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The top Tarrant Appraisal District board member now faces a recall

The unanimous 7-0 vote, which included Mayor Armin Mizani, will begin a process that could result in a recall of Kathryn Wilemon.
Credit: TAD
Kathryn Wilemon, center, faces a recall after a Keller City Council vote Tuesday.

KELLER, Texas — The Keller City Council on Tuesday night voted to begin a process to recall the head of the Tarrant Appraisal District board.

The unanimous 7-0 vote, which included Mayor Armin Mizani, will begin a process that could result in a recall of Kathryn Wilemon, the chairperson of the appraisal district's six-person board.

Board members are elected by taxing entities, such as cities and school districts, not taxpayers. The entities, as Keller did Tuesday night, can vote to begin a recall process of a board member but only if they initially voted for the member, Mizani said.

Mizani said the next step in the recall process would be sending the matter to a vote among other entities who voted for Wilemon.

Mizani at Tuesday night's meeting explained the council's frustration the appraisal district and accused the board of not being transparent.

"The discussion and possible action is based on one simple question in my mind: Is TAD today more accountable and transparent than it was two years ago?" Mizani said. "Do our taxpayers in Keller have more trust or distrust of the process? Are Keller taxpayers afforded a level playing field when protesting or representing others who protests their assessments? Can they do so without retaliation? The answer to those questions, when I hear from my constituents, is flatly, 'no.'"

Mizani cited a spike in appraisal protests in Tarrant County and a recent controversy involving the realtor Chandler Crouch, who helps taxpayers protest their property values.

Last year, the Tarrant Appraisal District's director of residential appraisals, Randy Armstrong, filed a personal complaint against Crouch on county time, accusing him of "misrepresentation of facts and abuse of his dual positions as both a property tax consultant" and a realtor.

The complaint said Crouch had a property listed for about $2.5 million in Colleyville, while he testified to the review board that the market value of the home of was around $880,000.

But Crouch, in a response posted on his website, said it's not a violation "to list a house for sale and represent the client in a protest hearing," as happened for the Colleyville home.

"The property I protested at $880,000 was 1 acre and 1 house. The property I listed for sale at $2.5mil was 5 acres, 2 houses, several barns, and ponds," said Chandler Crouch, "I protested only 1 out of the 3 TAD accounts listed under the same address. One account is far less valuable than all 3 put together. That's why the price difference was so large. Armstrong left out these important facts when he filed his complaint."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Armstrong was suspended without pay over the incident, as well as the district's chief appraiser, Jeff Law, though Law said he was not aware the complaint had been filed.

Law released a statement to WFAA on Wednesday about the Keller City Council's vote Tuesday night:

Ms. Wilemon has a long and distinguished record of serving the citizens of Arlington and Tarrant County.  She was first appointed to the Tarrant Appraisal District’s Board of directors in January 2020.  Since that time she has endeavored to lead with enthusiasm and a strong desire to improve the relationship between the appraisal district and taxpayers.  She understands the challenges property owners face with property taxes and a strong real estate market.  Since the initiation of the recall process has begun, if the taxing entities choose to leave her as a member of the board I will continue working with her but if the taxing entities chose to move in a different direction I will work diligently with the new member they appoint and the existing board to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the Tarrant Appraisal District.


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