Atrium sues JCAD over excessive appraisal

David Yates Aug. 27, 2007, 6:53am

Every year, thousands of people and businesses complain or protest that their appraised property values exceed market values.

Perhaps weary of ineffective protests, one local company, Atrium Finance IV, is going a step further and suing the Jefferson County Appraisal District, claiming its property's appraised value "is excessive and unlawful."

On Aug. 23, Atrium Finance filed suit with the Jefferson County District Court, hoping Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, will "fix the property's appraised value in accordance with the law."

"The appraised value of the property exceeds market value, is excessive and unlawful," the suit said. "Plaintiff requests (the) court determine market value of the property and reduce its appraised value pursuant to Texas Tax CODE 42.24 and 42.25."

The suit also alleges the Appraisal District violated Tax Code 42.26, which requires the Atrium's property "to be appraised in an equal and uniform manner."

"The appraised value of the property exceeds the median appraised value of a reasonable number of comparable properties appropriately adjusted…," the suit said, adding that the court should put Atrium's ad valorem taxes on par with everyone else.

"The Texas Constitution requires property not be appraised at a value greater than fair cash value and all taxation be equal and uniform," the suit said.

Atrium is represented by attorney Mark Hutcheson of the Popp Gray & Hutcheson law firm.

Case No. A179-873

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