Comal County’s chief appraiser resigns amid internal investigation

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Comal County is now searching for a new appraisal district head.

The Comal Appraisal District accepted the resignation of chief appraiser Rufino Lozano on Tuesday, according to The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.

Lozano’s exit comes amid ongoing internal and third-party outside investigations into allegations involving compensation and benefits. Seven current employees reportedly filed complaints against Lozano.

John Tyler, chair of the six-member CAD operations board, said Thursday that Lozano has been on paid administrative leave since March 22. At the same time, the appraisal district was finalizing notifications about 2022 preliminary property assessments for homeowners.

Tyler said 95,000 notices will be mailed to owners of 108,000 properties beginning next week.

Details on the allegations have not been shared, but Tyler reportedly defined them as “sensitive.”

Tyler reportedly expressed frustration Thursday that perception of the probe was focused on Lozano’s character instead of an administrative dispute involving pay, benefits and job duties.

Lozano took the position at CAD in March 2017 following a short term in the same role at San Patricio County.

According to the Herald-Zeitung, the CAD projects 2022 values to rise between 30% and 50% based on assessments as of January 1, 2022, and will be the largest single-year increase in market and taxable values in the district’s 42-year history.

Values reportedly increased by double-digit percentages during four years of Lozano’s five-year stint in the role and the Herald-Zeitung said that district-wide taxable values increased from $16.121 billion to $32.616 billion since 2017.

The CAD is currently searching for an interim chief appraiser ahead of the next board meeting scheduled for June 7.

Homeowners have until May 15 or 30 days from the date the appraisal district notice is delivered, whichever is later, to submit an appraisal protest to challenge the valuation.

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