Image: The Royal Doyal pondering the taxes he’s saving FOR HIMSELF.
Conroe, April 20 – The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, enjoyed a record number of readers yesterday largely thanks to the article “It’s Good To Be The King: Craig Doyal’s $110,000 House (With His Immediate Next Door Neighbor’s House Valued at $596,000.)” Although the shock and chagrin from the appraisal of Judge Doyal’s house overwhelmed the reader responses, there were a few readers who attempted to come to his defense. When someone is so unrestrained in his wielding of power as the spending-and-taxing Craig Doyal, he’s bound to find some followers who enjoy the bounty or at least want to defend the “Establishment.”)
Sadly, the primary arguments that Doyal’s “Yes Men” and “Yes Women” tried to muster just did fit the facts. There simply is no excuse for the Montgomery County Judge’s brand new house to get a $110,000 appraisal when the clear value of the home as of January 1, 2017, the legal date of the valuation was well over $500,000.
Here are some of the arguments the “Yes Men” and “Yes Women” tried to provide.
“YES MEN” ARGUMENT #1: CRAIG’S $110,000 VALUATION IS ONLY FOR THE UNIMPROVED LAND VALUE.
Balderdash. That argument simply doesn’t hold water.
There’s no question that if someone doesn’t build on their land, the Montgomery Central Appraisal District (MCAD) only assesses for the land without improvements, especially since there aren’t any. There are two reasons that argument doesn’t work to rationalize the disgustingly low appraisal that the exploding-government-spending Doyal and Mrs. Doyal have on their home.
First, the $110,000 valuation for the Doyal lot, even if were unimproved, is not close to the real value. The least expensive list price for an unimproved lot in the entire Blue Heron Bay subdivision is $140,000. That makes sense because master developer and builder Doug Joslyn was the developer. Joslyn knows how to build beautiful communities and this project was no exception to his excellent record.
A lakefront lot without nearly the nice view of the Doyal lot is for sale with a list price of $150,000. That’s 17833 Blue Heron Court, if you’re in the market to buy a lot and don’t mind the Doyals as your neighbors.
Even a mediocre canal lot in Willis with a “so-so” view is for sale at $128,000. In fact, several realtors told The Golden Hammer that the average price for an unimproved lakefront lot on Lake Conroe is $200,000.
The best evidence of the purposeful devaluation of Doyal’s lot is 233 Blue Heron Drive, a 1-minute walk from Doyal’s home on his street. That lot doesn’t have nearly the nice view of the Doyal lot. It’s listed at $194,900.
There’s a second major problem with that argument. Doyal’s home should not be valued for the unimproved lot valuation, because there’s a completed home there!!!!!!!
The legal valuation date for tax appraisals is January 1. That means if your house is complete on January 1, 2017, your appraisal should reflect the full value of the improved residence on your lot. Legally, the Doyal home should be valued in the $500,000 to $600,000 range.
“YES MEN” ARGUMENT #2: CRAIG AND MRS. DOYAL WOULDN’T SUFFER THE FULL VALUATION IF THEY MOVED INTO THE HOUSE A FEW MONTHS AGO.
One reader was kind enough to provide the factual details of the Doyals’ financing: “Deed of Trust was executed on 10/24/2016. So yes, the house was built and completed before Jan 1, 2017. Lot cost was $92K and house was $550K.” The Golden Hammer confirmed those numbers from the finance documents.
The home construction was complete well before October 24, 2016. Several people, including a few Blue Heron Drive neighbors who asked for anonymity, confirmed the Doyals moved into the home in the early autumn.
“YES MEN” ARGUMENT #3: THE MCAD IS BEHIND SCHEDULE IN ITS WORK.
A prominent homebuilder observed the facts that MCAD is not only NOT behind schedule, but they’re downright aggressive. Here’s what he said in a comment in The Golden Hammer: “When I built my home in Montgomery County the tax appraiser was jolly on the spot. We moved in our home in the fall and the property tax evaluation was reflected the very next year. So Eric is correct in his assesment of the situaton. Something just does not pass the smell test. Our tax appraisal district and our county’s government is probably one of the worst and the most corrupt in the State Of Texas.”
The Golden Hammer spoke to that builder as well as several others. All of them reported that the Appraisal District regularly visits homes as they’re under construction and will even climb through windows to observe the extent of internal completion.
Bet they drove past Doyal’s home without looking…wonder why?
What’s the bottom line?
Craig Doyal, the Montgomery County Judge who has made clear he’s for more County government spending has a good reason not to care about high property taxes. He’s got a sweet deal. While regular citizens must suffer property taxes at the appraised value of their homes, Doyal gets taxed as though he lived on raw land on a poor land-locked property. Why should he care about County spending?
It’s really, really good to be the king.