From 2005 to 2007, multiple properties in Parker County, Texas, were somehow left off appraisal lists for Willow Park and Aledo. After the county’s appraisal district noticed its mistake, it billed the property owners for the taxes owed during those years. Now, however, the property owners are challenging the bills, saying that they should not have to pay the back taxes.
The problem was discovered in 2008. While all of the properties had been billed for other taxes, they had somehow been left off a list for city taxes. According to the property owners, they received bills from the cities for the “delinquent taxes.”
The owners are now fighting back, saying that the taxes were invalid because their properties were not appropriately assessed during those three years. One couple who has refused to pay the back taxes was sued by Willow Park and has gone into foreclosure proceedings.
A hearing was scheduled in order to determine whether or not the property owners had the right to sue the two cities in this situation. The cities have argued that the county judge doesn’t have jurisdiction over this matter and that the issue should have been filed with the Appraisal Review Board.
The city of Willow Park referenced the tax code as justification for its actions. According to the Star-Telegram, the tax law says that an appraiser must add the property’s value, going back five years, to the appraisal record if a tax exemption is mistakenly granted. The property owners’ attorney disagrees, saying the properties were never exempted from taxes.
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Parker County hearing set over effort to collect unbilled taxes,” Lance Winter, 6 July 2011