San Benito Man Calls Property Tax Increase a Mistake
SAN BENITO – A San Benito man is on the verge of losing a family inheritance after the tax on it more than doubles.
Pedro Guajardo says his property tax increase is a mistake that should be reversed.
The piece of property was handed down from his mother.
“We grew up there, and it’s got sentimental value. It’s been in the family for a long time,” he says.
Recently, it has turned into an expensive memento.
The chief appraiser with the appraisal district says an influx of property sales is to blame for the tax rise.
The lot is an empty spot in the San Benito Sugar Company Subdivision of Rio Hondo. It is about 1/5 of an acre and valued at $17,000.
“We reappraised that whole subdivision,” says Rihard Molina, Chief Appraiser at the Cameron Appraisal District.
Guajardo is used to paying no more than $100 in taxes. The bill went up by to almost $300.
“I noticed that the appraisal was wrong. They had included, I’m thinking, my neighbor’s property as a piece of mine,” he says.
From 2016 to 2017, Guajardo’s property value jumped from $7,000 to $17,000.
“All I want them to do is to correct it. Correct the mistake is all I’m asking for,” says Guajardo.
Molina explains people buying more property in Guajardo’s area are making his property value go up.
“When there’s a lot of sales movement in there. Then, we are able to look at what the subdivision should be selling for. We look at land values and we look at overall values as well,” says Molina.
Property of about one-tenth of an acre sold more than $10,000 thousand dollars in 2016, and one-third sold for about $26,000.
“We do mass appraisal, and we do it based off of the market values.”
Guajardo now does not know if he will be keeping the property in the family, anymore.”
The hope of passing it on to his grandkids, he says, is dimming.
Molina mentions, property owners have the option of protesting appraisal values with their appraisal district.
Guajardo does plan to take his protest up to the board.
Channel 5 News will update this story when his hearing is set.
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