Once a protest is submitted, the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) will be the first people to review the appraisals submitted by the protesting property owners. They are the first government body to be faced by the taxpayer as their complaint is being processed. This raises the question of how their members are selected and what qualifications should they have.
What Are Some of the Basis of Ineligibility?
If a person wants to serve on the ARB and handle property tax reduction in Houston or any state of Texas, he should have resided within the appraisal district within a span of two years before taking their oath of office. Other basis for ineligibility to serve are:
- Membership in appraisal district board of directors;
- Employment with the appraisal district;
- Being a board member,officer or employee of a taxing unit currently served by the appraisal district;
- Employment under the Comptroller’s office.
- Having served three consecutive terms (all or part of) as an ARB member. This disqualifies the individual from serving a term that starts on the following 1st of January, right after the third previous consecutive terms. To serve once more in the board, he must skip a term before seeking reappointment.
- Having any business which has a substantial interest, existing contract with the appraisal district or with any taxing unit being handled by the appraisal district.
- Having any second degree by marriage or blood with any paid tax agent or individual engaged in appraising any form of property for tax purposes.
- Having any second degree by marriage or third degree by blood to any member of the appraisal district’s board of directors.
The ARB selected to hear protests aimed to reduce property taxes like in Houston, are appointed by the local administrative district judge. The judge may send applicants a written order or directly appoint three to five members who will take the role of ARB commissioners to handle a term of 1 year starting the 1st day of January. These commissioners can still choose to serve as members of the ARB provided that they perform their mandated duties given by the judge.
What is the Commissioners’ Jobs In This Process?
The commissioners will provide the judge with a proposed list of members not later than the 1st day of January of each year. There must be at least five additional names exceeding the exact number of positions to be filled by ARB members. The judge has the choice whether to accept or reject the proposed names. In the event that the list is rejected, the commissioners must submit another list of proposed members to the judge until it is finally approved. The final list will then be designated as members of the ARB by order of the judge.
Members of the ARB are given two-year staggered terms which is organized in such a way as to allow close to half of the members’ terms expire every year. It is the task of the appraisal district board of directors to draft a resolution to facilitate this movement, provided that each term begins on the 1st of January.
The taxing units which voted for the appraisal district directors can veto against the appointment of ARB members. This is done by means of a resolution submitted by the voting majority of the taxing unit within 15 days after appointing the new members of the ARB.
Having an insight of their selection process gives us an image of the kind of people who are given the authority to partake in reviewing and resolving our protests. In addition, it would also help to be prepared and read common terms in our texas property tax glossary to get acquainted with the language used.
If you have any question pertaining to the Appraisal Review Board members, please contact O’Connor & Associates today!