The Texas property tax code is favorable to property owners. Unfortunately, appraisal districts and appraisal review boards often choose to ignore these sections of the Texas property tax code that are friendly to property owners. An example of this is the sections that provided the appraisal district must provide property owners with the evidence they plan to present at the hearing at least 14 days before the hearing. Further evidence not provided to the property owner 14 days before the hearing cannot be presented at the hearing.
These requirements have been a part of the Texas tax code for at least 20 years. O’Connor and Associates is proud to have been a leader in guiding appraisal districts to start providing property owners this information. The first appraisal district where we were successful in guiding the appraisal district to start providing this information is Harris County appraisal District.
When O’Connor and Associates first started making this request of Harris County appraisal District, they were irritated and nonresponsive. They took the position that the statute meant that they only had to present information that they planned to provide at the hearing. And since they not yet part about the hearing, they were not required to provide any information since they had not decided what evidence to present.
After a series of meetings and discussions, Harris County appraisal District Atty. John Renfro led the way in guiding Harris County appraisal District to agree that the statute required they must hurt by the evidence they plan to present at least two weeks prior to the hearing.
Unfortunately, the Harris County appraisal District attorneys still the position that they present any information they chose since they had not decided whether or not presented two weeks prior to the hearing.
This is still a contentious area with many if not most appraisal districts. They do not like the concept of having to select and present the evidence they plan to provide at the hearing, two weeks prior to the hearing. They also do not like being limited in the evidence of a can present at the hearing to what was previously provided. At least one appraisal district and a central Texas County has threatened retribution O’Connor Associates requires them to provide the evidence they plan to use at the hearing two weeks ahead of the hearing.
O’Connor and Associates continues to work with counties to educate them regarding the requirements of the statutes regarding providing evidence prior to the hearing and not using evidence which was not provided prior to the hearing.