex properties.
In Chapter 13, on public relations, the CAD indicated that it believes it has an effective public relations program. A variety of published tax related notices, public appearances, and the Tom Green CAD's Web site provide taxpayers with information about their rights and responsibilities.
Findings of the Property Value Study
The Property Value Study determines the total property value in each school district in the Tom Green CAD. With a few notable exceptions, all CADs and the Property Tax Division are required by law to appraise property at market value. Agricultural land and timberland are appraised according to productivity value. Market value, in short, is the price that a property would transfer from a willing seller to a willing buyer. For it to be a market transaction neither party may be under duress to buy or sell and the sale must be on the market for a reasonable time.
Local tax roll value, or local value, is determined by the CAD and submitted to PTD on its annual self-report. PTD staff estimates the total taxable value in a school district, referred to as state value, by determining market value or by accepting the local appraised value in each property category in the CAD and then adding these category values for an overall school district value. PTD then deducts state-mandated homestead exemptions, disabled veterans' exemptions, value limitations, reinvestment zones, freeport exemptions, the loss between market value and productivity value appraisal of qualified agricultural lands, the school tax ceiling for homeowners over age 65 or disabled and other state-mandated exemptions.
PTD issues a preliminary and final PVS each year. School districts and CADs may protest the findings of the preliminary PVS through an administrative hearings process with the Comptroller, and school districts may protest the findings of the final PVS in district court. The administrative hearings process requires the protester to file a written protest with supporting documentation within 40 days of the issuance of the preliminary PVS. PTD may amend the findings of the preliminary PVS based on the submission of the written protest, an informal hearing or a formal hearing. Formal hearings are held by a hearings examiner, appointed by the Comptroller's General Counsel, and reporting directly to the Comptroller. The hearings examiner is not an employee of PTD.
When conducting the property value study, PTD assigns properties to various categories, such as residential, commercial and rural property. Properties are divided into categories so that like properties are assessed together.
San Angelo ISD did not formally appeal the findings of the preliminary study. The school district was unable to get into the confidence interval and was certified an eligible district in July 2005. In the 2004 PVS, San Angelo fell outside the study's statistical margin of error. Single-Family residences (Category A) and Commercial real estate properties (Category F1) are the primary reasons that the school district's values are not within the acceptable range determined by the PVS.
A review of the school districts in the county indicates that Tom Green CAD was not consistently appraising single-family residences (Category A) and rural residences (sub-Category D2). Also, the CAD was consistently over appraising qualified acreage (sub-Category D1) above market value as determined by PTD.
In general, a ratio of between 0.95 and 1.05 in any property category makes it more likely that the CAD is appraising property within the margin of error, or that it is appraising property at or near market value, according to the PVS.
Eligible School Districts
San Angelo ISD was identified as an eligible school district with values outside of the confidence interval limit. The confidence interval is a range of school district values which the Comptroller has accepted.
There were four property categories tested in San Angelo ISD: (1) Category A, single-family residences; (2) Category D, rural real; (3) Category F1, commercial real properties; and (4) L1, commercial personal properties.
The CAD is placing a below market value on Category A, single-family residences. A review of Category A properties indicates that the Tom Green CAD appraised from as low as 74 percent to a high of 146 percent of market value with a weighted mean ratio of .9308. Category A, single-family residences, make up 59 percent of the CAD's reported value and 70 percent of the tested value.
Category D represents rural properties and contains two subcategories: D1 and D2. Subcategory D1, productivity value of qualifying acres, is primarily farm and ranch land that qualifies for the special productivity appraisal. Subcategory D2, non-qualifying acres and farm and ranch improvements, is primarily rural homes and land that does not qualify for farming or ranching or timberlands.
The CAD is placing an above market value on the subcategory D1, qualified acreage. A review of the subcategory D1 indicates that the CAD over appraised irrigated cropland, dry cropland, native pastureland and acreage designated for wildlife management. Subcategory D1 makes up a minimal percent of the CAD's value and of the tested value. This subcategory had a weighted mean ratio of 1.1286.
The Tom Green CAD is placing a below market value on Category F1, commercial real properties. A review of Category F1 properties indicates that the CAD appraised from as low as 45 percent to a high of 123 percent of market value with a weighted mean ratio of .7900. Category F1 makes up 16 percent of the CAD's value and 19 percent of the tested value.
San Angelo ISD appealed the self-reported values but did not appeal any specific Category tested in the Property Value Study.
Other School Districts
Tom Green CAD also has five other school districts, Christoval, Water Valley, Wall, Grape Creek and Veribest ISDs. These five school districts were within their respective confidence interval limits.
However, the Tom Green CAD is not consistently appraising single-family and rural residences. In addition to San Angelo ISD, the CAD is under appraising single-family residences in Wall ISD. In the other four ISDs, Christoval, Water Valley, Grape Creek and Veribest, the CAD is appraising single-family residences within the acceptable range of market value. In Grape Creek and Veribest ISDs the CAD is under appraising rural residences at just below 92 percent of market value while over appraising rural residences in Wall ISD with a weighted mean ratio of 1.0507. Rural residences in Water Valley and Christoval ISDs were appraised within the acceptable range of market value with weighted mean ratios of .9576 and .9885, respectively.
The PVS revealed that the CAD is over appraising sub-category D1 throughout the county, from as low as 110 percent of taxable value in Water Valley and Grape Creek ISDs to as high as 114 percent of taxable value in Veribest ISD.
Tom Green CAD Summary
In summary, the Tom Green CAD is not consistently appraising in Category A, single family residences.
For an explanation of why the district was selected as eligible, see Appendix 3.