Overlooked Election on May 4 Will Impact Sharpstown Property Taxes

Overlooked Election on May 4 Will Impact Sharpstown Property Taxes
Screenshot of the initial property value notice sent to an apartment complex along Beechnut St in Sharpstown in March 2023. This appraisal was successfully protested.

Last year, many Sharpstown-area residents and business owners were caught off guard by a drastic increase in their property taxes. For example, based on Harris County Appraisal District records, the values of my Sharpstown apartment and a neighboring complex more than doubled from 2022 to 2023.

That meant the apartment owners were on the hook for twice the property taxes. Guess where that money would have to come from? Rent.

But both landlords protested their property value appraisals and won, so the 2023 values dropped much closer to the 2022 values. But many neighbors probably lost big on property taxes last year if they didn't have the determination, know-how, or resources to successfully protest their appraisals.

Who decides your official property value appraisal? That would be the Harris County Appraisal District. HCAD's top authority is its board of directors, which has three slots up for election this Saturday, May 4.

The board of directors doesn't directly assess your property value—that's the job of the chief appraiser, Roland Altinger, and his staff. But the board gets to hire (and, if necessary, fire) the chief appraiser.

The board of directors doesn't hear or decide on your protests either—that's the job of the appraisal review board, or ARB. (I know, there are a lot of boards.) In the past, the ARB's members have been appointed by a judge to keep it independent from HCAD. But starting this year, HCAD's board of directors will get to appoint ARB members, said HCAD communications officer Jack Barnett.

In other words, HCAD's board of directors has power over the people who decide your property values for tax purposes—and it's about to get even more power.

HCAD's board of directors currently has seven members–not elected by the people, but appointed by local governments and school districts. But a new Texas constitutional amendment, passed in November 2023, requires that large appraisal districts like HCAD add three elected board positions.

The election will run from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at voting centers across Houston.

Who's Running?

At-Large, Place 1

  • Kathy Blueford-Daniels
  • Ramsey Isa Ankar
  • Bill R. Frazer

At-Large, Place 2

  • Janice W. Hines
  • Melissa Noriega
  • Kyle Scott
  • Jevon German
  • Austin Pooley

At-Large, Place 3

  • J. Bill
  • Amy Lacy
  • Mark V. Goloby
  • Pelumi Adeleke
  • Ericka McCrutcheon

To see the candidates' responses to a short questionnaire, visit the League of Women Voters of Houston's Harris County Voter's Guide.

Where to Vote in Sharpstown on Election Day

  • Bayland Park Community Center (auditorium), 6400 Bissonnet St
  • Lansdale Park Community Center, 8201 Roos Rd
  • Margaret Collins Elementary School (library), 9829 Town Park Dr

Check harrisvotes.com/Vote-Centers for more locations and updates.

Think Your Property Appraisal Is Unfair?

If you want to protest the HCAD property value appraisal you received this year, your deadline is May 15, 2024. For more information, visit the website of Ann Harris Bennett, the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector.

You can also visit one of Bennett's property tax workshops, where you can learn how to protest your property value and more. There's one at 12:00 PM on May 2 at Tracy Gee Community Center (3599 Westcenter Dr).