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Texas Property Tax Code Chapter 41c - O'Connor and Associates

Texas Property Tax Code

Texas Property Tax Code
2006 Edition
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


The Texas Property Tax Code (TPTC) contains statues regulating the assessment, taxation, exemptions, appeal options, hearing procedures for Texas property tax appeals, judicial appeals for Texas property taxes, timely payment of Texas property taxes, and penalties for late payment of property taxes. The TPTC covers all counties in Texas and does not vary from county to county. Each county has an appraisal district which estimates the market value (assessed value) for real and personal property in the county.

Articles on appealing your property taxes and obtaining exemptions are available in this site. This and the preceding paragraph were prepared by O’Connor & Associates and the Texas Property Tax Code is determined by the legislature and compiled by the Texas Comptroller.


Note: Please follow the links at the beginning or end of this chapter to return to either the previous chapter or to proceed to the next chapter or to the Table or Contents.

Chapter 41B | Table of Contents | Chapter 41D

Title 1. Property Tax Code
Subtitle F. Remedies

Chapter 41. Local Review

Subchapter C. Taxpayer Protest

Sec. 41.41. Right of Protest.
Sec. 41.411. Protest of Failure to Give Notice.
Sec. 41.412. Person Acquiring Property After January 1.
Sec. 41.413 Protest by Person Leasing Property.
Sec. 41.42. Protest of Situs.
Sec. 41.43. Protest of Inequality of Appraisal.
Sec. 41.44. Notice of Protest.
Sec. 41.45. Hearing on Protest.
Sec. 41.455. Pooled or Unitized Mineral Interests.
Sec. 41.46. Notice of Protest Hearing.
Sec. 41.461. Notice of Certain Matters Before Hearing.
Sec. 41.47. Determination of Protest.

[Sections 41.48 to 41.60 reserved for expansion]

Sec. 41.41. Right of Protest.

(a) A property owner is entitled to protest before the appraisal review board the following actions:

(1) determination of the appraised value of the owner's property or, in the case of land appraised as provided by Subchapter C, D, E, or H, Chapter 23, determination of its appraised or market value;

(2) unequal appraisal of the owner's property;

(3) inclusion of the owner's property on the appraisal records;

(4) denial to the property owner in whole or in part of a partial exemption;

(5) determination that the owner's land does not qualify for appraisal as provided by Subchapter C, D, E, or H, Chapter 23;

(6) identification of the taxing units in which the owner's property is taxable in the case of appraisal district's appraisal roll;

(7) determination that the property owner is the owner of the property;

(8) a determination that a change in use of land appraised under Subchapter C, D, E, or H, Chapter 23, has occurred; or

(9) any other action of the chief appraiser, appraisal district, or appraisal review board that applies to and adversely affects the property owner.

(b) Each year the chief appraiser for each appraisal district shall publicize in a manner reasonably designed to notify all residents of the district:

(1) the provisions of this section; and

(2) the method by which a property owner may protest an action before the appraisal review board.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 170, ch. 13, Sec. 137; amended by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 6149, ch. 823, Sec. 3; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3601, ch. 796, Sec. 34; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 211, ch. 113, Sec. 1; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 3197, ch. 631, Sec. 11.

Cross References:
Determination of appraised value, see Sec. 23.01.
Median level of appraisal, see Sec. 1.12.
Inclusion on appraisal records, see Secs. 11.01 & 21.01.
Listing of ownership, see ch. 25.
Taxing unit situs, see Secs. 21.01 & 21.02.
Remedy for situs protest, see Sec. 41.42.
Remedy for protest of appraisal inequality, see Sec. 41.43.
Partial exemptions, see Secs. 11.13, 11.22, 11.24, 11.27 & 11.28.
Productivity appraisal, see ch. 23, subchs. C, D & E.
Notice and deadline for protest, see Sec. 41.44.
Right of appeal by property owner, see Sec. 42.01.
Exclusivity of remedies, see Sec. 42.09.
Notice of appeal, see Sec. 42.06.

Notes:
Where taxpayer claimed not to be the owner of property upon which delinquent taxes were due and he had not presented this fact before the appraisal review board, he has waived non-ownership as a defense to a delinquent tax suit. A taxpayer must protest the non-ownership issue before the appraisal review board. Anderson v. Robstown Independent School District, 706 S.W.2d 952 (Tex. 1986). (Note: 1987 amendment adds Sec. 42.09(b) that provides defenses to delinquent tax lawsuit where property owner did not own personal property on January 1 or where real property was outside taxing unit's boundaries on January 1.)

The exempt status of a church could not be raised in a suit for delinquent taxes. The church failed to include the appraisal district as a party to the lawsuit, so that no action could be taken on its counterclaim concerning denial of its late application and qualification for exemption as a religious organization. The Tax Code remedies are exclusive. St. Joseph Orthodox Christian Church v. Spring Branch Independent School District, 110 S.W.3d 477 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, no pet.).

Section 25.25(c)(3) was not a proper remedy for the allocation of aircraft value because the property owner stipulated that the aircraft existed at the location and in the form described on the appraisal roll. It could not use the allocation provision of Section 21.03 to prove that the aircraft was not located in the appraisal district to correct a prior year roll. By failing to file timely a protest, the taxpayer waived its right to allocation for prior years. Kellair Aviation Co. v. Travis Central Appraisal District, 99 S.W.3d 704 (Tex. App.-Austin 2003, pet. denied).

The taxpayer exhausted its administrative remedies by protesting to the appraisal review board the inclusion of certain vehicles in the appraised value of a property account. The taxpayer therefore could raise the defense of non-ownership in a suit to collect delinquent taxes, even though the appraisal protest was not continued in subsequent years. City of Pharr v. Boarder to Boarder Trucking Svc., Inc. 76 S.W.3d 803 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 2002, pet. denied).

