This change really addresses two key issues: 1) giving a decision for each issue protested separately and 2) deliberating orally. In the past, appraisal review board often gave only one value and deliberated by whispering to each other or passing notes.
This is a positive change since it will require appraisal review board members to vote on each of the issues protested. Historically, when both market value and unequal appraisal are protested, the appraisal review board members have only deliberated regarding a value for market value. In effect, they simply disregard the evidence on unequal appraisal. The mindset is that since the appraisal district considers unequal appraisal illegitimate, and they are paid by the appraisal district, they consider unequal illegitimate. And since they are paid by the appraisal district, there is a tendency to go along with the appraisal district.
In addition to protesting market value and unequal appraisal, property owners may also appeal 41.41 (a) (9): any other action of the chief appraiser, appraisal district, or appraisal review board that applies to and adversely affects the property owner. O’Connor & Associates always includes a protest on 41.41 (a) (9) in each protest, along with appeals on market value (41.41 (a) (1)) and unequal appraisal (41.41 (a) (2)).
Examples of 41.41 (a) (9) protests include the appraisal district presenting data that is routinely inconsistent and data that generates a predetermined result. For example, the Harris County Appraisal District unequal appraisal analysis generates a predetermined result which is very close to the noticed value.
Historically, appraisal review board members have deliberated about a value by whispering or passing a sheet of paper and writing notes.
This Tax Code change is positive since it requires appraisal review board members to return deliberate orally on each of the issues protested.