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Can Get Hearing Rescheduled if Missed for Good Cause

17th March 2014

The intent of this change in the Tax Code is to allow a property owner or the agent of a property owner to reschedule a hearing they did not attend if they missed the hearing due to “good cause” and  request a reschedule within 4 days of the original hearing.

“Good cause” for missed hearings is defined as For purposes of Subsections (e) and (e-1), "good cause" means a reason that includes an error or mistake that:

(1)  was not intentional or the result of conscious indifference; and

(2)  will not cause undue delay or other injury to the person authorized to extend the deadline or grant a rescheduling.

The first part is fairly taxpayer friendly; it essentially means if you did not intentionally skip the hearing, it shall be rescheduled.  Hence, if you did not receive the hearing notice or simply forgot about the time of the hearing, you have a basis to request that the ARBs scheduled.  The intention is if you just did not skip the hearing, then it can be rescheduled.

The second part is ambiguous.  The hearing shall be rescheduled if it “will not cause undue delay or other injury to the person authorized to extend the deadline or grant a rescheduling”.

This appears to require a judgment.  And making a judgment is not consistent with clerical duties.  Hence, in theory, it should be a member of the appraisal review board who makes the decision.  In reality, at many if not most appraisal districts, it will be a member of the appraisal district clerical staff who will make the decision.

Since it would not harm the appraisal review board to reschedule the hearing, there is no reason they should not, unless they believed you intentionally skipped the hearing.  However, the appraisal district is under pressure to certify the tax roll.  It will be interesting to see how this issue is implemented at different appraisal districts.

Posted in: Texas Property Tax
Keywords: Propert Tax Law Changes, Texas Property Tax

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