Williamson Central Appraisal District
Board of Directors Meeting
Jon Lux, Chairman, called the regular meeting of the Williamson Central Appraisal District Board of Directors to order Thursday, October 13, 2022, at 9:08 AM. Board members present; Jon Lux, Harry Gibbs, Lora Weber, Hope Hisle-Piper, Mason Moses, and Larry Gaddes. Quorum declared.
Some of the District’s management staff were in attendance.
The Board recessed at 9:08 AM. to take a photo with District staff members in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The meeting reconvened at 9:14 AM.
Pledges of Allegiance
Receipt of Public Comments
There were no public comments.
Introduction of New Management Staff
Lankford reminded members that the District had its annual planning meeting recently. He announced that Heather Hayden had been promoted to Land Manager as a result of a vacancy in that department. Hayden was introduced.
Lisa Lippe, the District’s newly promoted Exemptions Manager, was also introduced. Lankford announced that the reorganization of the Mapping and Records department had left a need for this position.
Taxpayer Liaison Officer’s Report
Report on Property Owner Contacts
Charley Rouse, the District’s Taxpayer Liaison Officer (TLO), was present to report on the status of his contact with property owners. Rouse announced that many of the calls he had been receiving were related to property tax exemptions and the homestead cap. He also had calls related to the increase in property values. Lankford explained that the 10% homestead cap on assessed value does not take effect until the following year, which is difficult for property owners to understand.
Rouse expressed his appreciation to District staff for their attention to property owner questions.
Update on Appointment of Appraisal Review Board by Administrative Law Judge
Lankford announced that the District had advertised openings for Appraisal Review Board (ARB) members and that there were currently 13 vacancies. He indicated that the District also had 13 applicants, enough to fill each position. Lankford expressed the need for a few additional applications and mentioned that additional advertisements would be posted.
Retirement of Taxpayer Liaison Officer
Lankford announced that Rouse, who had been the District’s Taxpayer Liaison Office (TLO) for 15 years, planned to retire on December 20, 2022.
Lankford mentioned that the Property Tax Code indicates that the Board of Directors must appoint a TLO in counties over a certain population. He suggested that former District employee, Glenda Williams, be appointed to this position. Lankford informed the Board that the position Williams previously had with the District leaves her well suited to assist property owners. Lux suggested the Board interview with Williams in executive session at the November Board Meeting. Board members were asked to contact Colleen McElroy, the District’s Administrative Office Manager, and Lankford with any additional suggested applicants in order for the Board to conduct interviews during the November Board Meeting.
Consider approval of minutes of the Board of Directors for the regular meetings – September 7, 2022 and September 14, 2022.
Moses made a motion to approve both the September 7, 2022 and September 14, 2022, minutes as presented. Weber seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Consideration of Monthly Financials
The August 2022 financials and expenditures were reviewed and filed for audit.
Compensation Study Update
Lankford informed the Board that he had been meeting weekly with the company conducting the District’s compensation study, and that the study was still being revised. He was hopeful to have the final copy in the coming weeks. He mentioned that, once complete, he would provide it to the members.
Generator Reserve Purchase Account Clarification
Lankford discussed the District’s generator and the need to clarify where to draw funds for this purchase. He announced that, due to the depletion of the building reserve account after paying off the District’s building, he would like to move funds from other reserve accounts to cover this expense.
Mason made a motion to allow the District to move funds from other reserve accounts as necessary to the building reserve account to cover the generator purchase. Weber seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
New WCAD Mission Statement
Lankford informed the Board of a Task Force Committee, made up of District staff members, which had been assigned to draft the District’s updated mission statement. He announced that the previous statement was over 15 years old and that the District felt it was time to update. Lankford indicated that, along with the Task Force Committee, all members of the District’s management team and District employees each had the opportunity to provide input on the final statement.
Hisle-Piper made a motion to approve the new Williamson Central Appraisal District mission statement as presented. Gibbs seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Chief Appraiser’s Report
Chief Appraiser Review & Compensation
Lankford reminded the Board that they typically meet at the Williamson County Tax Office prior to the regular November Board Meeting in order to discuss the Chief Appraiser review and compensation. He indicated that the District would place the review packet in the mail to the Board in the next week.
Lankford announced that he had recently done several presentations, including the one he and Gibbs had done during the Chief Appraiser Institute regarding Board member and Chief Appraiser relationships. Lankford had also spoken about customer service during this meeting. He expressed his appreciation to Gibbs for his presenting during this event.
Lankford also mentioned a presentation he had made at Block House MUD where he spoke regarding Appraisal District operations; as well as a general overview presentation to the Round Rock Kiwanis Association.
Lankford announced that the annual management survey to District staff had been conducted recently. He indicated what a great management team the District has, and employees agreed.
Lawsuit, Arbitration and SOAH Reports
Lankford reviewed the lawsuit and arbitration reports. There were no State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) on which to report. He indicated that the increase in the number of lawsuits and arbitrations is a direct result of the level of increase in property values. He mentioned that this is being seen across the state.
2022 Planning Session & 2023 WCAD Goals
Lankford mentioned that one of the items discussed during management’s annual Planning Session is to set the District’s goals for the following year. He announced that Chris Connelly, the District’s Deputy Chief Appraiser, oversees this process. These goals are also shared with District staff. During this meeting, management discusses things that worked well and didn’t work well in the previous appraisal cycle. Lankford commended District staff for their input as this is what helps the District to improve each year.
Connelly reviewed the 2022 District goals: the public market dashboard refresh, updating phase I of the agent portal and the final phase of Multiple Regression Analysis (MRA), which had all been completed.
Connelly also reviewed the District’s goals for 2023:
- Agent Portal – Phase II – the District is looking to find ways to notify agents once they’ve had their appeal. Connelly mentioned that the timing is critical from notification to when agents can file.
- Customer Service Data – the District is working to update its website; using it to show real estate market information for the past year, along with showing if a property had a homestead exemption, what that means for its value and change in taxes.
- Protest Enhancements – Connelly discussed that the express inquiry process would be revamped to allow for more automation, and that the District would work to integrate it into its online system to work more seamlessly. He also mentioned virtual property owner hearings and making those easier for property tax agents.
- Mission / Vision Statement – this item had been discussed earlier in the meeting.
It was mentioned that the District would also provide explanations on the cap and agents, to further assist property owners in deciding if they need to protest their value.
Texas Association of Appraisal Districts Conference
Lankford announced that the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts (TAAD) Conference was scheduled to take place February 19-22, 2023 at the Dallas Renaissance Hotel. He informed the Board that he would be presiding over this Conference as the TAAD President. He welcomed all members to attend.
WCAD Christmas Party Reminder
Lankford reminded the Board of the District’s annual Christmas Party, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 10th at Kalahari Resort in Round Rock. Lux encouraged all Board members to attend. It was mentioned that both Employees of the Year as well as years of service are generally recognized at this event.
Board Agenda Additions for Future Meeting
There were no agenda additions discussed for future meetings.
There were no Board announcements.
Lankford reminded the Board about the previously scheduled meeting date. That date is as follows:
• Thursday, November 17th at 9 AM.
The Board also set the following meeting date:
• Thursday, November 10th at 9 AM. This meeting will take place at the Williamson County Tax Office
The regular meeting adjourned at 10:05 AM.
Jon Lux, Chairman Lora H. Weber, Secretary