Williamson Central Appraisal District
Board of Directors Meeting
Charles Chadwell, Chairman, called the regular meeting of the Williamson Central Appraisal District Board of Directors to order Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 9:01 a.m. Board members present Charles Chadwell, Donald Hisle, Rufus Honeycutt, Jon Lux, and Larry Gaddes. Quorum declared. Harry Gibbs arrived later in the meeting.
Pledges of Allegiance
New Manager Introduction
Lankford introduced Amanda Bayler the District’s newly named Co-Manager of the Residential appraisal department. He announced this to be the largest department at the District’s office which Bayler had previously been supervising. Bayler had been promoted due to her strengths and now is co-managing this department alongside Victor Longstreth.
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, was not able to attend the meeting; Lankford provided an update in his absence indicating there to have been no property owner calls to Rouse of any consequence.
Update on Appointment of Appraisal Review Board by Administrative Law Judge
Lankford also reported in Rouse’s absence that the District had placed an advertisement in the local Community Impact newspaper, on the Nextdoor neighborhood website and on the Facebook social networking site (through Williamson County) for the appointment of the ARB (Appraisal Review Board). Rae Wilhite, the District’s Records Manager, was present to report that eight new and four reappointment applications had been received for the ARB. It was indicated that the District had eight full-time positions in need of filling along with one auxiliary position and that the advertisement would be open until October 23rd.
Consider approval of minutes of the Board of Directors for the regular meeting – September 10, 2020.
Honeycutt moved for approval of the minutes as presented. Hisle seconded. The motion carried.
Consideration of Monthly Financials
The August 2020 financials and expenditures were reviewed and filed for audit. Lankford reminded members that the financial balances do not all necessarily steadily decrease throughout the year; some amounts are only paid during certain time frames.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Status Update
Lankford had mentioned previously that the District had applied for reimbursement through Williamson County for COVID-19 expenses. He announced that the District had spent over $43,700 and that the County Commissioner’s had approved this amount to be paid out of the Cares Act funds. Lankford indicated that these funds should arrive in the coming weeks.
Gibbs arrived at 9:10 a.m.
25.25.b Disabled Veteran 100% Exemption Board Rule
Lankford explained that a situation had occurred where a disabled veteran was not aware and therefore did not apply until recently for an appropriate disabled veteran exemption. This individual was showing to be 70% instead of 100% disabled. Lankford explained how this information is shared with veterans; however, this individual did not know to apply at the time.
Lankford indicated that 25.25(b) of the Texas Property Tax Code authorizes the Chief Appraiser to correct inaccuracies in the appraisal roll. Lankford announced that the resolution presented to the Board had been reviewed by the District’s attorney and if approved, a refund would need to come from the taxing unit. He reminded the members that, although creating Board rules is a rare occurrence, he felt this was a good use for that section of the tax code.
Hisle moved to accept the resolution #2020-05 adopting a rule under Texas Property Tax Code 25.25(b) authorizing to correct inaccuracies in the appraisal roll as far back as necessary to apply a 100% disabled veteran homestead exemption on the date the applicant would have qualified for the exemption on the applicant’s current primary residence. Honeycutt seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Employee Shopping Discount Program
Lankford discussed the idea of participating in an employee discount program. The company offering this program, Access Perks, would create a plan specifically for the District’s employees. The District would have access to see if the program is being utilized by its employees.
Kimberly Gamboa, the District’s Business HR Manager, displayed additional information. She mentioned the cost of $1,200 per year to join this program. The Board discussed the idea of trying the program for one year to see if it is useful to District staff. It was mentioned that this company would provide an email reminder to employees periodically.
Hisle made a motion to approve the Access Perks employee shopping discount program for twelve months. Gibbs seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Chief Appraiser Evaluation & Compensation
Executive Session began at 9:40 a.m. and ended at 10:42 a.m.
The Board recessed from 10:42 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Consideration and possible action on items discussed in Executive Session
Chief Appraiser Evaluation
No motion was made.
Chief Appraiser Compensation
No motion was made.
Chief Appraiser’s Report
2020 Planning Session & WCAD Goals
Lankford discussed the District’s 2020 Planning Session; a meeting conducted annually with members of the management staff, where the following years district-wide goals are considered. Lankford announced these goals:
• Multiple Regression Analysis (MRA) – the latest phase – the District will value most residential property with the sales comparison grid for urban areas. Lankford announced that this project was started last year and that the value seen on the property owner’s notice will be the same value seen when meeting with an appraiser.
• Queue – Lankford informed the members that the District’s queuing system, which assists with the customer arrival process, is outdated. He indicated that over the next year staff planned to re-write this queuing system. He mentioned the possibility of allowing for viewing the queue from outside the District’s building.
• Concurrent virtual and in-person property owner hearings – Lankford discussed the thought of the District allowing for property owners to schedule either virtual or in-person hearings and offering both means of communication during the same time frame.
• Telecommuting – the District will look to find a more permanent way to allow staff to work from home on a rotating basis. Things like ensuring appropriate coverage, the rules and policies and performance expectations were discussed.
Lankford discussed a room scheduling software that was recently purchased for assistance in obtaining room availability within the District’s office. He demonstrated the device. He explained that the software, which was very inexpensive, links to the District’s system and will help room scheduling become more efficient.
Lankford mentioned a show and tell meeting that had been conducted with the District’s appraisal software vendor’s largest customers (Williamson, Ft. Bend and Montgomery appraisal district’s). He announced that he was hopeful this meeting would assist with additional development items from the District’s vendor, Tyler Technologies.
2021 TAAD Conference
Lankford announced that the annual Texas Association of Appraisal Districts (TAAD) Conference would be conducted, Sunday, February 21 through Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at the JW Marriott in Austin. He asked members to notify the District if they would like to attend.
Lawsuit, Arbitration and SOAH Report
Lankford reviewed the lawsuit report. There were no arbitration or State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) on which to report.
Board of Directors Members Update
Lankford indicated that one of the District’s long-time Board members, Rufus Honeycutt, had announced that he would be leaving his position on the Board of Directors effective December 31, 2020. He announced that Honeycutt was one year into the current two-year term. He reviewed the process when a vacancy occurs on the Board of Directors, indicating that the Board members would be responsible for choosing a nominee provided by the taxing units.
The Board expressed their appreciation for Honeycutt’s service and mentioned how he would truly be missed.
WCAD Christmas Party
Lankford reminded the members of the District’s annual Christmas Party, which was scheduled to be held on Saturday, December 5th at Lonestar River Boat in Austin.
Board Agenda Additions for Future Meeting
The following items were discussed for future meetings:
- The Board discussed the need for a meeting to discuss the Chief Appraiser evaluation and salary. This meeting will take place at the Williamson County Tax Office on Wednesday, October 28th at 9 a.m.
There were no Board announcements.
The Board had previously set their November meeting date as follows:
Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
The meeting adjourned at 11:11 a.m.
Charles Chadwell, Chairman Donald L. Hisle, Secretary