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Forum shopping is a game attorneys have played successfully for years. The first iteration is to pick the ideal county to file a lawsuit. The ideal county is one where the judges and the juries are favorable to the attorney’s position.

Appraisal districts have their own version of forum shopping. They know which appraisal review board members are most favorable to their position, and select appraisal review board panels based on the members on the panel. However, occasionally, the chemistry is wrong and an appraisal review board panel is independent. On rare occasions, they are even biased in favor of the property owner.

If an appraisal review board panel is consistently voting in favor of the property owner or their agent, the appraisal districts have sometimes made lame excuses for a reason they need to move the property owner to a new panel. This change prohibits moving a property owner from the panel they have been assigned, unless they agree to the change.

This is a favorable change, and should eliminate the forum shopping by appraisal districts.

Blog Author

Patrick O’Connor, MAI, Owner and President
Patrick O’Connor has been active in reducing property taxes, providing expert witness testimony and appraising commercial real estate property since 1983. Pat is active in publishing analyses and data with respect to the real estate market, while being a highly regarded media spokesperson for the real estate community. He holds a MAI, the highest achievable designation from the Appraisal Institute, and is a licensed senior property tax consultant. Pat earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. In 2001, he authored the first definitive consumer guide to Texas property taxes, Cut Your Texas Property Taxes.

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