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H.B. No. 1464

H.B. No. 1464

AN ACT

relating to the procedure for determining that certain land is no
longer eligible for appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes as
agricultural or open-space land.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 1.07(d), Tax Code, is amended to read as
follows:
(d) A notice required by Section 11.45(d), 23.44(d),
23.46(c) or (f), 23.54(e), 23.541(c), 23.55(e), 23.551(a),
23.57(d), 23.76(e), 23.79(d), or 23.85(d) must be sent by certified
mail.
SECTION 2. Section 23.43(d), Tax Code, is amended to read as
follows:
(d) The comptroller in prescribing the contents of the
application forms shall ensure that each form requires a claimant
to furnish the information necessary to determine the validity of
the claim. The comptroller shall require that the form permit a
claimant who has previously been allowed an agricultural
designation to indicate that previously reported information has
not changed and to supply only the eligibility information not
previously reported. The form must include a space for the claimant
to state the claimant’s date of birth. Failure to provide the date
of birth does not affect a claimant’s right to an agricultural
designation under this subchapter.
SECTION 3. Section 23.46, Tax Code, is amended by amending
Subsection (c) and adding Subsection (f) to read as follows:
(c) If land that has been designated for agricultural use in
any year is sold or diverted to a nonagricultural use, the total
amount of additional taxes for the three years preceding the year in
which the land is sold or diverted plus interest at the rate
provided for delinquent taxes becomes due. Subject to Subsection
(f), a [A] determination that the land has been diverted to a
nonagricultural use is made by the chief appraiser. For purposes of
this subsection, the chief appraiser may not consider any period
during which land is owned by the state in determining whether the
land has been diverted to a nonagricultural use. The chief
appraiser shall deliver a notice of the determination to the owner
of the land as soon as possible after making the determination and
shall include in the notice an explanation of the owner’s right to
protest the determination. If the owner does not file a timely
protest or if the final determination of the protest is that the
additional taxes are due, the assessor for each taxing unit shall
prepare and deliver a bill for the additional taxes plus interest as
soon as practicable after the change of use occurs. If the
additional taxes are due because of a sale of the land, the assessor
for each taxing unit shall prepare and deliver the bill as soon as
practicable after the sale occurs. The taxes and interest are due
and become delinquent and incur penalties and interest as provided
by law for ad valorem taxes imposed by the taxing unit if not paid
before the next February 1 that is at least 20 days after the date
the bill is delivered to the owner of the land.
(f) If land designated for agricultural use under this
subchapter is owned by an individual 65 years of age or older,
before making a determination that the land has been diverted to a
nonagricultural use, the chief appraiser shall deliver a written
notice to the owner stating that the chief appraiser believes the
land may have been diverted to a nonagricultural use. The notice
must include a form on which the owner may indicate that the owner
remains entitled to have the land designated for agricultural use
and a self-addressed postage prepaid envelope with instructions for
returning the form to the chief appraiser. The chief appraiser
shall consider the owner’s response on the form in determining
whether the land has been diverted to a nonagricultural use. If the
chief appraiser does not receive a response on or before the 60th
day after the date the notice is mailed, the chief appraiser must
make a reasonable effort to locate the owner and determine whether
the owner remains entitled to have the land designated for
agricultural use before determining that the land has been diverted
to a nonagricultural use. For purposes of this subsection, sending
an additional notice to the owner immediately after the expiration
of the 60-day period by first class mail in an envelope on which is
written, in all capital letters, “RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED,” or
another appropriate statement directing the United States Postal
Service to return the notice if it is not deliverable as addressed,
or providing the additional notice in another manner that the chief
appraiser determines is appropriate, constitutes a reasonable
effort on the part of the chief appraiser.
SECTION 4. Sections 23.54(c) and (e), Tax Code, are amended
to read as follows:
(c) The comptroller shall include on the form a notice of
the penalties prescribed by Section 37.10, Penal Code, for making
or filing an application containing a false statement. The
comptroller, in prescribing the contents of the application form,
shall require that the form permit a claimant who has previously
been allowed appraisal under this subchapter to indicate that
previously reported information has not changed and to supply only
the eligibility information not previously reported. The form must
include a space for the claimant to state the claimant’s date of
birth. Failure to provide the date of birth does not affect a
claimant’s eligibility to have the claimant’s land appraised under
this subchapter.
(e) If a person fails to file a valid application on time,
the land is ineligible for appraisal as provided by this subchapter
for that year. Once an application is filed and appraisal under
this subchapter is allowed, the land is eligible for appraisal
