Duval County Appraisal District Public Relations Plan

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Website

www.duvalcad.org

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Duval Appraisal District

MISSION STATEMENT:

To provide the citizens of Duval County with accurate appraisals and valuations of both real and personal property.  To provide professional service and maintain equity in property valuation.  To respond to the concerns and questions of those property owners in a professional and courteous manner.  To achieve equalization among all classes of property by maintaining the highest standards in appraisal practices and law, guided by the goals of providing quality service to the public, developing high-performance employees and by creation of automated programs which expedite work flow.

Professional Standards and Policies:

The International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) is the internationally recognized leader and preeminent source for innovation, education, and research in property appraisal, assessment administration, and property tax policy.  The Duval County Appraisal District follows the standards set forth by IAAO (http://www.iaao.org) and policies set forth by the Texas Property Tax Code.

Introduction:

The Duval County Appraisal District was established in 1981 when Texas voters approved Appraisal Districts in 1979.  The appraisal district is a political subdivision of the State of Texas created by the Texas Legislature.  The district is responsible for appraising property located within the boundaries of Duval County for ad valorem tax purposes of each taxing unit that imposes ad valorem taxes on property.  The district is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of the following individuals:

Adrian Perez – Chairman

Maricela Escamilla – Vice-Chairman

Oralia Perez – Secretary

Eddie Hernandez – Member

Manual Molina – Member

Brian Fields – Chief Appraiser

Sherrie Elizondo – Assistant Chief Appraiser

The board of directors basic function is to:

  • Establish the Appraisal District Office
  • Adopt an annual budget
  • Contract for necessary services
  • Hire the Chief Appraiser
  • Make general policies

Property values are certified to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) which are appointed by the Board of Directors.  The purpose of the ARB is to:

  • Hear taxing unit challenges
  • Hear property owners protests
  • Issue change order to the Appraisal District
  • Approve the Appraisal Rolls

The Duval County Appraisal District appraises properties for:

Jurisdiction                                          Tax Collector                          Phone Number

Duval County                                        Robert Elizondo                         361-279-6337

Duval County Vocational School      Robert Elizondo                         361-279-6337

Benavides ISD                                      Robert Elizondo                         361-279-6337

Freer ISD                                               Sylvia Carrillo                             361-394-7334

Premont ISD                                         Sydney Vela                                 361-668-9656

Ramirez CSD                                        Robert Elizondo                          361-279-6337

San Diego ISD                                      Robert Elizondo                          361-279-6337

City of San Diego                                 Robert Elizondo                          361-279-6337

Duval County Groundwater Dis       Robert Elizondo                          361-279-6337

Duval Emergency District #1            Sylvia Carrillo                              361-394-7334

Duval Emergency District #2           Robert Elizondo                          361-279-6337

Goal:

Our goal is to provide Dual County Citizens with accurate and current information and make contact with the public a positive experience.

Objective:

Our objective is to develop an information campaign to educate the property owners of Duval County.

Target Audiences:

·   Citizens and taxing entities of Duval County

  • Property owners and others interested in moving, investing and providing service to Duval County
  • General public and media outlets

Research:

Conduct various surveys of residents, businesses, rural land owners, etc. Types of surveys conducted, but not limited to, would be sales surveys, income surveys, and cash lease surveys for grazing and hunting.

Strategies:

Development of Duval CAD strategies which include, but not limited to:

  1. Comply with all aspects of the Methods and Assistance Program (MAP) Review.
  2. Improve Property Value Study results.
  3. Provide public information that assists property owners and promotes economic development .  Three staff members of the district belong to the Eagle-Ford Shale Community Development Program.
  4. Ensure adequate funding to improve district operations and customer service.

