Ellis County property owner Mark Crocker has a message for all taxpayers – and he proclaimed it Wednesday while protesting in front of Ellis Appraisal District’s office building.

His large poster board displayed the words, “Stop unfair property tax imposed by the corrupt Republican Party.” 

“I believe the Ellis County Appraisal Review Board is hostile and out of control,” he said. “Tax dollars are being wasted by the Republican Party. Texas is suffering from their corruption and greed. We, the taxpayers, are being penalized for this corruption and greed.

“No one really represents the taxpayer,” he said. “When it comes to the government level, we have no way of fighting back. We need to change the laws to make it more fair to taxpayers and what you buy is what you pay taxes on – not what the appraisal district wants to charge taxes on.”

Crocker believes there’s too much complacency among taxpayers because their opinions aren’t being heard.

“I think it’s time for everyone to call (his or her) congressmen and state representatives and protest,” he said.

Crocker, who’s been a property owner in Ellis County since 2008, has a strong opinion of the leadership in state government.

“(Gov. Rick) Perry is in a win-win situation,” he said. “He has the majority in the House and Senate, and there are no Democrats to run against him,” he said. “And we can’t stand another episode like we had when George W. Bush was president.”

Crocker said he’s finishing up a book he’s entitled, “Wake the H— Up, America,” which he said is an effort to expose what he calls corruption in state and national government.

“Texas is one of the highest taxed states in the country,” he said. “And where is all that money going? It’s not going to roads, bridges, dams or infrastructure. They’re not being properly maintained.”

He feels the local area is politically motivated.

“It’s a known fact that Waxahachie is a Republican community,” he said. “During the last presidential election, you could see McCain/Palin signs and bumper stickers all over town, but very few Obama/Biden signs.”

In an interview with the Daily Light, Ellis Appraisal District executive director Kathy Rodrigue explained the agency’s position concerning property tax appraisals.

“The appraisal district doesn’t set any tax rates,” she said. “The tax rates are set by the governing bodies of the taxing entities such as the school district, city and county.

“The appraisal district is responsible for the appraisal of all property at 100 percent of the market value, fairly and equitability,” she said.

The work of the appraisal district is not politically driven, she said.

“If (property tax appraisals) were political, my position would be an elected position,” she said. “And there has been a move in the past to try to make it an elected position.”

Rodrigue said the properties owned by Crocker were purchased in 2008 and, according to the 2009 appraisal, were appraised at a lower rate than what he paid for them.

For more information about property taxes, visit the Web site at www.elliscad.com.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or call 469-517-1451.