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Transmittal Letter


October 19, 2005


Fellow Texans:

To provide you with useful information about property values and appraisal district performance, I am pleased to release this School and Appraisal Districts Property Value Study 2004 Final Report, as required by Section 5.10 of the Property Tax Code.

In accordance with state law, I certified the final results of the 2004 Property Value Study (Study) to the Commissioner of Education on July 1, 2005. The Commissioner uses the final values in the process for allocating state funds to school districts.

Before the 78th Regular Legislative Session began and after many conversations with school district superintendents and chief appraisers, I recognized that something must be done to ensure that school districts were given an opportunity to work with their appraisal districts in addressing property valuation issues. I re-constituted my Technical Advisory Committee with the best minds in property tax appraisal and school finance and charged them to come up with a new Study methodology.

Most of the recommendations of that committee were found in Senate Bill 671, which I strongly supported and which made significant changes to the Study methodology. This legislation grants a “grace period” for eligible school districts, thereby allowing schools negatively impacted by the Study findings the opportunity to work with their appraisal district to remedy the problem before the school district suffers a loss of state funding. I do not believe that schools should be punished for the actions or inaction of their appraisal districts. To work, the system must be fair for taxpayers as well as our public school children in every town and every neighborhood in this great state.

If you have any questions concerning the Study results, please contact Buddy Breivogel, manager of my Property Tax Division, by e-mail at buddy.breivogel@cpa.state.tx.us, or by phone at 1-800-252-9121, extension 5-8681, or direct in Austin at 512/305-8681.

Please know that I welcome your good advice at any time. Thanks for all that you do for Texas.

Sincerely,

[signed]
Carole Keeton Strayhorn
Texas Comptroller