Hundreds of homeowners showed their support at the Tarrant Appraisal District Thursday for a longtime North Texas real estate agent and property tax consultant currently under investigation.
Chandler Crouch, the owner of Chandler Crouch Realtors, has been working in real estate since 2002. Over the past five years, Crouch has gained more recognition for helping at least 90,000 homeowners protest their property tax appraisals free of charge. He has filed about 28,000 protests in the past year, he said.
In November 2021, Crouch learned he was under investigation by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation after TAD Director of Residential Appraisal Randy Armstrong filed complaints against Crouch using his TAD title.
The earliest complaint dates back to October 2021, when Armstrong alleged Crouch “intentionally misled members of the Tarrant Review Board (TARB) with his testimony in a “market value” protest hearing on June 16, 2021” through his "misrepresentation of facts and abuse of his dual positions as both a Property Tax Consultant and a Licensed Texas Realtor/Broker.”
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“I’m standing up for helping the folks and doing something there’s largely not a lot of help for, so I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Crouch said Thursday. “I didn’t want this to happen ... but I’m also grateful for the opportunity to help expose some of the bigger issues that are going on.”
At a hearing before TAD’s Board of Directors Thursday, dozens spoke in support of Crouch and also called on the board for more transparency over high property appraisals.
“I’m so disappointed in how things are handled here,” one resident said. “The tax rate has gone up on my property, $30,000 one year, $40,000 the next year. I hadn’t done any repairs.”
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Larry McFarland, of Arlington, was one of the first in line Thursday morning.
“They’re not in a bubble. We are watching what they’re doing. We’re paying attention, and we pay a ton of money in tax based on what they say,” McFarland said.
Board chairwoman Kathryn Wilemon had to interject more than once during public comments, which lasted about four hours. In some cases, Wilemon clarified the role of the board as residents explained their frustrations with the appraisal process.
“I can tell you’re all really passionate, and you all really care. I don’t want anybody to lose their home,” Wilemon said.
She added that the investigation into Crouch would not stop Thursday morning.
“There will be a future to this instance. It’s not over,” she said.
A number of residents also called for Armstrong and Jeff Law, executive director of TAD, to leave their positions. Crouch specifically pointed to Law during his comments before the board.
“This happened seven months ago. We’ve had every opportunity for something different to happen. I’m sorry. Mr. Law needs to not work here anymore. That’s the only solution for this. I hate that. I’ve defended you in public,” he said. “Unfortunately today, the only thing that needs to be helped for the culture in this building to change is for the leadership to change. It sucks. I don’t like it. I don’t like that I’ve said these bad things. That all of these people have said these bad things.”
This week, both Law and Armstrong have told NBC 5 they would not offer comments on the matter until the review is complete.
Prior to public comment on Thursday, the board met in an executive session for about an hour. It is unclear what was discussed or if personnel matters were brought up.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 12.