logo-updated-012918
Property Tax Inquiries Call 713.290.9700

H.B. No. 8

H.B. No. 8

AN ACT relating to certain studies and reviews of appraisal districts conducted by the comptroller of public accounts.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Sections 403.3011(1), (2), and (4), Government Code, are amended to read as follows:

(1) “Study” [“Annual study”] means a study conducted under Section 403.302.
(2) “Eligible school district” means a school district for which the comptroller has determined the following:
(A) in the most recent [annual] study, the local value is invalid under Section 403.302(c) and does not exceed the state value for the school district determined in the [annual] study;
(B) in the two studies [annual study for each of the two years] preceding the most recent [annual] study, the school district’s local value was valid under Section 403.302(c); [and]
(C) in the most recent [annual] study, the aggregate local value of all of the categories of property sampled by the comptroller is not less than 90 percent of the lower limit of the margin of error as determined by the comptroller of the aggregate value as determined by the comptroller of all of the
categories of property sampled by the comptroller; and
(D) the appraisal district that appraises property for the school district was in compliance with the scoring requirement of the comptroller’s most recent review of the appraisal district conducted under Section 5.102, Tax Code.
(4) “State value” means the value of property in a school district as determined in a [the annual] study.

SECTION 2. Section 403.302, Government Code, is amended by amending Subsections (a), (c), (c-1), (f), (h), (i), and (l) and adding Subsections (a-1), (a-2), (m), (n), and (o) to read as follows:
(a) The comptroller shall conduct a [an annual] study using comparable sales and generally accepted auditing and sampling techniques to determine the total taxable value of all property in each school district. The study shall determine the taxable value of all property and of each category of property in the district and the productivity value of all land that qualifies for appraisal on the basis of its productive capacity and for which the owner has applied for and received a productivity appraisal. The comptroller shall make appropriate adjustments in the study to account for actions taken under Chapter 41, Education Code.
(a-1) The comptroller shall conduct a study:
(1) at least every two years in each school district for which the most recent study resulted in a determination by the comptroller that the school district’s local value was valid; and
(2) each year in a school district for which the most recent study resulted in a determination by the comptroller that the school district’s local value was not valid.
(a-2) If in any year the comptroller does not conduct a study, the school district’s local value for that year is considered to be valid.
(c) If after conducting the [annual] study the comptroller determines that the local value for a school district is valid, the local value is presumed to represent taxable value for the school district. In the absence of that presumption, taxable value for a school district is the state value for the school district determined by the comptroller under Subsections (a) and (b) unless the local value exceeds the state value, in which case the taxable
value for the school district is the district’s local value. In determining whether the local value for a school district is valid, the comptroller shall use a margin of error that does not exceed five percent unless the comptroller determines that the size of the sample of properties necessary to make the determination makes the use of such a margin of error not feasible, in which case the comptroller may use a larger margin of error.
(c-1) This subsection applies only to a school district whose central administrative office is located in a county with a population of 9,000 or less and a total area of more than 6,000 square miles. If after conducting the [annual] study for a tax year the comptroller determines that the local value for a school district is not valid, the comptroller shall adjust the taxable value determined under Subsections (a) and (b) as follows:
(1) for each category of property sampled and tested by the comptroller in the school district, the comptroller shall use the weighted mean appraisal ratio determined by the study, unless the ratio is more than four percentage points lower than the weighted mean appraisal ratio determined by the comptroller for that category of property in the immediately preceding study, in which case the comptroller shall use the weighted mean appraisal
ratio determined in the immediately preceding study minus four percentage points;
(2) the comptroller shall use the category weighted mean appraisal ratios as adjusted under Subdivision (1) to establish a value estimate for each category of property sampled and tested by the comptroller in the school district; and
(3) the value estimates established under Subdivision (2), together with the local tax roll value for any categories not sampled and tested by the comptroller, less total deductions determined by the comptroller, determine the taxable value for the school district.
(f) The study shall determine the values as of January 1 of each year:
(1) for a school district in which a study was conducted according to the results of the study; and
(2) for a school district in which a study was not conducted according to the market value determined by the appraisal district that appraises property for the district, less the amounts specified by Subsection (d).
