Williamson Central Appraisal District
Board of Directors Meeting
Jon Lux, Chairman, called the regular meeting of the Williamson Central Appraisal District Board of Directors to order Thursday, March 17, 2022, at 8:03 a.m. Board members present; Jon Lux, Harry Gibbs, Lora Weber, Hope Hisle-Piper, and Larry Gaddes. Mason Moses was absent. Quorum declared.
Some of the District’s management staff attended the meeting.
Pledges of Allegiance
Receipt of Public Comments
There were no public comments.
Taxpayer Liaison Officer’s Report
Report on Property Owner Contacts
Charley Rouse, the District’s Taxpayer Liaison Officer (TLO), was present to report on the status of his contact with property owners. Rouse reported that the only calls he had received were following reports in the media regarding the increase in appraised values.
Update on Appointment of ARB by Administrative Law Judge
Rouse also reported on the appointment of the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) process with the Administrative Law Judge. He announced that one full-time ARB member had resigned. Carol Frey, the ARB Chair, had written a letter to the judge indicating that one of the previously appointed auxiliary members could act as a replacement and therefore there was no need for an additional member to be named.
Review & Compensation of Taxpayer Liaison Officer
Executive Session began at 8:08 a.m. and ended at 8:19 a.m.
Consideration and possible action on items discussed in Executive Session
Review & Compensation of Taxpayer Liaison Officer
Gibbs moved to adjust the Taxpayer Liaison Officer’s salary to $900 per month and increase the auto allowance by $50 per month. Weber seconded. The motion carried.
Consider approval of minutes of the Board of Directors for the regular meeting – January 13, 2022.
Weber made a motion to approve the January 13, 2022, minutes as presented. Hisle-Piper seconded. The motion carried.
Open Assessment Agreement
Lankford discussed that the Open Assessment agreement which had been approved in budget for 2022. He explained the two pieces to the agreement, Assessment Connect and True Roll. Lankford explained that when the agreement was first signed with Tyler Technologies (the District’s appraisal software vendor), there were two parts to the agreement, Assessment Connect and Open Assessment. He explained that Connect gathers data from the appraisal system and makes it easier to appraise. Lankford announced that the District has its our own tools for this purpose. He went on to explain that by removing the Connect portion, it would leave $38,000 for the Open Assessment piece. This is also known as the data portal on the District’s website. Lankford explained that True Roll is an exemption auditing and monitoring service. These services look for other homesteads throughout the U.S. for potential fraud. It monitors the District’s system and assists with new applications.
Weber moved to approve the Open Assessment agreement in the amount of $38,000 for
2022 and 2023 as well as $78,000 for the True Roll exemption monitoring service for three years beginning in 2022. Hisle-Piper seconded. The motion carried.
Request for Qualifications for Financial Auditor
Lankford announced that every five years the District requests qualifications from financial auditors. He indicated that, although not completely necessary, this item has historically been presented to the Board for approval.
Hisle-Piper made a motion to approve submitting requests for qualifications from financial auditors. Weber seconded. The motion carried.
Construction Building Reserve Purchase & Backup Generator Quotes for WCAD Server Room
Lankford mentioned some areas of the District’s building that he would like to repurpose. He indicated that, prior to the pandemic, a greeter stood by the doorway to assist property owners. He also indicated that, since the pandemic had discontinued the use of the children’s alcove, he would like to convert this to a greeter area by placing a window in the foyer when entering the building.
Lankford indicated that the computer terminal area in the District’s lobby was also looking to be reformatted; again, since the terminals were not being utilized by the public. He announced his wishes to convert this area into cubicles for technicians, to allow them to be in a closer proximity to their manager. Lankford announced that a public terminal would still exist, just in another location in the customer service area.
Lankford discussed the District’s need for a backup generator. He indicated that the storm caused the power outage which caused the District to be closed for a week and staff members were unable to work. Lankford reminded the Board that District staff can still work from home when bad weather days occur; however, there must be power to the District’s server room. He announced that the District had researched generators in the past to keep power to the entire building; however, now due to the ability for staff to work from home, only the District’s server room would need to be powered. Batteries were discussed and the fact that these are only a temporary solution for a few hours. Lankford indicated that to prevent the need to completely close the office in the future during
these types of weather events, he was proposing the purchase of a propane generator.
Lankford presented a comparison of three different vendors. He explained that in order to receive this generator by December we would need to place our order soon. He explained that the only issue he could see was the fact that paying off the building had depleted the building reserve account.
