Taxpayers Angry In Pittsburg - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/26/05-Longview

Taxpayers Angry In Pittsburg

Some East Texas homeowners demonstrated their anger today over property taxes in Camp County. They have formed a group called STOP, which stands for Stop Taxing and Oppressing People.

For Camp County residents, the problem is appraisals, and it's a problem that threatens to cost landowners a lot more in taxes, and put some people out of business. It was a very irritated group of 75 taxpayers that entered the Camp Central Appraisal District in Pittsburg today. They were angry over what they feel is unfair taxation on their properties over the last three years.

"I've had people report 300 percent increases in one year.  Two years ago my property tax doubled, last year it doubled again and this year they're proposing 155 percent increase in my appraised value so that will make my taxes go up another 40 percent," said Camp County wine grape grower Jeff Snead.

Many can't understand how properties they've done little or nothing with can be appraised at what they see as well above market value.

"I have a property that was appraised last year at $89,000, this year its up to $139,000, so we're trying to find out where they're getting their information to evaluate our properties," said Pittsburg taxpayer Candace Martin.

Many owned their private and commercial properties for decades. Their irritation today spilled over into a meeting with the appraisal board, holding them responsible.

"If it doesn't get straight you may not have a job, cause we're going to start cleaning people out till somebody gets it right , four out of five people here are elected and that's one way to get it fixed," said and angry taxpayer at the meeting.

"I think there's a lot of misunderstanding how appraisal districts operate and how their appraisals are generated," said appraisal board member Dr. Dan Kincaid.

After filing official protests, the meeting was adjourned, but the taxpayers say this is not over. The filing deadline for tax protest in Camp County is May 31st.

Members of STOP say they are prepared to go to the state legislature with their tax grievance.

Bob Hallmark, reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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