Binding arbitration is an important aspect of property appraisal and property tax law in Texas. If you own property in Harris County, Texas, then you will have to deal with the Harris County Appraisal District (CAD) and the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) in many instances. If you want to protest your property appraisal, you’ll have to file a protest and go before the ARB. But, not every ARB hearing is successful for the property owner. Indeed, in 2012, over a quarter of all protests in Harris County failed to lower the value of the disputed property.
That's where binding arbitration comes in. There are certain properties that may qualify for binding arbitration after the ARB fails to give the property owner their desired valuation. There are also certain deadlines involved with binding arbitration.
For instance, the first deadline you’ll have to take into account is the 45-day rule for filing your “Request for Binding Arbitration” with the CAD. You have 45 days to file the request after receiving the order of determination about the value of your property from the ARB. If you wait too long, then you will not be able to enter into binding arbitration. It should also be noted that, although the comptroller approves binding arbitration, you should not send the request to the comptroller. Send requests and a money order, cashier's check, or traveler's check of $500 to the Harris County Appraisal District.
Wait for the Arbitrator to be Chosen
Once you have filed for your binding arbitration, then you will have to wait for approval. When the request is approved, the property owner and the CAD will mutually choose an arbitrator to oversee the binding arbitration. Once the arbitrator is chosen, you will be provided with a series of procedures and deadlines directly from the arbitrator. Again, although the comptroller is involved to some degree, they do not dictate the procedures and deadlines that the arbitrators may provide. Each arbitrator is different in this aspect.
Review All the Documentation
Because of this, it’s important to review all the documentation that the arbitrator is legally required to provide to both you and the CAD. This documentation will outline all the procedures and deadlines involved in the binding arbitration hearing. Everything from the actual date of the hearing to the deadline for submitting evidence can be found in this documentation.
If anything is unclear in the documentation provided by the arbitrator, then it is incumbent on the property owner to contact the arbitrator immediately for clarification. The arbitrator will not be held responsible for a misinterpretation of their procedures and requirements. So, if you are a property owner in the midst of binding arbitration, then you should do your best to understand every aspect of the arbitrator’s procedures. Otherwise, you may be subject to missing the deadline for submitting evidence.
In reality, the deadlines that you will face in regard to a binding arbitration will all be laid out in the arbitrator’s documentation. So, it’s vital that you read the documentation closely and keep a calendar of all the dates, deadlines, and locations involved in the arbitration process.
For more information on binding arbitration, contact O’Connor & Associates today!
Posted in: Protest Property Taxes Keywords: binding arbitration, property appraisal, property tax law in Texas, property tax deadlines Houston Texas