Sunday, July 14, 2024

Jeff Law comes back to Hood County to serve again as Chief Appraiser


Jeff Law is coming back to Hood County to serve again after he was named the new Chief Appraiser for the Hood County Appraisal District on Sept. 7. Law is taking the place of Eddie Roe after his resignation in May.
Law was born and raised in Burleson and received his bachelor’s in business administration and finance with an emphasis in real estate from Texas Christian University in 2003. Law has been married for 33 years and has twin daughters who are both currently in college.
He started working in the appraisal district straight out of high school in 1988 and originally began working in the mapping department of the Tarrant Appraisal District, then transitioned to a draftsman then a staff appraiser. Ten years after he first started in the appraisal district, Law became the Chief Appraiser of the Hood County Appraisal District at the age of 32.
He served in Hood County from 1998 to 2008 before making the transition over to Tarrant’s Chief Appraiser from 2008-2023 before recently resigning on Sept. 1.
“I had several folks reaching out to me after Roe resigned wanting to know if I would be interested in taking that role back,” Law said. “When you have 10 times a larger district, you have 10 times the challenges as well. So, I decided to make the transition and decision to come back to a small-town community again.”
His resignation letter noted he would be looking at other employment opportunities. The letter came three days after a vote of no confidence and an urge for the board of directors to fire Law during a Tarrant County Commissioner’s Court meeting on Aug. 29.
“I did not resign because of what was going on. I resigned because I got a job offer in Hood County that I wanted to take,” Law said. “Some of the folks up there (in Tarrant County) have spun it into he resigned because of all the pressure that was going on and that’s not true. The time frame in which I received a valid offer from the HCAD it just so happened to fall in that particular time frame.”
On Aug. 24, the mayors of Colleyville, Keller and Southlake issued a letter demanding the TAD board of directors hire a new chief appraiser. The letter posted to Twitter by Keller Mayor in part stated, “Taxpayers have lost trust in the Tarrant Appraisal District,” and went on to say, “As mayors of the cities, we reuse to sit complacent while the TAD tries to justify yet another scandal.”
This joint letter came after the head of Information Systems at the TAD was suspended and later fired after he was heard in a leaked recording during a staff meeting saying, “I’m OK with creating a false narrative that distances the truth from the media” according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Law noted he has dealt with reporters that “have not been very favorable” and noted that “rarely” was he able to give his side of the story.
“Essentially, I had a couple of circumstances in which employees of the appraisal district took certain actions that I had to deal with. I’ve also had some situations in which some politics have cracked into the appraisal district and that has caused a lot of news relative to the appraisal district. In all these situations, we have tried to manage the appraisal district in a professional way and obviously if a reporter can find a hot topic, they will report on that,” Law said. “There are some media outlets up there (in Tarrant County) more in particular the print media that have taken advantage of some situations that they chose to report on, and I was never really provided an outlet or a manner in which to explain both sides of the story.”
Law is looking forward to this new chapter back in Hood County as he starts work on Sept. 18.
“I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be fun and interesting. Hopefully we can work to make sure that the public service aspect of the appraisal district is as good as it can be. We hope to be able to serve the taxing units that we do work for in a courteous and respectful way and just follow the law,” Law said. “I’ve always had a service heart kind of mindset when it comes to this type of work. We recognize that we are a governmental institution of the state of Texas, and we are here to serve. I like helping people and I like helping people solve problems. I like helping folks get the tax relief that they deserve whether it be exemptions, agricultural designations and of such… Our goal is to communicate with public and with the taxing unit stakeholders what’s happening in and around with the community.”
Board Chairman for Hood CAD and City Councilman, Eddie Rodriguez stated, “We are exceptionally pleased to have Mr. Law come on board to lead our district. We were seeking someone with extensive experience and strong leadership characteristics, and Mr. Law certainly meets those criteria. We will work closely with him to ensure accuracy of appraisals in Hood CAD and provide excellence in customer service and a transparent operation for our citizens.”