Lowe's files suit over property appraisal

David Yates Sep. 24, 2007, 1:00pm

Mark Hutcheson

Lowe's Home Centers, Inc. has filed suit against the Jefferson County Appraisal District, claiming its home improvement store located off of Dowlen Road "exceeds market value, is excessive and unlawful."

Popp Gray & Hutcheson attorney Mark Hutcheson filed the suit with the Jefferson County District Court on Sept. 20. Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Lowe's will ask Judge Wortham to "determine market value of (its) property and reduce its appraised value pursuant to the Texas Tax Code, sections 42.24 and 42.25.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, Section 42.26 requires the 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, is excessive and unlawful," the suit said. "The Texas Constitution requires property not be appraised at a value greater than fair cash value and all taxation be equal and uniform."

"The excessive and unlawful appraised value causes imposition of a tax on the property exceeding the lawful amount thus injuring plaintiff," the suit said. "Plaintiff was compelled to retain undersigned counsel; and demands from defendant reasonable attorneys' fees..."

According to the Popp, Gray & Hutcheson Web site, the firm is a recognized leader in the property tax field. "We won the largest single reduction in value in the history of the Texas Property Tax Code. In another major effort, our firm was successful in reducing the taxable value of property owned by a major oil and gas company by almost $300 million which, combined with settlements of subsequent years, amounted to an unprecedented value reduction totaling $1.5 billion."

Case No. A180-118

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