PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Melodie Lloyd said she’s able to do things like go to Buc days and sporting events, but something she’s not able to do even though the state is 100 percent open is go into the district appraisal office in-person to protest.
The Nueces County District Appraisal Office said they’re closed until September because of COVID-19 safety concerns, but Lloyd said she doesn’t accept that reasoning.
“There’s nothing to replace sitting across the desk looking face to face, looking the appraiser in the eye,” Lloyd said.
She said that she prefers to talk to them in-person rather than virtually. She thinks the reason behind the delay of in-person meetings is because the appraisal district office doesn’t want to hear the protests in person.
The district appraisal office said in 2019 they had around 20,000 people protest and in 2020 around 21,000 people protested. This year they’re expecting more people to protest because the value of homes is going up.
“Where they do sell wood, nails, etcetera, you will see that they’re a lot more today than where they were at last year and that will justify some of those increases,” Ronnie Canales, the Nueces County Appraisal District chief appraiser said.
Canales said all employees are working in the office and they’re waiting until September to open because they’re waiting for 70 percent of the county to be vaccinated. He said only nine of their employees got COVID-19, at which time they quarantined those employees.
He said Zoom is an option for people like Lloyd but they also have other options.
“Phone call through cell phone or through land line and if not, if they can’t email and all that good stuff to submit their information….they can come by and drop it off at the front door,” Canales said.
However, Lloyd feels that those options aren’t good enough. Lloyd said last year she hired a professional to help her protest her property taxes, but the professional failed. Now she wants to bring the issue to the attention of people in her community.
“I feel I need to be an advocate for my family and other Nueces County taxpayers. This is wrong and I wanted to speak out about it,” Lloyd said.