The ad valorem tax did not violate the subsidiary's substantive due process rights because taxing property with no direct benefits to the property does not amount to a palpable and arbitrary abuse of power unless its initial inclusion in the district was itself a palpable and arbitrary abuse of power. The constitutional requirement of equality and uniformity is met when taxation is uniformly assessed on an ad valorem basis on all taxable property without regard to benefits received. Southwest Property Trust, Inc. v. Dallas County Flood Control District No. 1, No. 05-97-00399-CV (Tex. App. - Dallas [5th Dist.] 2002, rehearing overruled).

A leasehold's valuation was not the annual contract rental price on each leased lot, but instead had to be based on the leasehold's current market value which might be higher than the contract price given the demand for leasehold estates. All comparables of fee-simple interests should be eliminated from data used in establishing the fair market value of leaseholds, but the appraisals should not be limited to the amount of annual rent being paid on the leaseholds. Panola County Fresh Water Supply District Number One v. Panola County Appraisal District and Panola County Appraisal Review Board, 69 S.W.3d 278 (Tex. App. - Texarkana 2002, no pet.).

Section 25.25(d) does not provide for the appeal of the denial of an exemption. Bexar Appraisal District v. Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, 52 S.W.3d 795 (Tex. App. - San Antonio 2001, no pet.).

The statutory language in Tax Code Section 25.25(d) provides that the tax roll could not be changed if the property was subject of a prior protest brought under Tax Code Chapter 41 and resolved by an earlier negotiated resolution. Royal Production Company, Inc. v. San Jacinto County Central Appraisal District and San Jacinto County Appraisal Review Board, 42 S.W.3d 373 (Tex. App. - Beaumont 2001).

Taxpayer sought relief under Section 25.25 regarding the value of an airplane for 1991 through 1995. 1991 and 1992 were not properly before the court since protests were filed, but dismissed when taxpayer did not appear for the hearing. 1994 and 1995 were not properly before the court either since protests were filed and written settlements executed. No protest was pursued for 1993. However, since the parties stipulated to the form and location of the airplane as described in the appraisal, Section 25.25(c) provided no relief for 1993. Allocation of value cannot be corrected using Section 25.25(c). Aramco Associated Company v. Harris County Appraisal District and Harris County Appraisal Review Board, 33 S.W.3d 361 (Tex. App. - Texarkana 2000, pet. denied).

Sanctions against a taxing unit are inappropriate because the taxpayer may not raise excessive appraisal or nonownership in district court without first exhausting the administrative remedies in the Tax Code. Taxpayer did not protest the property's appraisal or ownership to the appraisal review board, and thus could not raise those issues in a delinquent tax lawsuit. Aldine Independent School District v. Baty, 999 S.W.2d 113 (Tex. App. -- Houston [14th District] 1999).

Arbitration is not a remedy available to a taxpayer that missed the Chapters 41 and 42 protest deadlines. If a Section 25.25 correction motion is filed, the district court must hear the appeal from the appraisal review board's decision. Harris County Appraisal District v. World Houston, Inc., 905 S.W. 2d 594 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1995).

The subsequent purchaser of property is not barred from contesting the property's value under Section 25.25(d) when the previous owner had timely filed a protest of the property's value and then withdrew the protest because of the pending land sale. Jim Sowell Construction Company, Inc. v. Dallas Central Appraisal District, 900 S.W.2d 82 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1995, writ denied).

For the purposes of chapters of 41 and 42, "property owner" includes the owner of property on January 1 of the year for which taxes are imposed. Thus, HUD, which owned property on January 1 but sold it in August of the same year, was a property owner and had the right to appeal the appraisal review board decision to district court. HUD v. Nueces County Appraisal Dist., 875 S.W.2d 377 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1994, no writ history).

A taxpayer waived any complaint about the way in which the taxing units determined that it was the party responsible for the taxes since it had not complained of such at the ARB hearing as provided for in Sec. 41.41(7) and (9). The taxpayer could only assert the affirmative defenses of non-ownership and a taxing unit's lack of jurisdiction over the property in a subsequent suit for delinquent taxes as provided by Sec. 42.09(b). General Electric Capital Corp. v. City of Corpus Christi, 850 S.W.2d 596 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1993, writ denied).

A taxpayer seeking correction of a clerical error that affects tax liability must exhaust his administrative remedies by filing a correction motion with the appraisal review board before bringing suit in district court for a refund. Liland v. Dallas CAD, 731 S.W.2d 109 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1987, no writ).

Taxpayers who failed to comply with the Tax Code provisions for protesting property valuation were preempted from a right to judicial review because of the exclusiveness of the remedies provided by the Tax Code. Adams v. Kendall County Appraisal District, 724 S.W.2d 871 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1986, no writ).

Injunctive relief by a taxpayer for protesting valuation of his property is no longer permissible; the legislature has provided a comprehensive plan for appeal of taxing authorities' decisions in the Tax Code and has required property owners to follow that plan. Brazoria County Appraisal District v. Notlef, Inc., 721 S.W.2d 391 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1986, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Property owned by a hospital authority with a portion leased to private doctors for their own commercial enterprise was not used exclusively for the use and benefit of the public and was not exempt as public property. A hospital authority must exhaust its procedural administrative remedies under the Tax Code before seeking judicial review. Grand Prairie Hospital Authority v. Tarrant Appraisal District, 707 S.W.2d 281 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1986, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

The failure of the tax assessor to deliver a notice of appraised value denied due process to the taxpayer and deprived the appraisal review board of jurisdiction to consider any increase in taxpayer's valuation above the amount rendered. Because the board did not acquire jurisdiction over the valuation, the taxpayer was not confined to remedies under the Property Tax Code and could challenge the assessments through a collateral attack. Garza v. Block Distributing Co., 696 S.W.2d 259 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Property tax statute did not arbitrarily deprive taxpayer of his right to show that taxes assessed on his property were unequal, not uniform, and excessive where the code, which meets due process requirements, affords taxpayers the right to protest a hearing on protests and a determination of a protest. Brooks v. Bachus, 661 S.W.2d 288 (Tex. App.-Eastland 1983, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

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Sec. 41.411. Protest of Failure to Give Notice.