The Legislature changed the law to provide for some limitations and a fee can be charged for abuse of the system.
Lankford outlined the proposed resolution and the time limits associated with each item. He also discussed the payment guidelines and how those would be managed. Discussion followed.
Hisle-Piper made a motion to approve resolution #2022-01 adopting a policy for costs incurred to respond to public information requests that require substantial amounts of personnel time. Weber seconded. The motion carried.
Chief Appraiser’s Report
Lankford announced that since the Board’s last meeting he had presented to Keller Williams with Gibbs where they had spoken to a group of realtors. He also conducted a presentation for the Commercial Property Information Exchange. Gibbs mentioned the great feedback received from this presentation. He indicated that it was clear to him that clarifying some misunderstandings would
be beneficial. Gibbs expressed his appreciation to both Lankford and Gaddes for their presentations.
Lankford announced that the District’s Deputy Chief Appraiser, Chris Connelly, had spoken during the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts (TAAD} Conference regarding innovations that came forward coming out of the pandemic.
Lankford announced that he had been named the Texas Association of Appraisal
Districts (TAAD} President.
Lankford mentioned that he had notified property owners that the real estate market had gone up dramatically. He contacted the Community Impact newspaper to see about having an article written. He announced that the Austin American Statesman now has an article published as well. Lankford indicated that news channel, KXAN, had done a segment with him as well.
Pictometry Change Finder Return on Investment
Lankford discussed the results from the pool finder project with the Board. He explained how pools missing from the appraisal roll are discovered. He announced that this program had discovered 985 pools this year which had been the largest quantity the District had seen for this project. He announced that this would constitute $46 million dollars added to the appraisal roll. Lankford indicated that this return on investment was based on year one and that this gain would
also be seen each subsequent year. He reminded the Board that this project is done every three years.
Lankford announced that the change finder project is done annually. He explained the process indicating that last year’s aerial imagery is overlayed with this year’s imagery and then any changes from year-to-year are discovered. This keeps in-person inspections to a minimum. Lankford announced a 989% return on investment on this project and reminded the Board again that this return represents year one only.
Lankford announced that District was able to validate its values on two of the five school districts; however, the remaining three would enter into their first year of grace. He indicated that the very next year, 2021, the District was able to value these districts in the acceptable appraisal range and he did not anticipate issues in the current year.
2022 Planning Session & Goals
Lankford reminded the Board of the District’s annual Planning Session meeting where members of management meet off-site. During this meeting, the District’s annual goals are discussed and decided.
Public Dashboard Revamp – Lankford displayed the public dashboard which is located on the District’s website. He explained that when clicking on the market map, it brings you to the neighborhood where comparable sales are gathered. The sales used to value the property are highlighted in the map. Lankford mentioned that the District would now also be able to tell a story on the dashboard; this story will better illustrate how the District interprets the data used.
Agent Portal – Lankford expressed the importance of streamlining the process when working with property tax agents. He indicated that by utilizing an agent portal on the District’s website, each agent has the ability to view a listing of their accounts. They can then compare this listing to their own to view any discrepancies.
MRA (Multiple Regression Analysis) – Final Phase – Lankford reminded the members that in previous years, the District had begun this project and that this year’s goal was to expand the use to additional areas. He indicated that the District is working towards developing strategies for a more consistent approach on these areas. He announced that MRAwould ga ner varied data from year-to-year and that the District would need consistency through this time. Lankford reminded the Board of the shift in the real estate market and indicated that the District spent the time it was planning to continue to work on MRA ensuring the adjustment for time was appropriate for its property appraisals.
Notice of Appraised Value Review
Lankford displayed a sample notice of appraised value (notice). He reviewed the changes made to this notice since the prior year. He reminded the Board that comparable sales would be included with this document. Lankford explained that the sale prices are redacted and that the time adjusted sale price would be included on the notice. He mentioned that the District will also include information further explaining how to read the market grid.
Weber inquired about the wording on the exemption type that shows the tax code reference. Lankford confirmed that this wording was a result of legislation.
2022 Entity Meeting Reminder
Lankford invited the Board members to attend the annual Entity Meeting, which was scheduled for Monday, March 23th at 8 a.m. He explained that all entities who attend are provided an individual packet of information containing the statistics for their entity. Lankford explained that this would assist them with their budgeting process.
The meeting adjourned at 10:55 a.m.
Jon Lux, Chairman Lora H. Weber, Secretary