(h) On request of the commissioner of education or a school district, the comptroller may audit the total taxable value of property in a school district and may revise the [annual] study findings. The request for audit is limited to corrections and changes in a school district’s appraisal roll that occurred after preliminary certification of the [annual] study findings by the comptroller. Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, the
request for audit must be filed with the comptroller not later than the third anniversary of the date of the final certification of the [annual] study findings. The request for audit may be filed not later than the first anniversary of the date the chief appraiser certifies a change to the appraisal roll if the chief appraiser corrects the appraisal roll under Section 25.25 or 42.41, Tax Code, and the change results in a material reduction in the total taxable value of property in the school district. The comptroller shall certify the findings of the audit to the commissioner of education.
(i) If the comptroller determines in the [annual] study that the market value of property in a school district as determined by the appraisal district that appraises property for the school district, less the total of the amounts and values listed in Subsection (d) as determined by that appraisal district, is valid, the comptroller, in determining the taxable value of property in the school district under Subsection (d), shall for purposes of
Subsection (d)(14) subtract from the market value as determined by the appraisal district of residence homesteads to which Section 23.23, Tax Code, applies the amount by which that amount exceeds the appraised value of those properties as calculated by the appraisal district under Section 23.23, Tax Code. If the comptroller determines in the [annual] study that the market value of property in a school district as determined by the appraisal district that appraises property for the school district, less the total of the amounts and values listed in Subsection (d) as determined by that
appraisal district, is not valid, the comptroller, in determining the taxable value of property in the school district under Subsection (d), shall for purposes of Subsection (d)(14) subtract from the market value as estimated by the comptroller of residence homesteads to which Section 23.23, Tax Code, applies the amount by which that amount exceeds the appraised value of those properties as calculated by the appraisal district under Section 23.23, Tax Code.
(l) If after conducting the [annual] study for [the year 2003 or] a [subsequent] year the comptroller determines that a school district is an eligible school district, for that year and the following year the taxable value for the school district is the district’s local value. [Not later than the first anniversary of the date of the determination that a school district is an eligible school district, the comptroller shall complete an appraisal
standards review as provided by Section 5.102, Tax Code, of each appraisal district that appraises property for the school district.]
(m) The Comptroller’s Property Value Study Advisory Committee is created. The committee is composed of:
(1) one member of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;
(2) one member of the senate, appointed by the lieutenant governor;
(3) two members who represent appraisal districts, appointed by the comptroller;
(4) two members who represent school districts, appointed by the comptroller; and
(5) three members appointed by the comptroller who are residents of this state and are school district taxpayers or have expertise in school district taxation or ratio studies.
(n) Chapter 2110 does not apply to the size, composition, or duration of the Comptroller’s Property Value Study Advisory Committee.
(o) The comptroller shall adopt rules governing the conduct of the study after consultation with the Comptroller’s Property Value Study Advisory Committee.

SECTION 3. The heading to Section 403.304, Government Code, is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 403.304. COOPERATION WITH COMPTROLLER; CONFIDENTIALITY.

SECTION 4. Section 403.304, Government Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (a-1) to read as follows:
(a) A school district, appraisal district, or other governmental entity in this state shall promptly comply with an oral or written request from the comptroller for information to be used in conducting a study, including information that is made confidential by Chapter 552 of this code, Section 22.27, Tax Code, or another law of this state.
(a-1) All information the comptroller obtains from a person, other than a government or governmental subdivision or agency, under an assurance that the information will be kept confidential, in the course of conducting a study [of school district values] is confidential and may not be disclosed except as provided in Subsection (b).

SECTION 5. Section 5.07(c), Tax Code, is amended to read as follows:
(c) The comptroller shall also prescribe a uniform record system to be used by all appraisal districts for the purpose of submitting data to be used in the [annual] studies required by Section 5.10 of this code and by Section 403.302, Government Code. The record system shall include a compilation of information concerning sales of real property within the boundaries of the appraisal district. The sales information maintained in the uniform record system shall be submitted annually in a form prescribed by the comptroller.