Define a set of key messages to be used as basic building blocks for news releases and publications as guided by the Texas Property Tax Code that will include, but not limited to:

  1. Utilize Appraisal District Public Information packet as provided by the Texas Comptroller’s Office by publicizing the information in the local papers and on the district’s website.
  2. Publication of Property Tax Protest & Appeal procedures Form 50-195 including time and place of Appraisal Review Board hearings.
  3. Development of public information and interest pamphlets available at the front counter.
  4. Publication of the Duval CAD budget (Section 6.062 of the Texas Property Tax Code).
    1. The notice must set out the time, date, and place of public hearing.
    2. The amount of the proposed budget.
    3. The amount of increase.
    4. Number of employees.
    5. Must state that the Duval County Appraisal District is supported by funding from the taxing jurisdictions.
    6. Maintaining an information website that encourages public interaction.
    7. Educate and train district employees in public relations.  Mandatory customer service training every two years.  Periodic emails, written memos, staff meetings and short training sessions are conducted to review office customer service policy.  Staff is instructed to communicate with the chief appraiser on how to handle any new issues or controversies.
    8. Establish speaking engagements by the chief appraiser and other key district staff on topics of public interest relating to CAD operations and property tax issues.

Spokesperson:

The chief appraiser will serve as the official spokesperson for the Duval County Appraisal District.  The chief appraiser will be assigned the responsibility of all communication with the media.

Contact Information:

P. O. Box 809

San Diego, Texas 78384

Phone:  391-279-3305 x101

Email: sherrieelizondo@duvalcad.org

Plan for Emergencies:

Law enforcement:

  • City of San Diego Police Department – Phone:  361-279-2924
  • Duval County Sheriff’s Department – 361-279-6258

Fire Department:

  • City of San Diego VFD (to report fires only) — 361-279-3321

911 will be used as the number to call in serious situations as determined by the Chief Appraiser such as to call for an ambulance.

Duval County Risk Management Office – 361-279-6219

Data Back-Up:

Duval CAD leases its internal server from BIS Consulting. The data is backed up at the end of the day at the server located at the BIS Consulting Office at 14802 Venture Dr., Farmers Branch, Texas. The district also has its historical data pre-2006 on CD’s located at a safety deposit box at the First State Bank of San Diego.

Any unfavorable press, a public attack by a customer or group or a deluge of complaints will be handled as outlined in the General Policy & Polices of Public Access which is part of the Board of Directors manual. All negative media coverage will be handled by the Chief Appraiser in a professional and courteous manner as to protect the integrity of the district.

Publication of Public Notifications:

January

  • Homestead and Disabled Veteran Exemptions
  • Non-Profits
  • Agricultural Use
  • Rendition Requirements
  • Availability of Electronic Communications

May

  • Deferral of Taxes on Appreciating Residence Homestead and Deferral of Taxes by Elderly and Disabled Homeowners
  • How to Protest

July-September

  • Public hearings on CAD annual budget
  • Public hearing on CAD biennial reappraisal plan

Public information pamphlets will be continually reviewed and developed to provide the most current information to property owners.

Media Contact List:

Publications – Duval Press – Sandra Salaiz sandra.salaiz@aliceechonews.com

Public Notices – Public Access TV – Channel 4, Freer, Texas – City Secretary citysecretary@ci.freer.tx.usa.com

Radio Announcements – KUKA (105.9 FM) 810 Alviar, Alice, Texas, 361-668-6666

Staff:

Brian Fields, Chief Appraiser

Sherrie Elizondo, Assistant Chief Appraiser

Desiree Cavazos, Appraiser

Tina Saenz, Bookkeeper

Website:

www.duvalcad.org

Evaluation:

Analyze and conduct follow-up surveys completed by the citizens to identify corrective procedures to improve public attitude of the district.

Review media coverage annually to identify ration of positive to negative stories.

Conclusion:

The Duval County Appraisal District wants to keep the public educated and well informed on the activities and services of the district.  The chief appraiser and board of directors encourage public comment and input, good and bad, and strive to provide effective communications and transparency in the appraisal process.  Excellent customer service and an informed public pave the way for a positive image of appraisal operations at the Duval County Appraisal District.