Texas Voters to Elect Appraisal District Board Members for the First Time

As early voting begins, Texas voters prepare to select members of appraisal district boards for the first time.

Texas voters are gearing up for a historic election as they prepare to cast their ballots for members of appraisal district boards for the first time. With early voting now underway, residents have the opportunity to shape property appraisals and tax policies in their communities like never before.

In the state’s 50 largest counties, including most of North Texas, voters will have the chance to elect three members to their local appraisal district boards. This election comes amidst growing concerns over soaring property appraisals, which often translate into higher property tax bills for homeowners.

Many residents, like Craig Cockle from Oak Cliff, express frustration over annual increases in property appraisals despite minimal changes to their properties. This sentiment is echoed by homeowners such as Traci Moilanen from Plano, who find the continuous rise in property taxes to be “astonishing.”

The creation of elected positions within the appraisal boards stems from a property tax reduction package approved by Texas lawmakers last November. Matthew Wilson, a political scientist at SMU, suggests that this move seeks to enhance citizen involvement in the appraisal process, granting voters a direct voice in determining property taxes.

While the election of board members signifies greater citizen participation, it also introduces political dynamics into the appraisal process. Wilson notes that elected officials may face pressure to keep appraisals low to please taxpayers, potentially leading to revenue challenges for taxing jurisdictions.

Despite the significance of these elections, Wilson acknowledges the challenge of voter education, given the novelty of these positions and the lack of party designations. Voters should consider qualifications and relevant expertise rather than relying on party labels when selecting candidates.

The newly elected representatives will join the existing five appointed members on the boards, serving four-year terms. As Texas voters head to the polls, they play a crucial role in shaping the future of property appraisals and taxation in their communities.


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