One of the really neat things about Texas is the way we can protest our taxes. It all starts with our property assessments, which are done by the local Central Appraisal District (CAD) office.

Most of us are very familiar with this part of the process. Each year our property is assessed based upon the market value of our homes. If the economy is good, the assessments are usually larger than if the economy is in a stagnant or declining status. Reason: Market value of the property.

After the assessments are done, we receive these values and here is where the protest can start. 

First, we can request a meeting with the representative from the CAD. Here we can try to explain why the assessment is too high. If unsuccessful, we then have the option of appearing before the Appraisal Review Board  (ARB) where citizens not associated with any taxing authority hear our protest and determine the final assessed value of the property. If we do not like this value, we then have the option of continuing the process at the district judge level. 

This year the assessments were generally very high because of the escalating market values of homes. In talking with several citizens who did protest through the ARB, they said their assessments were lowered. Clearly, this is an easy option that all should take advantage of if not satisfied with their property assessments.

It’s July and lots is happening in the sports world. We already knew that Texas and OU were joining the SEC, which is probably the toughest conference in football. And now we are learning that USC and UCLA are joining the Big 10. Going forward there will be two powerful conferences that will duke it out every year. 

And now the big issue in professional golf is that a new Saudi Arabia-sponsored LIV tour is pulling big name golfers away from the PGA with larger winning purses and better playing conditions.  

And since it is now July, just wait until Jerry Jones starts telling us how great the Cowboys are going to be this year. Been hearing it now for almost 30 years. We want results. We want a Super Bowl win once again! Put up or shut up!

And unfortunately, the immigration issue in South Texas is getting worse daily. Now we are seeing over 200,000 undocumented individuals enter our state and our country every month. We all saw the headlines where a truck with 53 dead people was discovered near San Antonio. These people were being smuggled into the U.S. When will it stop and when will our government address the issue?

With the recent Supreme Court decision of Roe versus Wade, some district attorneys throughout the U.S. have made pronouncements that, regardless of what their state might do, they would not prosecute people who receive an abortion or those who administrate the act. Really makes one wonder how someone who has sworn to uphold the law just gets away with not doing so. For example, the oath the DAs take in Texas, and most states are similar and states … “will do to the best of my ability to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the U.S. and of this state.” Kinda goes along with these same DAs not prosecuting crimes of theft, drugs, etc. Why and how is it allowed?

Makes me wonder about the value system they grew up with and how did it get so dramatically changed.

Like most organizations now, getting employees is difficult. The U.S. Army has just announced two major changes to its enlistment criteria. Now, new recruits do not have to have a high school or GED diploma and can have tattoos on their lower arms and neck. After 20 years in the Army, I can say that if a young man or woman is uncertain as to what they want to do in life, join one of the services. The opportunities are endless, and seldom have I ever heard a person say they regretted their decision to go into one of the services.

Remember, our country is still the brightest star in the world and we just need to learn how to do a better job of making sure it stays that way. Keep the faith.

Jerry Hogan is a former county judge of Rockwall County who volunteers to write these articles. He can be reached at 214-394-4033 or jerryhogan@sbcglobal.net.

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