|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - June 2009
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McKinley retiring as chief appraiser
Trinity Standard - June 2009
TRINITY – Longtime Chief Appraiser Allen McKinley will be saying farewell to his post with the Trinity County Appraisal District this month, but his family will remain heavily involved with the agency.
His wife, Susan McKinley, has been selected by the appraisal district’s board as his replacement.
Tuesday, June 30, will be McKinley’s last day as the head of the countywide property appraisal district but he said he would continue to work locally as both a teacher and consultant on property tax issues.
McKinley has headed up the appraisal district since 1990.
“I really didn’t intend to stay here when I first came to Trinity County. This was going to be just a stepping stone … I thought,” he added with a smile.
“I’ve been here now for almost 20 years and I plan to stay here. That speaks well of this community. I don’t have the most popular job around, but the people of Trinity County have accepted me and made me feel welcome.”
As the chief appraiser, McKinley has been responsible for determining the value of all land and other taxable property within the county. Figures generated by the appraisal district are used by the county, school districts, cities and other taxing entities when they determine each year how much each taxpayer will be required to pay.
“I’ve been thinking about retiring for the past two years now and I feel it is now time. Two years ago when I first started talking about it, the board asked me to stay another year. Last year when I mentioned it, Susan asked me to stay ‘just one more year’,” he explained.
His wife’s request was doubly important because she had already been tapped by the appraisal district’s board to be his replacement.
That decision was made over two years ago and Mrs. McKinley was sent to the state’s Chief Appraiser Institute in 2006 to receive state mandated training for the post.
Although she has served on the appraisal district’s staff in the past – including the post of chief deputy appraiser – for the last 14 years she has served as the tax assessor-collector for the consolidated tax office operated by the Groveton Independent School District. That office is charged with the collection the taxes for the GISD and a number of other county taxing entities.
“The property appraisal business is not like it used to be and for someone like me who is used to the old way, it’s no longer something that I want to continue to do,” he said.
Unlike in years past when there was much more local control, McKinley said it has now become a “numbers game” with the state mandating just about every action that the local authorities must take.
“Its time for me to do other things and its time I turned it over to someone who can run it and keep up with what the state wants them to do and not resent it the way I do,” he said.
McKinley said that during his tenure, he has worked to keep appraised values as low as possible so as not to place too much of a burden on local property owners. Due to the changes that have been underway at the state level, he said that type of action would no longer be possible.
He said he would now work as a consultant for the local and other appraisal districts, teach classes in property tax work and possibly help conduct tax and property studies for the Texas Comptroller’s Office.
“I really enjoy the teaching side of the business so that is something I really am looking forward to,” he added.
A native of Houston, McKinley is a graduate of Spring High School in the Spring Branch ISD.
When he began his career in tax work, it was with the Spring Branch ISD tax office.
After a 20-year detour in the engineering business with the Houston petro-chemical industry, McKinley returned to appraisal work, serving in Austin County for eight years before coming to Trinity County in early1990.
Recently, he was named the winner of the 2008 James Goodwin Excellence in Education Award presented by the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts.
Mrs. McKinley, who will become chief appraiser on July 1, began her career in property appraisal work in August 1981 in Austin County. She also worked for the Fort Bend and Wharton appraisal districts before joining the newly created Trinity County Appraisal District in 1990.
She worked as the chief deputy for five years before joining GISD’s consolidated tax office in 1995 as its tax assessor-collector.
In addition to graduating from the Chief Appraiser Institute, she also is a registered tax assessor-collector (RTA), a registered professional appraiser (RPA), a certified tax administrator (CTA) and a certified school tax administrator (CSTA),
Together the McKinleys have four children and five grandchildren and they both enjoy riding cutting horses, traveling Texas and spending free time with family and friends.