The Appraisal Review Board (ARB) in Texas was established to provide equalization and oversight in matters involving property taxes and appraisals. The ARB provides the general public with a way to protest or appeal the rulings of county appraisal districts (CADs). CADs are prone to getting their appraisals wrong, which can have an effect on the tax bill for individual property owners. The tax roll is essentially a catalog of all properties in a certain jurisdiction and their appraised values according to the CAD. For example, the Harris County Appraisal District is responsible for creating and maintaining a tax roll for every property in the county. There are four major reasons why your CAD’s tax roll might be given to the ARB.
1. A Clerical Error
There are a number of ways that a tax roll could incur an error of some kind. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts lists a simple clerical error as one of the most common reasons a tax roll might be delivered to the ARB. Clerical errors generally involve things like mixed-up or misplaced numbers. For instance, a property in Marion, Texas might have been valued erroneously at $500,000 instead of $50,000. The added zero might make the property taxes untenable for the owner.
2. Multiple Appraisals
Another reason why the ARB might look at your tax roll is multiple appraisals. This occurs when a property is appraised more than once and ends up on the tax roll twice or more. This has the effect of duplicating the value of the property and, again, making the property tax untenable. The ARB may be given the tax roll as a way to correct the error.
3. Inclusion of Non-Existent Property
In some instances, the CAD will include a property that does not exist on the land. For instance, if you own a house and the CAD notes that you’ve got a pool in the backyard where none actually exists, then the value of your property and your property taxes will increase. This is more common for rural lands where it might be easier to have multiple structures on a property that increases the value. Non-existent property can also refer to property that simply doesn’t exist as described on the tax roll. For instance, a lot of items on the tax roll could be located at 123 Texas Street when, in reality, there is no 123 Texas Street.
4. Ownership Error
There are also situations in which the owner listed on the tax roll does not actually own the property anymore. Whoever owns the property on January 1 of a given tax year is responsible for paying the taxes, interest, and penalties on that property. The ARB may be given the tax rolls to change them to reflect who the rightful owner is.
Most of this information can be found under Section 25.25c of the Texas Property Tax Code. A property owner or chief appraiser on the local CAD can make a motion for the ARB to look at and correct the tax rolls if need be. Property owners may need to file a protest with the ARB in order to get the tax roll changed.
Contact O’Connor today if you have any concerns on why your property tax roll is given to the ARB!