(a) A property owner is entitled to protest before the appraisal review board the failure of the chief appraiser or the appraisal review board to provide or deliver any notice to which the property owner is entitled.

(b) If failure to provide or deliver the notice is established, the appraisal review board shall determine a protest made by the property owner on any other grounds of protest authorized by this title relating to the property to which the notice applies.

(c) A property owner who protests as provided by this section must comply with the payment requirements of Section 42.08 or he forfeits his right to a final determination of his protest.

Added by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 6149, ch. 823, Sec. 1.

Cross References:
Deadline for filing protest, see Sec. 41.44(c).
Notice of new application for exemption, see Sec. 11.43(c).
Notice canceling exemption, see Sec. 11.43(h).
Notice of annual exemption application, see Sec. 11.44(a).
Notice of modification or denial of exemption, see Sec. 11.45(d).
Notice of decision on report of decreased value, see Sec. 22.03(c).
Notice of annual application for agricultural land valuation, see Sec. 23.43(e).
Notice of denial of agricultural land valuation, see Sec. 23.44(d).
Notice of new application for open-space land valuation, see Sec. 23.54(e).
Notice of penalty for failure of property owner to notify chief appraiser that open-space land no longer qualifies for special appraisal, see Sec. 23.54(i).
Notice of denial of open-space land valuation, see Sec. 23.57.
Notice of new application for timber land valuation, see Sec. 23.75(e).
Notice of new application for public access airport property valuation, see Sec. 23.94(c).
Notice of penalty for failure of property owner to notify chief appraiser that timber land no longer qualifies for special appraisal, see Sec. 23.75(j).
Notice of denial for timber land valuation, see Sec. 23.79(d).
Notice of new application for recreational, park, and scenic land valuation, see Sec. 28.84(c).
Notice of denial for recreational, park, and scenic land valuation, see Sec. 23.85(d).
Notice of penalty for violating deed restriction for recreational, park, and scenic land valuation, see Sec. 23.87(b).
Notice of denial of application for public access airport property appraisal valuation, see Sec. 23.95(d).
Notice of penalty for violating deed restriction for public access airport property, see Sec. 23.97(b).
Notice of transportation business intangible value appraisal, see Sec. 24.09.
Notice of appraised value, see Sec. 25.19.
Notice to property owner of a change in appraisal review board, see Sec. 41.11(a).
Notice of protest hearing, see Sec. 41.46.
Payment of taxes under protest, see Sec. 42.08.
Right of protest by property owner, see Sec. 41.41.
Presumption of delivery, see Sec. 1.07.
Exclusivity of remedies, see Sec. 42.09.

Notes:
The fact that an appraisal notice failed to correctly name the property owner did not constitute a failure to deliver notice under the specific circumstances. The error was attributable to the property owner by failing to provide the appraisal district with the necessary information to change the ownership records. Dan's Big & Tall Shop, Inc. v. County of Dallas, 160 S.W.3d 307 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2005, pet denied).

Failure of notice is without merit as a claim where taxpayer had actual notice of the noticed value despite not receiving an appraisal notice and yet failed to exhaust administrative remedies by filing a timely petition with the ARB seeking relief. ABT Galveston L.P. v. Galveston Cent. Appraisal Dist., 137 S.W.3d 146, (Tex. App. -- Houston [1st] 2004, no pet.).

Section 25.19 is procedural, rather than jurisdictional. The appraisal district's failure to provide an appraisal notice did not deprive the taxpayer of due process, as the protest procedure of Section 41.411 permitted administrative review. The taxpayer's failure to protest timely to the appraisal review board about the lack of notice precluded judicial review. The taxpayer did not receive a notice of appraised value for the inclusion of omitted property on the appraisal roll. Rather than filing a protest for failure to receive a required notice, the taxpayer paid the taxes and filed suit against the appraisal district claiming that the appraisal was void. Denton Central Appraisal District v. CIT Leasing Corp., 115 S.W.3d 261 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2003, pet. filed).

Failure of prior property owners to assert lack of notice precludes subsequent owners from challenging the validity of past appraisals. Failure to deliver timely notices nullifies changes in appraisal rolls only with regard to the property owner at the time. Although the Tax Code authorizes notices of appeal by a "party other than a property owner," the parties contemplated are the chief appraiser and other governmental entities. The tax payment requirement of Section 42.08 was upheld as a requirement to maintain an appeal. Houston Land & Cattle Co. v. Harris County Appraisal District, 104 S.W.3d 622 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, pet. denied).

Where property owner or his agent received notice of appraised value at property owner's listed address and appraisal district complied with required procedures, notice is presumed delivered when it is placed in the mail and the validity of the appraisal and the existence of a tax lien remain unaffected. Dallas County Appraisal District v. Lal, 701 S.W.2d 44 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

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Sec. 41.412. Person Acquiring Property After January 1.

(a) A person who acquires property after January 1 and before the deadline for filing notice of the protest may pursue a protest under this subchapter in the same manner as a property owner who owned the property on January 1.

(b) If during the pendency of a protest under this subchapter the ownership of the property subject to the protest changes, the new owner of the property on application to the appraisal review board may proceed with the protest in the same manner as the property owner who initiated the protest.

Added by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 451, Sec. 1.

Cross References:
Right of protest, see Sec. 41.41.
Protest of failure to give notice, see Sec. 41.411.
Deadline for filing protest, see Sec. 41.44.

