The appraisal roll is an important document as it pertains to Texas property tax law. Each county appraisal district (CAD) creates an appraisal roll every year that encompasses all the details about each property within their jurisdiction. Of course, one of the most important pieces of data on the appraisal roll is the valuation of property. If you’re a property owner, then the appraisal value of your property affects your property taxes. In a place like Harris County where property appraisal values have increased by as much as 20% in 2014, you may be wondering if the appraisal roll can be changed.

Corrections to the appraisal roll can be made in certain situations. There are a number of innocuous and not so innocuous reasons why corrections could be applied to appraisal roll in your county. In most cases, the chief appraiser (the person in charge of valuing properties and establishing the appraisal roll) will make changes to the appraisal roll as needed. The chief appraiser’s power in that regard is outlined in Section 25.25 of the Texas property tax code.

The chief appraiser can change certain items on the appraisal roll at will. Some of these items include:

  • Clerical errors
  • Name of owner
  • Address
  • Property description
  • Multiple appraisals

These are typically corrections that are clear and don’t require oversight to make. Of course, all of these could affect the value of a property or how much you have to pay in taxes. A clerical error may have valued your property at $4,000,000 when the appraisal roll should have read $400,000. If your name is falsely attached to a property as the owner, then you may be responsible for any property taxes on it. Addresses, property descriptions, and multiple appraisals can all increase or decrease the value of a property.

If the chief appraiser sees these errors and corrects them, then you will not have to get involved at all. But, the chief appraiser may not catch the error or they may not think an error has been made at all. In that case, you have the opportunity to effect a change in the appraisal roll in regard to your property. If you think you have received an unfair valuation on your property, then you can file a notice of protest with the county appraisal review board (ARB).

The ARB is responsible for hearing your protests and making a judgment based on evidence presented by you and the CAD. If the ARB rules in your favor (effectively lowering your property’s appraised value), then the chief appraiser will be forced to amend the appraisal roll accordingly. Additionally, you can take your case to district court, the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), or binding arbitration if you are dissatisfied with the ARB’s ruling.

If you are satisfied with a ruling from a district court, the chief appraiser will make the appropriate corrections. If you are not satisfied, you can still seek another ruling with the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). Rulings made during binding arbitration or with the SOAH are final. These are the only options for you to force the hand of a chief appraiser when it comes to amending the appraisal roll.

Still wondering if you can make corrections on your appraisal roll? Contact O’Connor & Associates today!