under this subchapter in subsequent years without a new application
unless the ownership of the land changes or its eligibility under
this subchapter ends. However, subject to Section 23.551, if the
chief appraiser [if he] has good cause to believe that land is no
longer eligible for appraisal [the land’s eligibility] under this
subchapter [has ended], the chief appraiser may require a person
allowed appraisal under this subchapter in a prior year to file a
new application to confirm that the land is currently eligible for
appraisal under this subchapter by delivering a written notice that
a new application is required, accompanied by the application form,
to the person who filed the application that was previously
allowed.
SECTION 5. Section 23.55(e), Tax Code, is amended to read as
follows:
(e) Subject to Section 23.551, a [A] determination that a
change in use of the land has occurred is made by the chief
appraiser. The chief appraiser shall deliver a notice of the
determination to the owner of the land as soon as possible after
making the determination and shall include in the notice an
explanation of the owner’s right to protest the determination. If
the owner does not file a timely protest or if the final
determination of the protest is that the additional taxes are due,
the assessor for each taxing unit shall prepare and deliver a bill
for the additional taxes plus interest as soon as practicable. The
taxes and interest are due and become delinquent and incur
penalties and interest as provided by law for ad valorem taxes
imposed by the taxing unit if not paid before the next February 1
that is at least 20 days after the date the bill is delivered to the
owner of the land.
SECTION 6. Subchapter D, Chapter 23, Tax Code, is amended by
adding Section 23.551 to read as follows:
Sec. 23.551. ADDITIONAL NOTICE TO CERTAIN LANDOWNERS. (a)
If land appraised as provided by this subchapter is owned by an
individual 65 years of age or older, before making a determination
that a change in use of the land has occurred, the chief appraiser
shall deliver a written notice to the owner stating that the chief
appraiser believes a change in use of the land may have occurred.
(b) The notice must include a form on which the owner may
indicate that the land remains eligible to be appraised as provided
by this subchapter and a self-addressed postage prepaid envelope
with instructions for returning the form to the chief appraiser.
(c) The chief appraiser shall consider the owner’s response
on the form in determining whether the land remains eligible for
appraisal under this subchapter.
(d) If the chief appraiser does not receive a response on or
before the 60th day after the date the notice is mailed, the chief
appraiser must make a reasonable effort to locate the owner and
determine whether the land remains eligible to be appraised as
provided by this subchapter before determining that a change in use
of the land has occurred.
(e) For purposes of this section, sending an additional
notice to the owner immediately after the expiration of the 60-day
period prescribed by Subsection (d) by first class mail in an
envelope on which is written, in all capital letters, “RETURN
SERVICE REQUESTED,” or another appropriate statement directing the
United States Postal Service to return the notice if it is not
deliverable as addressed, or providing the additional notice in
another manner that the chief appraiser determines is appropriate,
constitutes a reasonable effort on the part of the chief appraiser.
SECTION 7. Section 521.049(d), Transportation Code, is
amended to read as follows:
(d) To assist chief appraisers in determining the
eligibility of individuals for residence homestead exemptions from
ad valorem taxation under Section 11.13, Tax Code, and the
applicability to certain individuals of additional notice
provisions under Subchapters C and D, Chapter 23, Tax Code, the
department shall provide, without charge, to the chief appraiser of
each appraisal district in this state:
(1) a copy of each driver’s license record or personal
identification certificate record held by the department; or
(2) information relating to the name, date of birth,
driver’s license or personal identification certificate number,
and most recent address as shown in the records of individuals
included in the department’s driver’s license or personal
identification certificate records.
SECTION 8. The change in law made by this Act applies only
to a determination by a chief appraiser that an individual 65 years
of age or older is no longer eligible to have land appraised as
provided by Subchapter C or D, Chapter 23, Tax Code, that is made on
or after the effective date of this Act. A determination by a chief
appraiser that an individual 65 years of age or older is no longer
eligible to have land appraised as provided by Subchapter C or D,
Chapter 23, Tax Code, that is made before the effective date of this
Act is governed by the law in effect at the time the determination
was made, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.
SECTION 9. This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.

______________________________ ______________________________
President of the Senate Speaker of the House

I certify that H.B. No. 1464 was passed by the House on April
30, 2015, by the following vote: Yeas 139, Nays 0, 1 present, not
voting.

______________________________
Chief Clerk of the House

I certify that H.B. No. 1464 was passed by the Senate on May
23, 2015, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.

______________________________
Secretary of the Senate
APPROVED: _____________________
Date

_____________________
Governor

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