Notes:
The subsequent purchaser of property is not barred from contesting the property's value under Section 25.25(d) when the previous owner had timely filed a protest of the property's value and then withdrew the protest because of the pending land sale. Jim Sowell Construction Company, Inc. v. Dallas Central Appraisal District, 900 S.W.2d 82 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1995, writ denied).

Bank foreclosed on property May 4, 1983. Required notices were sent in June of 1983 to the January 1 owner of the property. Bank did not get notice of appraised value until it received its tax statement in the fall of 1983. Court of appeals held that bank was denied due process because the Tax Code did not give him an opportunity to protest. Bank of America National Trust & Savings Association v. Dallas Central Appraisal District, 765 S.W.2d 451 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1988, writ denied). (Note: Sec. 41.412, adopted in 1987, addresses this issue.)

Sec. 41.413. Protest by Person Leasing Property.

(a) A person leasing tangible personal property who is contractually obligated to reimburse the property owner for taxes imposed on the property is entitled to protest before the appraisal review board a determination of the appraised value of the property if the property owner does not file a protest relating to the property.

(b) A person leasing real property who is contractually obligated to reimburse the property owner for taxes imposed on the property is entitled to protest before the appraisal review board a determination of the appraised value of the property if the property owner does not file a protest relating to the property. The protest provided by this subsection is limited to a single protest by either the property owner or the lessee.

(c) A person bringing a protest under this section is considered the owner of the property for purposes of the protest. The appraisal review board shall deliver a copy of any notice relating to the protest and of the order determining the protest to the owner of the property and the person bringing the protest.

(d) The property owner shall timely send to the person leasing the property a copy of any notice of the property's reappraisal received by the property owner. Failure of the owner to send a copy of the notice to the person leasing the property does not affect the time within which the person leasing the property may protest the appraised value.

Added by 1995 Tex. Laws, p. 3378, ch. 581, Sec. 1.

Cross References:
Appeal to district court by person leasing property, see Sec. 42.015.
Notice of appraised value to property owner, see Sec. 25.19.
Notice of change in records to property owner, see Sec. 41.11.
Notice of certain matters before protest hearing, see Sec. 41.461.
Notice of protest hearing, see Sec. 41.46.
Protest deadline, see Sec. 41.44.
Protest determination, see Sec. 41.47.
Protest right, see Sec. 41.41.

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Sec. 41.42. Protest of Situs.

(a) protest against the inclusion of property on the appraisal records for an appraisal district on the ground that the property does not have taxable situs in that district shall be determined in favor of the protesting party if he establishes that the property is subject to appraisal by another district or that the property is not taxable in this state. The chief appraiser of a district in which the property owner prevails in a protest of situs shall notify the appraisal office of the district in which the property owner has established situs.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 170, ch. 13, Sec. 137; amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 5034, ch. 906, Sec. 1.

Cross References:
Situs of property, see Secs. 21.01, 21.02 & 21.021.
Jurisdiction to tax, see Secs. 11.01 & 11.02.

Note:
Fact that Texas law does not provide a single forum for deciding situs disputes where airplane was listed by two appraisal districts did not deny the property owner's rights under the due process clause of the federal constitution or the open courts provision of the Texas constitution. Where taxpayer brought suit prior to exhausting remedies in either or both districts, court did not have jurisdiction to resolve the dispute. General Electric Credit Corporation v. Midland CAD, 808 SW 2d 169 (Tex.App.--El Paso, 1991, no writ).

Sec. 41.43. Protest of Determination of Value or Inequality of Appraisal.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (d), in a protest authorized by Section 41.41(a)(1) or (2), the appraisal district has the burden of establishing the value of the property by a preponderance of the evidence presented at the hearing. If the appraisal district fails to meet that standard, the protest shall be determined in favor of the property owner.

(b) A protest on the ground of unequal appraisal of property shall be determined in favor of the protesting party unless the appraisal district establishes that:

(1) the appraisal ratio of the property is equal to or less than the median level of appraisal of a reasonable and representative sample of other properties in the appraisal district;

(2) the appraisal ratio of the property is equal to or less than the median level of appraisal of a sample of properties in the appraisal district consisting of a reasonable number of other properties similarly situated to, or of the same general kind or character as, the property subject to the protest; or

(3) the appraised value of the property is equal to or less than the median appraised value of a reasonable number of comparable properties appropriately adjusted.

(c) For purposes of this section, evidence includes the data, schedules, formulas, or other information used to establish the matter at issue.

(d) If the property owner fails to deliver, before the date of the hearing, a rendition statement or property report required by Chapter 22 or a response to the chief appraiser's request for information under Section 22.07(c), the property owner has the burden of establishing the value of the property by a preponderance of the evidence presented at the hearing. If the property owner fails to meet that standard, the protest shall be determined in favor of the appraisal district.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 170, ch. 13, Sec. 137; amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 4924, ch. 877, Sec. 2; amended by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 6149, ch. 823, Sec. 3; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3601, ch. 796, Sec. 35; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws., p. 3915, ch. 1039, Sec. 37; amended by 2003 Tex. Laws, 78th Leg., ch. 1041, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; 2003 Tex. Laws, 78th Leg., ch. 1173, Sec. 11, eff. Jan. 1, 2004..

Cross References:
Median level of appraisal, see Sec. 1.12.
Appeal based on unequal appraisal, see Sec. 42.26.

Note:
To determine an unequal appraisal protest in favor of the property owner provided by Tax Code Section 41.43, the appraisal review board's appraised value should be used since that is the only appraised value in existence when a protest is brought before district court. No conflict exists with Section 42.23 because the appraised value is simply the most current one on the tax rolls and admitted into evidence whether or not it was revised by the appraisal review board. Harris County Appraisal District and Harris County Appraisal Review Board v. Michael Duncan, 944 S.W.2d 706 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th District] 1997, writ denied).

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Sec. 41.44. Notice of Protest.

