The Tax Code has required an appraisal review board to send a notice for a protest hearing regarding the time and place for at least 20 years. However, the reality is the appraisal district and not the appraisal review board handles scheduling of hearings in most counties.

The appraisal district is allow by statute to provide clerical assistance to the appraisal review board. However, in reality, in most counties, the appraisal district handles the hearing process entirely, and their actions are not limited to clerical assistance.

If the appraisal review boards did handle the scheduling, it is likely the wait times for hearings would be shorter. However, there is not a congruence of interests between the appraisal district and the appraisal review board with regard to scheduling hearings.

The appraisal district wants to ensure that each appraisal review board panel is always busy, while the appraisal review board members would prefer to have reasonable wait times for hearings.

House Bill 585 requires that the appraisal review board schedule a set time and date for each hearing for a property owner not represented by a tax consultant. If the appraisal review board has not called the property owner for the hearing within two hours, they must allow the owner to reschedule.

This is a positive change since in the past home owners were sometimes required to wait 4 to 8 hours before their appraisal review board hearing.