SECTION 6. Section 5.10(a), Tax Code, is amended to read as follows:
(a) At least once every two years, the [The] comptroller shall conduct a [an annual] study in each appraisal district to determine the degree of uniformity of and the median level of appraisals by the appraisal district within each major category of property. The comptroller shall publish a report of the findings of the study, including in the report the median levels of appraisal for each major category of property, the coefficient of dispersion around the median level of appraisal for each major category of property, and any other standard statistical measures that the
comptroller considers appropriate. In conducting the study, the comptroller shall apply appropriate standard statistical analysis techniques to data collected as part of the [annual] study of school district taxable values required by Section 403.302, Government Code.

SECTION 7. Section 5.102, Tax Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 5.102. REVIEW OF APPRAISAL DISTRICTS [STANDARDS]. (a) At least once every two years, the [The] comptroller shall review the governance of each appraisal district, taxpayer assistance provided, and the operating and appraisal standards, procedures, and methodology used by each appraisal district [that appraises property for an eligible school district as defined by Section 403.3011, Government Code], to determine compliance with generally accepted [appraisal] standards, procedures, and methodology [and practices]. After consultation with the advisory committee created
under Section 403.302, Government Code, the [The] comptroller by rule may establish procedures and standards for conducting and scoring the review.
(b) In conducting the review, the comptroller is entitled to access to all records and reports of the appraisal district, to copy or print any record or report of the appraisal district, and to the assistance of the appraisal district’s officers and employees.
(c) At the conclusion of the review, the comptroller shall, in writing, notify the appraisal district concerning its performance in the review. If the review results in a finding that an appraisal district is not in compliance with generally accepted [appraisal] standards, procedures, and methodology [and practices], the comptroller shall deliver a report that details the comptroller’s findings and recommendations for improvement to:
(1) the appraisal district’s chief appraiser and board of directors; and
(2) the superintendent and board of trustees of each school district participating in the appraisal district.
(d) If the appraisal district fails to comply with the recommendations in the report and the comptroller finds that the board of directors of the appraisal district failed to take remedial action reasonably designed to ensure substantial compliance with each recommendation in the report before the first anniversary of the date the report was issued, the comptroller shall notify the Board of Tax Professional Examiners, or a successor to the board, which shall take action necessary to ensure that the recommendations in the report are implemented as soon as practicable [judge of each district court in the county for which the appraisal district is established, who shall appoint a board of conservators consisting of five members to implement the recommendations. The board of conservators shall exercise supervision and control over the operations of the appraisal district until the comptroller determines under Section 403.302, Government Code, that in the same year the taxable value of each school district for which the appraisal district appraises property is the local value for the school district. The appraisal district shall bear the costs related to the supervision and control of the district by the board of conservators].
(e) Before February 1 of the year following the year in which the Board of Tax Professional Examiners, or its successor, takes action under Subsection (d), and with the assistance of the comptroller, the board shall determine whether the recommendations in the most recent report have been substantially implemented. The presiding officer of the board shall notify the chief appraiser and the board of directors of the appraisal district in writing of the board’s determination.