(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) (c), (c-1), and (c-2), to be entitled to a hearing and determination of a protest, the property owner initiating the protest must file a written notice of the protest with the appraisal review board having authority to hear the matter protested:

(1) before June 1 or not later than the 30th day after the date that notice was delivered to the property owner as provided by Section 25.19, whichever is later;

(2) in the case of a protest of a change in the appraisal records ordered as provided by Subchapter A of this chapter or by Chapter 25, not later than the 30th day after the date notice of the change is delivered to the property owner; or

(3) in the case of a determination that a change in the use of land appraised under Subchapter C, D, E, or H, Chapter 23, has occurred, not later than the 30th day after the date the notice of the determination is delivered to the property owner.

(b) A property owner who files his notice of protest after the deadline prescribed by Subsection (a) of this section but before the appraisal review board approves the appraisal records is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest if he shows good cause as determined by the board for failure to file the notice on time.

(c) A property owner who files notice of a protest authorized by Section 41.411 is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest if he files the notice prior to the date the taxes on the property to which the notice applies become delinquent. An owner of land who files a notice of protest under Subsection(a)(3) is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest without regard to whether the appraisal records are approved.

(c-1) A property owner who files a notice of protest after the deadline prescribed by Subsection (a) but before the taxes on the property to which the notice applies become delinquent is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest if the property owner was continuously employed in the Gulf of Mexico, including employment on an offshore drilling or production facility or on a vessel, for a period of not less than 20 days during which the deadline prescribed by Subsection (a) passed, and the property owner provides the appraisal review board with evidence of that fact through submission of a letter from the property owner's employer or supervisor or, if the property owner is self-employed, a sworn affidavit.

(c-2) A property owner who files a notice of protest after the deadline prescribed by Subsection (a) but before the taxes on the property to which the notice applies become delinquent is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest if the property owner was serving on full-time active duty in the United States armed forces outside the United States on the day on which the deadline prescribed by Subsection (a) passed and the property owner provides the appraisal review board with evidence of that fact through submission of a valid military identification card from the United States Department of Defense and a deployment order.

(d) A notice of protest is sufficient if it identifies the protesting property owner, including a person claiming an ownership interest in the property even if that person is not listed on the appraisal records as an owner of the property, identifies the property that is the subject of the protest, and indicates apparent dissatisfaction with some determination of the appraisal office. The notice need not be on an official form, but the comptroller shall prescribe a form that provides for more detail about the nature of the protest. The form must permit a property owner to include each property in the appraisal district that is the subject of a protest. The comptroller, each appraisal office, and each appraisal review board shall make the forms readily available and deliver one to a property owner on request.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2306, ch. 841, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 170, ch. 13, § 137, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4945, ch. 884, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 504, § 2, eff. June 12, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 185, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 796, § 36, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 836, § 1.4, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 6, § 50, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 631, § 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 829, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.

Cross References:
Notice of change in appraisal records affecting tax liability, see Sec. 41.11.
Notice of increase in appraised value, see Sec. 25.19.
Delivery date for Sec. 25.19 notice is mailing date, see Sec. 1.07.
Delinquency date, see Secs. 31.02 & 31.04.
Model form for notice of protest, see Rule Sec. 9.801.
Timeliness of action by mail, see Sec. 1.08.
Exclusivity of remedies, see Sec. 42.09.
Representative of property owner, see Sec. 1.111.

Notes:
The taxpayer must follow statutory procedures for allocation of value to apply. The owner waived constitutional entitlement to interstate allocation by failing to protest before the appraisal review board. The aircraft was located in the district on January 1 of each year in question, and the taxpayer did not challenge the description of the property on the appraisal rolls. The aircraft value therefore could not be allocated for prior years. A & S Air Service, Inc. v. Denton Central Appraisal District, 99 S.W.3d 340 (Tex. App.-Ft. Worth 2003, no pet.).

An appraisal review board exceeds its authority by having a written procedure that a taxpayer's fiduciary authorization must be filed prior to the filing of a protest or motion. Tarrant Appraisal Review Board v. Martinez Brothers Investments, Inc., 946 S.W.2d 914 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1997, no writ).

Taxpayer's letter to appraisal district indicating dissatisfaction with its value was sufficient to constitute a protest. Filing protest with appraisal district did not make protest invalid where appraisal district staff also served appraisal review board. Burnet County Appraisal District v. J.M. Huber Corp., 808 S.W.2d 613 (Tex. App.-Austin 1991).

Where taxpayer protested 1984 value before ARB, appealed ARB order to district court, appeal was still pending in 1985, and 1985 value was unchanged from 1984, suit was sufficient notice of dissatisfaction with the 1985 appraisal. Taxpayer was not required to file a formal protest or appear before the ARB on the 1985 value and could request the court to rule on the 1985 value as well. Estepp v. Miller, 731 S.W.2d 677 (Tex. App.-Austin 1987, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

In establishing a detailed timeline associated with the protest process, an appraisal review board has no authority to schedule a hearing on a protest before receiving the property owner's notice of protest or to notify a property owner of a prescheduled hearing, nor can such authority be implied. An appraisal review board lacks authority before a property owner has filed a written notice of protest to schedule a hearing on a property tax appraisal protest and to notify the property owner about the hearing time. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. GA-0311 (2005).

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Sec. 41.45. Hearing on Protest.

(a) On the filing of a notice as required by Section 41.44, the appraisal review board shall schedule a hearing on the protest. If more than one protest is filed relating to the same property, the appraisal review board shall schedule a single hearing on all timely filed protests relating to the property. A hearing for a property that is owned in undivided or fractional interests, including separate interests in a mineral in place, shall be scheduled to provide for participation by all owners who have timely filed a protest.

