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Fort Bend County residents attempting to flatten unexpected financial curve

Property tax sharp increase upsets many residents

FULSHEAR – Hundreds of Fort Bend County residents are attempting to flatten a different type of curve. This curve is a sudden spike, up to 10%, in their property taxes.

Realtor Doug Freer said when it comes to property taxes, property owners don't usually see such as rise.

"People would be buying up all these properties out here," he said. "If they thought that their home was going to increase by 10% in terms of market value in one year. It just doesn't happen."

For Maria Locascio, the rise translates to a nearly $40,000 increase in the assessed value of her home. She said immediately thought there has been a mistake.

Locascio lives and sells homes in Cross Creek Ranch. The development is picturesque and 10% pricier in some parts, according to the Fort Bend County Central Appraisal District.

However, Locascio said that the latest evaluation is not the true value of her home.

"It wouldn't appraise for that. It would sell for that," she said.

County Commissioner Andy Meyers said his Sugar Land home hit with a significant tax increase as well.

"What the heck? This is ridiculous a $41,000 increase in a 44-year-old home that flooded," he said.

Jordan Wise, the County's Chief Appraiser, told KPRC 2 Investigates that the numbers are dead-on.

"By law, we value properties based on the January 1st value, and at that time, the real estate market across the county as well as in Fulshear was robust," he said. "We feel like the values are accurate."

Meyers said he is concerned that many are facing tough times already as a result of COVID-19.

"They have so many people unemployed, they can't afford their mortgage, and now we are going to increase their taxes? That doesn't make any sense," he said.

Meyers said he requested the chief appraiser roll the taxes back to the previous year.

Wise said they did everything by the book, and unfortunately, the law is written in a manner where immediate relief cannot simply be granted.

He added that anyone questioning their property assessment should contact his office. Protesting is not only an avenue that remains in place. Wise said they want to do everything possible to assist families during these times.