SECTION 8. Sections 5.12(a), (d), and (e), Tax Code, are amended to read as follows:
(a) The comptroller shall audit the performance of an appraisal district if one or more of the following conditions exist according to each of two consecutive [annual] studies conducted by the comptroller under Section 5.10 [of this code], regardless of whether the prescribed condition or conditions that exist are the same for each of those studies:
(1) the overall median level of appraisal for all property in the district for which the comptroller determines a median level of appraisal is less than 0.75;
(2) the coefficient of dispersion around the overall median level of appraisal of the properties used to determine the overall median level of appraisal for all property in the district for which the comptroller determines a median level of appraisal exceeds 0.30; or
(3) the difference between the median levels of appraisal for any two classes of property in the district for which the comptroller determines a median level of appraisal is more than 0.45.
(d) A request for a performance audit of an appraisal district may not be made under Subsection (b) or (c) [of this section] if according to each of the two most recently published [annual] studies conducted by the comptroller under Section 5.10 [of this code]:
(1) the overall median level of appraisal for all property in the district for which the comptroller determines a median level of appraisal is more than 0.90 and less than 1.10;
(2) the coefficient of dispersion around the overall median level of appraisal of the properties used to determine the overall median level of appraisal for all property in the district for which the comptroller determines a median level of appraisal is less than 0.15; and
(3) the difference between the highest and lowest median levels of appraisal in the district for the classes of property for which the comptroller determines a median level of appraisal is less than 0.20.
(e) A request for a performance audit of an appraisal district may not be made under Subsection (b) or (c) [of this section]:
(1) during the two years immediately following the publication of the second of two consecutive [annual] studies according to which the comptroller is required to conduct an audit of the district under Subsection (a) [of this section]; [or]
(2) during the year immediately following the date the results of an audit of the district conducted by the comptroller under Subsection (a) [of this section] are reported to the chief appraiser of the district; or
(3) during a year in which the comptroller is conducting a review of the district under Section 5.102.

SECTION 9. Section 5.13(a), Tax Code, is amended to read as follows:
(a) The comptroller shall complete an audit required by Section 5.12(a) [of this code] within two years after the date of the publication of the second of the two [annual] studies the results of which required the audit to be conducted. The comptroller shall complete an audit requested under Section 5.12(b) or (c) [of this code] as soon as practicable after the request is made.

SECTION 10. Section 41A.12, Tax Code, is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 41A.12. USE OF PROPERTIES AS SAMPLES. An arbitrator’s determination of market value under this chapter is the market value of the property subject to the appeal for the purposes of the [annual] study conducted under Section 403.302, Government Code.

SECTION 11. Sections 5.101 and 5.12(g), Tax Code, are repealed.

SECTION 12. As soon as possible after the effective date of this Act, the speaker of the house of representatives, lieutenant governor, and comptroller shall appoint members to the Comptroller’s Property Value Study Advisory Committee in accordance with Section 403.302(m), Government Code, as added by this Act.

SECTION 13. The change in law made by this Act applies only to a study conducted under Section 5.10, Tax Code, or Section 403.302, Government Code, or a review conducted under Section 5.102, Tax Code, for a year that begins on or after January 1, 2009. A study or review for a year that began before that date is covered by the law in effect immediately before the effective date of this Act, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.

SECTION 14. This Act takes effect January 1, 2010.

 ______________________________                                                                                                                 ______________________________
President of the Senate                                                                                                                              Speaker of the House

I certify that H.B. No. 8 was passed by the House on April 24, 2009, by the following vote: Yeas 141, Nays 0, 1 present, not voting.

______________________________
Chief Clerk of the House

I certify that H.B. No. 8 was passed by the Senate on May 21, 2009, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.

______________________________
Secretary of the Senate

APPROVED:

 _____________________
Date

 _____________________
Governor

Property Tax Protection Program™ Benefits

  • No flat fees or upfront costs.  No cost ever unless your property taxes are reduced.
  • All practical efforts are made every year to reduce your property taxes.
  • Never miss another appeal deadline.
  • Property taxes protested for you annually.
  • You do not have to accept the appraisal district’s initial guesstimate of value.
  • We coordinate with you regarding building size / condition to avoid excess taxes.
  • Free support regarding homestead exemptions.
  • Some years are good – typically 6 to 7 out of 10 will result in tax reduction for you.
  • The other 3 to 4 years out of 10 we strike out. Most often due to people issues in the hearing process. Some years we get an easy appraiser at the informal; some years someone who is impossible to settle with.
The Residential Property Protection Program™
is powered by O’Connor
  • Enter your information below and your documents and enrollment information will be emailed to you within one business day

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Call 713.290.9700 to discuss with a representative.

    Please monitor your E-mail and spam filter. If you don't receive your enrollment documents within 24 business hours, call 713.290.9700 8am - 5pm CST

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

When you submit your enrollment, you understand this is a risk free offer to you. If your taxes are not reduced you PAY NOTHING, and a portion of the tax savings is the only fee you pay when your taxes are reduced.