(b) The property owner initiating the protest is entitled to an opportunity to appear to offer evidence or argument. The property owner may offer his evidence or argument by affidavit without personally appearing if he attests to the affidavit before an officer authorized to administer oaths and submits the affidavit to the board hearing the protest before it begins the hearing on the protest. On receipt of an affidavit, the board shall notify the chief appraiser. The chief appraiser may inspect the affidavit and is entitled to a copy on request.

(c) The chief appraiser shall appear at each protest hearing before the appraisal review board to represent the appraisal office.

(d) An appraisal review board consisting of more than three members may sit in panels of not fewer than three members to conduct protest hearings. However, the determination of a protest heard by a panel must be made by the board. If the recommendation of a panel is not accepted by the board, the board may refer the matter for rehearing to a panel composed of members who did not hear the original hearing or, if there are not at least three members who did not hear the original protest, the board may determine the protest. Before determining a protest or conducting a rehearing before a new panel or the board, the board shall deliver notice of the hearing or meeting to determine the protest in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.

(e) The board shall postpone the hearing to a later date if the property owner or the owner's agent shows good cause for the postponement or if the chief appraiser consents to the postponement. The hearing may not be postponed to a date less than five or more than 15 days after the date scheduled for the original hearing unless the date and time of the hearing as postponed are agreed to by the appraisal review board, the property owner, and the chief appraiser. Postponement under this subsection does not require the delivery of additional written notice to the property owner.

(f) A property owner who has been denied a hearing to which the property owner is entitled under this chapter may bring suit against the appraisal review board by filing a petition or application in district court to compel the board to provide the hearing. If the property owner is entitled to the hearing, the court shall order the hearing to be held and may award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the property owner.

(g) In addition to the grounds for a postponement under Subsection (e), the board shall postpone the hearing to a later date if:

(1) the owner of the property or the owner's agent is also scheduled to appear at a hearing on a protest filed with the appraisal review board of another appraisal district;

(2) the hearing before the other appraisal review board is scheduled to occur on the same date as the hearing set by the appraisal review board from which the postponement is sought;

(3) the notice of hearing delivered to the property owner or the owner's agent by the other appraisal review board bears an earlier postmark than the notice of hearing delivered by the board from which the postponement is sought or, if the date of the postmark is identical, the property owner or agent has not requested a postponement of the other hearing; and

(4) the property owner or the owner's agent includes with the request for a postponement a copy of the notice of hearing delivered to the property owner or the owner's agent by the other appraisal review board.

(h) Before the hearing on a protest or immediately after the hearing begins, the chief appraiser and the property owner or the owner's agent shall each provide the other with a copy of any written material that the person intends to offer or submit to the appraisal review board at the hearing.

(i) To be valid, an affidavit offered under Subsection (b) must be attested to before an officer authorized to administer oaths and include:

(1) the name of the property owner initiating the protest;

(2) a description of the property that is the subject of the protest; and

(3) evidence or argument.

(j) A statement from the property owner that specifies the determination or other action of the chief appraiser, appraisal district, or appraisal review board relating to the subject property from which the property owner seeks relief constitutes sufficient argument under Subsection (i).

(k) The comptroller shall prescribe a standard form for an affidavit offered under Subsection (b). Each appraisal district shall make copies of the affidavit form available to property owners without charge.

(l) A property owner is not required to use the affidavit form prescribed by the comptroller when offering an affidavit under Subsection (b).

(m) If the protest relates to a taxable leasehold or other possessory interest in real property that is owned by this state or a political subdivision of this state, the attorney general or a representative of the state agency that owns the land, if the real property is owned by this state, or a person designated by the political subdivision that owns the real property, as applicable, is entitled to appear at the hearing and offer evidence and argument.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 171, ch. 13, Sec. 138; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 794, Sec. 1; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3602, ch. 796, Sec. 37; amended by 1995 Tex. Laws., p. 4211, ch. 828, Sec. 2; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3915, ch. 1039, Sec. 38; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2751, ch. 416, Sec. 3; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2891, ch. 463, Sec. 2; amended by 2001 Tex. Laws, p. 4312, ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(99).

Cross References:
Right to protest by taxpayer, see Sec. 41.41.
Determination of protest, see Sec. 41.47.
Notice of Protest Hearing, see Sec. 41.46.
Appraisal review board record requirement, see Rule Sec. 9.803.

Notes:
Appearance at appraisal review board hearing in person or by affidavit is mandatory condition precedent to filing suit. Webb County Appraisal District v. New Laredo Hotel, Inc., 792 S.W.2d 952 (Tex. 1990).

Appraisal review board members perform quasi-judicial functions so that immunity did apply in barring claims against them in the performance of their duties. Three appraisal review board panel members were sued by a tax consultant claiming negligence in a value determination for not basing the value reduction on a preponderance of the evidence presented at the protest hearing. The members asserted the affirmative defense of judicial immunity. Sledd v. Garrett, 123 S.W.3d 592 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, pet. denied).

An unadjudicated protest filed by a taxpayer does not bar a hearing pursuant to a motion for late correction under Section 25.25(d). Dismissal of a protest for failure to appear at a hearing is not an adjudication of the rights of the parties. The taxpayer was not entitled, however, to recover attorneys fees under Section 41.45 as a result of the denial of the hearing on the motion for late correction. Koger Equity, Inc. v. Bexar County Appraisal Review Board, 123 S.W.3d 502 (Tex. App.-San Antonio, 2003, no pet. h.).

Tax Code Section 25.25(c), subject to a five-year limitation, gives the appraisal review board the authority to change the appraisal roll on motion of the chief appraiser or a property owner. Section 25.25(b) does not contemplate the filing or presentation of any protest, or authorize the appraisal review board to review the chief appraiser's decision. Western Athletic Clubs, Inc. v. Harris County Appraisal District and Harris County Appraisal Review Board, 56 S.W.3d 269 (Tex. App. - Amarillo 2001, no pet.).

