Market Valuation - what's the law
I have a small farm in Harris County. Every year, for the last decade, I have protested the market valuation and been successful in lowering the number. However, for 2010, it seems the rules changed.
My property, under D-1 agricultural use, used to be compared to other agricultural properties. But in 2010, the land was compared to a church parking lot, a residential lot in a very up-scale neighborhood and a retail strip center. The 'arbiters' defended the county's comparisons because "empty land is empty land."
Obviously, the protest did not go well and the market valuation jumped 210%. Thankfully, the ag exemption is in place, so the tax due did not climb dramatically, but it's the principle of the valuation that irks me.
To my questions:
1. Has anyone had a similar experience?
2. Rumor has it the State Legislature has a bill in committee that will require properties to be compared to truly comparable properties. Anyone heard of this?