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Valley Man Refuses to Pay Incorrect Property Taxes

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EDINBURG – A man said he’s refusing to pay his property taxes for the years the taxes were incorrect.

He explained he'll pay up when his taxes are correctly adjusted. We learned this may not be the best way to protest your property taxes.

Pablo Trevino bought his Edinburg property in 1983 and has since brought him a sense of pride and accomplishment.

It’s a gift not only for him and his wife to enjoy, but also for future Trevino generations.

“Well it’s for my grandsons, my sons, my daughter,” Trevino told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

He said over the years he felt the property taxes were too high. In 2010, after receiving some paperwork from the Hidalgo County Appraisal District, he learned his suspicions were correct.

“They were charging too much tax on buildings that weren’t the right size and a building that wasn’t there no more,” Trevino explained.

The paperwork showed he was being charged for approximately 3,783 more square feet of building than he actually owned.

Trevino told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he brought the mistake to the attention of the appraisal district that year. They made the changes for future years, but refused to change the four years prior.

“I mean all I want is for them to adjust it for what it’s supposed to be. I mean I don’t see how I’m going to pay for something that’s not the right size or buildings I don’t have here,” Trevino explained.

As a result he has refused to pay his property taxes from 2005 to 2008. Property taxes, plus penalty fees, have now reached $23,000.

Trevino is concerned he may soon lose the property.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to Rolando Garza, chief appraiser of Hidalgo County, who said refusing to pay your taxes only makes matters worse.

“Penalty and interest will increase and they may forfeit the right to get any correction done in later years,” Garza said.

He recommends that Trevino and other people in this situation pay the undisputed amount of taxes while disputing the balance.

Garza said due to the tax code, he isn’t allowed to make adjustments beyond five years prior to the present year, but in this case there may be an exception.

“In this case, we are beyond that, but there are some other provisions in the tax code that may allow me to go and look at something along the line of that ten years,” Garza told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Garza explained Trevino needs to meet with him and his staff to determine if he is eligible for those provisions.

Trevino said he is eager to meet to get this matter resolved.

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