An appraisal review board exceeds its authority by having a written procedure that a taxpayer's fiduciary authorization must be filed prior to the filing of a protest or motion. Tarrant Appraisal Review Board v. Martinez Brothers Investments, Inc., 946 S.W.2d 914 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1997, no writ).

Taxpayer is entitled to judicial review of the appraisal review board order - he is not required to meet his burden of proof or present evidence at the appraisal review board hearing. When the appraisal review board issues its order, the taxpayer has exhausted his administrative remedies. National Pipe and Tube Company v. Liberty County Appraisal District, 805 S.W.2d 593 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1991, writ denied).

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Sec. 41.455. Pooled or Unitized Mineral Interests.

(a) If a property owner files protests relating to a pooled or unitized mineral interest that is being produced at one or more production sites located in a single county with the appraisal review boards of more than one appraisal district, the appraisal review board for the appraisal district established for the county in which the production site or sites are located must determine the protest filed with that board and make its decision before another appraisal review board may hold a hearing to determine the protest filed with that other board.

(b) If a property owner files protests relating to a pooled or unitized mineral interest that is being produced at two or more production sites located in more than one county with the appraisal review boards of more than one appraisal district and at least two‑thirds of the surface area of the mineral interest is located in the county for which one of the appraisal districts is established, the appraisal review board for that appraisal district must determine the protest filed with that board and make its decision before another appraisal review board may hold a hearing to determine the protest filed with that other board.

(c) A protest determined by an appraisal review board in violation of this section is void.

Amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 3443, ch. 810, Sec. 1.

Cross References:
Right to protest by taxpayer, see Sec. 41.41.
Determination of protest, see Sec. 41.47.
Notice of Protest Hearing, see Sec. 41.46.
Appraisal review board record requirement, see Rule Sec. 9.803.

Notes:
When a gas well is located in one school district, but the royalty interests from the well appertain to land located in two school districts, the school district is entitled to levy property taxes against the royalty interest based upon the location of the real property to which the royalty interest appertains. Each school district may only tax the royalty income on royalty interests that appertain to real property located in the school district. Where there is a pooling agreement with provisions for pooling the royalties from oil or gas produced anywhere on the leased land on the basis of acreage, the pooling agreement has the effect of vesting all of the lessors with joint ownership of the royalty. In this case, the school districts may each tax half of the royalty interests. If the royalty interests owners are not joint owners, however, then each school district would tax the appraised value only on those royalty interests located in its school district boundaries. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-490 (1998).

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Sec. 41.46. Notice of Protest Hearing.

(a) The appraisal review board before which a protest hearing is scheduled shall deliver written notice to the property owner initiating a protest of the date, time, and place fixed for the hearing on the protest unless the property owner waives in writing notice of the hearing. The board shall deliver the notice not later than the 15th day before the date of the hearing.

(b) The board shall give the chief appraiser advance notice of the date, time, place, and subject matter of each protest hearing.

(c) If the protest relates to a taxable leasehold or other possessory interest in real property that is owned by this state or a political subdivision of this state, the board shall deliver notice of the hearing as provided by Subsection (a) to:

(1) the attorney general and the state agency that owns the real property, in the case of real property owned by this state; or

(2) the governing body of the political subdivision, in the case of real property owned by a political subdivision.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 172, ch. 13, Sec. 139; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3916, ch. 1039, Sec. 39; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2751, ch. 416, Sec. 4.

Cross References:
Delivery of notice, see Sec. 1.07.
Protest of failure to deliver notice, see Sec. 41.411.

Notes:
In establishing a detailed timeline associated with the protest process, an appraisal review board has no authority to schedule a hearing on a protest before receiving the property owner's notice of protest or to notify a property owner of a prescheduled hearing, nor can such authority be implied. An appraisal review board lacks authority before a property owner has filed a written notice of protest to schedule a hearing on a property tax appraisal protest and to notify the property owner about the hearing time. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. GA-0311 (2005).

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Sec. 41.461. Notice of Certain Matters Before Hearing.

(a) At least 14 days before a hearing on a protest, the chief appraiser shall:

(1) deliver a copy of the pamphlet prepared by the comptroller under Section 5.06(a) to the property owner initiating the protest if the owner is representing himself, or to an agent representing the owner if requested by the agent;

(2) inform the property owner that the owner or the agent of the owner may inspect and may obtain a copy of the data, schedules, formulas, and all other information the chief appraiser plans to introduce at the hearing to establish any matter at issue; and

(3) deliver a copy of the hearing procedures established by the appraisal review board under Section 41.66 to the property owner.

(b) The charge for copies provided to an owner or agent under this section may not exceed the charge for copies of public information as provided under Subchapter F, Chapter 552, Government Code, except:

(1) the total charge for copies provided in connection with a protest of the appraisal of residential property may not exceed $15 for each residence; and

(2) the total charge for copies provided in connection with a protest of the appraisal of a single unit of property subject to appraisal, other than residential property, may not exceed $25.

Added by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 1414, ch. 364, Sec. 1; amended by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 4446, ch. 1031, Sec. 17; amended by 1995 Tex. Laws, p. 554, ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(100).

Cross References:
Delivery of notice, see Sec. 1.07.
Protest of failure to deliver notice, see Sec. 41.411.

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Sec. 41.47. Determination of Protest.

(a) The appraisal review board hearing a protest shall determine the protest and make its decision by written order.

(b) If on determining a protest the board finds that the appraisal records are incorrect in some respect raised by the protest, the board by its order shall correct the appraisal records by changing the appraised value placed on the protesting property owner's property or by making the other changes in the appraisal records that are necessary to conform the records to the requirements of law. If the appraised value of a taxable property interest, other than an interest owned by a public utility or by a cooperative corporation organized to provide utility service, is changed as the result of a protest or challenge, the board shall change the appraised value of all other interests, other than an interest owned by a public utility or by a cooperative corporation organized to provide utility service, in the same property, including a mineral in place, in proportion to the ownership interests.

