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Adrienne Culpepper: April 2010 Archives

As property owners all over the county found out yesterday when they opened their mail and found the wretched little envelope from the Galveston Country Central Appraisal District office (otherwise known as "CAD" which is sorta a funny irony in itself), it's that time of year - property tax assessment time.

For those of us that experienced Hurricane Ike's devastation (yeah, that's a pretty huge pool of folks), one of the silver linings to Ike (we're very lucky to have found a few of those) was the promise of a greatly adjusted appraised property value on our homes and/or businesses.  (In our case, both - as the house and the old shop were "Ike-d", which was not uncommon on the Island I'm afraid) 

Ah, the glory of a reduced value.  It took a little bit of the sting out of paying taxes on what was now the equivalent of an Early American Outhouse for a short time, but the brief respite was so quickly eradicated from my memory when I opened yesterday's mail from CAD with the new appraised value. 

Tell me something... Would you pay $195,220 for a house that looks like this???:

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IMG_8557.JPGNo, I wouldn't either!  But CAD thought we should - at least that was the case until this morning when I had the pleasure (no sarcasm intended - she was great) of meeting our case manager who, after all was said and done, fully agreed that no, this is not the swanky open-air bathroom of a nearly quarter of a million dollar home.  It is a commode in the middle of what was once our entry hall.  Game, set and match.

The bottom line is this: don't take what they give you as the end-all-be-all.  (Unless you're happy with the value, then sit tight and don't say anything!)

There are so many citizens out there that just don't know you can protest these things - and it's fairly easy to do.  My recommendations: 1) call for an appointment to "informally" protest your appraised value (409.935-1980) 2) bring pictures, evidence, advice and or supportive comps from your Galveston Realtor with you to the appointment, and 3) be nice to your case worker - they're just doing their jobs and they really can be reasonable if you just give them the facts.

If you can't come to an agreement during the informal protest, you'll have the opportunity to apply for a date to formally protest.  Hopefully it won't come to that, but if it does, know that it is your right to question this value.

Best of luck - here's a little info direct from the Tax Assessor's office to help you get started!

I LOVE Easter egg hunts.  I will always remember growing up, our families - cousins aunts, uncles, grandparents and all - would go to Bethany Beach, Delaware for Easter weekend. 

After church, we'd all come back to the beach house where the adults would hide eggs all over the property - Uncle Bill and Uncle Frank thought it was pretty funny - year after year - to DIG A HOLE in the sand and bury eggs.  Hmm... I wonder why we never had a correct count of "found" eggs after each hunt?!?!?

Anyway, last year, Willthing was gracious enough to allow me to get my kicks by having the Easter egg hunt at his house since the old shop (which would have been the typical venue for a great egg hunt - so many places to hide 'em!) was out of commission.  I was hoping that the new shop at 22nd and Mechanic would be ready for its inaugural egg hunt in 2010, but it just wasn't meant to be... Stay tuned, though - next year the Nautical Egg-stravaganza hunt WILL return!

This year, I'll have to be content with the festivities at Crazy Oaks (12410 Sewart Road) and the annual Bunny Roast (don't worry - no REAL bunnies are harmed in the making of this event!) and if last night's fun and musical enjoyment (courtesy of the Brandon McDermott Band) was any test, tonight and tomorrow should be a blast. 

Oh, and did I mention there's an egg hunt tomorrow as well?  Yup.  See you there, but watch out - I'm not shy about pushing women or children out of the way when it comes to egg hunting - I got pushed around by the bigger cousins at our hunts and it only sharpened my skills.  As my mom would say, it builds character anyway.

Happy Easter!
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