Mike Jones was successful in appealing the county property tax assessment for his business last year, and now he’s offering a service to help others who would like to do the same.
Jones is a longtime local veterinarian and a former member of the Glen Rose City Council who challenged the Somervell County Central Appraisal District’s property value on his business, Glen Rose Veterinary Clinic.
The clinic is located at 1404 NE Big Bend Trail, and is one of many businesses on that stretch of highway in Glen Rose that experienced an increase in county taxes.
Jones won his tax challenge when it was submitted to the Somervell County Appraisal Review Board. He said the successful appeal saved him about $300.
Jones researched the taxes on other Glen Rose businesses on the east end of town on Highway 67 last year and said there was an upswing that he felt was not justified.
“They raised the value about $4 million on (business) properties last year,” Jones said Monday. “With the current local tax rate of $2.11 per 100, that cost businesses $80,000.
“Between gas stations, restaurants and small services, they’re all getting hit with increased taxes. It costs jobs and raises prices of goods and services and is counterproductive to a healthy community.
“This year, they’re picking up the other (went) end of town. Why they waited until this year to do the other end of town, I’m not sure.”
Jones not only seems sure the tax increases were not fair, but also that they will hurt local businesses.
“If they have their way, they’ll take $160,000 out of our community,” Jones said. “If businesses have more money to spend, they will spend it locally. I’m passionate about it, and I want to get Highway 67 fixed.”
Jones said he is offering his services to help local business owners who want to appeal their tax rate, for a fee of 25 percent of the amount saved.
“There are tax organizations in the Metroplex that do the same thing,” Jones said. “The individual can appeal as well, and that will take you to the district court. If they want to represent themselves, I’ll get anybody started.”
Jones said he has been making the rounds up and down Highway 67 and already is working on tax appeals for several other Glen Rose businesses.
“Most of them are aware their property taxes went up, they’re just unaware how they need to file the appeal, and have documentation necessary to succeed. You have to prepare and get your ducks in a row and say why you’re appealing.”
Jones noted a couple of larger businesses that are taking big hits.
“Brookeshires value is going up $130,000, and that will cost them around $27,000 in taxes,” Jones said. “Holiday Inn went up $1 million last year, and this year. They don’t have any more weeks in the year to sell rooms.”
Businesses like Holiday Inn can just let their corporate network handle tax appeals, Jones noted. But sometimes small business owners don’t know what's necessary to file an appeal.
“People care about their taxes, they just don’t know how to do it,” Jones said. “It’s not impossible. It can work, if you’re prepared.”
Jones noted that the deadline for filing an appeal has been moved up to May 15, so time is running out.
“If you miss the deadline, you’re stuck,” Jones said. “You can’t go back to prior years and appeal what they overcharged.
“My advice is, you have to file the appeal by the deadline, or you have nothing to complain about. You must ask for comps (comparative sales), as to how they establish the value of the property. That’s an open records request, and they have to respond within 10 days. I can file that form for them.”
Jones said he moved to Glen Rose to set up his business in 1984. He said his veterinary clinic is second in tenure only to the local Dairy Queen in being in business at the same location under the same ownership.
Jones can be reached at his veterinary clinic by calling 254-897-4339.