(c) Repealed in 1985.

(d) The board shall deliver by certified mail a notice of issuance of the order and a copy of the order to the property owner and the chief appraiser.

(e) The notice of the issuance of the order must contain a prominently printed statement in upper-case bold lettering informing the property owner in clear and concise language of the property owner's right to appeal the board's decision to district court. The statement must describe the deadline prescribed by Section 42.06(a) of this code for filing a written notice of appeal, and the deadline prescribed by Section 42.21(a) of this code for filing the petition for review with the district court.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 172, ch. 13, Sec. 140; amended by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 4191, ch. 504, Sec. 3; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 145, Sec. 1, ch. 733, Sec. 2, and ch. 794, Sec. 2; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 181, ch. 2, Sec. 14.03.

Cross References:
Delivery of notice, see Sec. 1.07.
Filing a notice of appeal, see Sec. 42.06.
Filing a petition for judicial review within 45 days, see Sec. 42.21.
Appraisal review board record requirement, see Rule Sec. 9.803.

Notes:
The notice of the appraisal review board determination was insufficient to comply with statutory requirements of delivery of notice because the notice (1) identified the property only by docket number, not by legal description or a taxpayer account number, and (2) the parent corporation and not the property subsidiary corporate owner was listed. State law treats subsidiary corporations and parent corporations as separate entities and entitles each to notice sufficient to meet the minimum requirements of the Tax Code and due process. It did not matter that the taxpayer's agent was present at the hearing when the review board made its decision. Receiving the notice, not attending the hearing, triggers the 45-day period for the taxpayer to file in district court. Valero South Texas Processing Co. v. Starr County Appraisal District, 954 S.W.2d 863 (Tex. App. -- San Antonio 1997).

The 45-day limitation period for appeal of an appraisal review board decision only begins to run when proper notice is delivered to the appropriate party. Section 1.07(b) requires the tax official or agency to address the notice to the property owner, the person designated under Section 1.111(f) to receive the notice for the property owner (if that section applies) or, if appropriate, the property owner's agent at his address according to the most recent record in the possession of the official or agency. If a property owner files a written request for notices to be sent to a particular address, the official or agency shall send the notice to the address stated in the request. The erroneous delivery of a notice and order does not serve to trigger the 45-day period for appeal. A specific statutory scheme sets forth the manner in which property tax representatives may be designated and the effect that designation has on a taxing authority's obligation to deliver notice. The Texas Administrative Code provides that when an agent is an employee of a subsidiary of the owner, the owner is not required to provide documents supporting that agent's authority. The agent designation form itself states only that the person naming a tax agent should attach documentation - a suggestion that is not mandatory. Harris County Appraisal District and Harris County Appraisal Review Board v. Drever Partners, Inc., 938 S.W.2d 196 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th District] 1997).

Property owner admitted the receipt of both notice of issuance of order of the appraisal review board determination and a copy of the order signed by current appraisal review board chairman. Sending the notice of appeal to former chairman of review board was insufficient to perfect appeal for judicial review. R. J. Underhill v. Jefferson County Appraisal District, 725 S.W.2d 301 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1987, no writ).

If an employee of the property owner, but not the appointed fiduciary, receives the appraisal review board order and signs for the receipt of the notice as the property owner's agent, the notice is presumed delivered. Personal, in-hand delivery to the appointed fiduciary is not necessary. Property owner must file written notice of appeal within 15 days of receiving notice. Copy of order determining protest met requirements sufficiently for sending order and notice of issuance of order, and two documents were not required to be sent. MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. Tarrant Appraisal District, 723 S.W.2d 350 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1987, no writ).

Taxpayer protesting an appraisal review board determination was barred from judicial review for failure to file notice within 45 days from receipt of the review board's determination, the "final order" required by Section 41.47 of the Tax Code. Flores v. Fort Bend Central Appraisal District, 720 S.W.2d 243 (Tex. App.-Houston 1986).

A taxpayer's notice of intent to file an appeal is proper if the chief appraiser forwards the notice of appeal to the review board during the 15-day filing period; although the taxpayer's appeal was accomplished through an indirect means, it met the legislative intent of notice to the review board. Texas Conference Association of Seventh-Day Adventists v. Central Appraisal Review Board of Johnson County, 719 S.W.2d 255 (Tex. App.-Waco 1986, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Where taxpayer was dissatisfied with his property appraisal his exclusive remedies under the Property Tax Code are that of administrative and judicial review within available grounds of protest. When a taxpayer's protest to tax has been determined by the review board, he may then file suit for judicial review of the board's decision, but the board's decision is not a prerequisite to a suit by a taxing unit for delinquent taxes. The statute allows the appraisal board additional time to act by allowing a determination of all protests not only before appraisal records are approved, but "or as soon thereafter as practicable." Valero Transmission Company v. Hays Consolidated Independent School District, 704 S.W.2d 857 (Tex. App.-Austin 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

The grant of summary judgment in favor of an appraisal district is improper where a question existed pertaining to delivery of written order by the appraisal review board. Taxpayers were not required to comply with Sec. 42.06(a) because the appraisal district had not necessarily complied with Sec. 41.47 notice requirements, specifically, issuance of a written order, and delivery of notice of issuance and a copy of the order to the property owner and chief appraiser. Taxpayers' failure to timely file notice of appeal under Sec. 42.06 under the circumstances did not deprive the court of jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Sec. 42.09 does preclude appellants from challenging the review board's determination by any procedure other than the one prescribed by the code. Herndon Marine Products, Inc. v. San Patricio County Appraisal Review Board, 695 S.W.2d 29 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

[Sections 41.48 to 41.60 reserved for expansion]

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Chapter 41B | Table of Contents | Chapter 41D




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