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H.B. No. 967

H.B. No. 967

AN ACT

relating to the reappraisal for ad valorem tax purposes of
agricultural or open-space land on which the Texas Animal Health
Commission has established a temporary quarantine for ticks.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the Rancher Relief Act.
SECTION 2. Subchapter C, Chapter 23, Tax Code, is amended by
adding Section 23.48 to read as follows:
Sec. 23.48. REAPPRAISAL OF LAND SUBJECT TO TEMPORARY
QUARANTINE FOR TICKS. (a) An owner of land designated for
agricultural use on which the Texas Animal Health Commission has
established a temporary quarantine of at least 90 days in length in
the current tax year for the purpose of regulating the handling of
livestock and eradicating ticks or exposure to ticks at any time
during a tax year is entitled to a reappraisal of the owner’s land
for that year on written request delivered to the chief appraiser.
(b) As soon as practicable after receiving a request for
reappraisal, the chief appraiser shall complete the reappraisal.
In determining the appraised value of the land under Section 23.41,
the effect on the value of the land caused by the infestation of
ticks is an additional factor that must be taken into account. The
appraised value of land reappraised under this section may not
exceed the lesser of:
(1) the market value of the land as determined by other
appraisal methods; or
(2) one-half of the original appraised value of the
land for the current tax year.
(c) A property owner may not be required to pay the
appraisal district for the costs of making the reappraisal. Each
taxing unit that participates in the appraisal district and imposes
taxes on the land shall share the costs of the reappraisal in the
proportion the total dollar amount of taxes imposed by that taxing
unit on that land in the preceding year bears to the total dollar
amount of taxes all taxing units participating in the appraisal
district imposed on the land in the preceding year.
(d) If land is reappraised as provided by this section, the
governing body of each taxing unit that participates in the
appraisal district and imposes taxes on the land shall provide for
prorating the taxes on the land for the tax year in which the
reappraisal is conducted. If the taxes are prorated, taxes due on
the land are determined as follows: the taxes on the land based on
its value on January 1 of that year are multiplied by a fraction,
the denominator of which is 365 and the numerator of which is the
number of days in that year before the date the reappraisal was
conducted; the taxes on the land based on its reappraised value are
multiplied by a fraction, the denominator of which is 365 and the
numerator of which is the number of days, including the date the
reappraisal was conducted, remaining in the year; and the total of
the two amounts is the amount of taxes imposed on the land for that
year. Notwithstanding Section 26.15, the assessor for each
applicable taxing unit shall enter the reappraised value on the
appropriate tax roll together with the original appraised value and
the calculation of the taxes imposed on the land under this section.
If for any tax year the reappraisal results in a decrease in the tax
liability of the landowner, the assessor for the taxing unit shall
prepare and mail a new tax bill in the manner provided by Chapter
31. If the owner has paid the tax, each taxing unit that imposed
taxes on the land in that year shall promptly refund the difference
between the tax paid and the tax due on the lower appraised value.
(e) In appraising the land for any subsequent tax year in
which the Texas Animal Health Commission quarantine remains in
place, the chief appraiser shall continue to take into account the
effect on the value of the land caused by the infestation of ticks.
(f) If the owner of the land is informed by the Texas Animal
Health Commission that the quarantine is no longer in place, not
later than the 30th day after the date on which the owner received
that information the owner of the land shall so notify the chief
appraiser in writing. If the owner fails to notify the chief
appraiser as required by this subsection, a penalty is imposed on
the property equal to 10 percent of the difference between the taxes
imposed on the property in each year it is erroneously allowed
appraisal under this section and the taxes that would otherwise
have been imposed.
(g) The chief appraiser shall make an entry in the appraisal
records for the property against which the penalty is imposed
indicating liability for the penalty and shall deliver a written
notice of imposition of the penalty to the person who owns the
property. The notice shall include a brief explanation of the
procedures for protesting the imposition of the penalty. The
assessor for each taxing unit that imposed taxes on the property on
the basis of appraisal under this section shall add the amount of
the penalty to the unit’s tax bill for taxes on the property against
which the penalty is imposed. The penalty shall be collected at the
same time and in the same manner as the taxes on the property
against which the penalty is imposed. The amount of the penalty
constitutes a lien on the property against which the penalty is
imposed and accrues penalty and interest in the same manner as a
delinquent tax.
SECTION 3. Subchapter D, Chapter 23, Tax Code, is amended by
adding Section 23.60 to read as follows:
Sec. 23.60. REAPPRAISAL OF LAND SUBJECT TO TEMPORARY
QUARANTINE FOR TICKS. (a) An owner of qualified open-space land,
other than land used for wildlife management, on which the Texas
Animal Health Commission has established a temporary quarantine of
at least 90 days in length in the current tax year for the purpose of
regulating the handling of livestock and eradicating ticks or
exposure to ticks at any time during a tax year is entitled to a
reappraisal of the owner’s land for that year on written request
delivered to the chief appraiser.
(b) As soon as practicable after receiving a request for
reappraisal, the chief appraiser shall complete the reappraisal.
In determining the appraised value of the land under Section 23.52,
the effect on the value of the land caused by the infestation of
ticks is an additional factor that must be taken into account. The
appraised value of land reappraised under this section may not
exceed the lesser of:
(1) the market value of the land as determined by other
appraisal methods; or
(2) one-half of the original appraised value of the
land for the current tax year.
(c) A property owner may not be required to pay the
appraisal district for the costs of making the reappraisal. Each
taxing unit that participates in the appraisal district and imposes
taxes on the land shall share the costs of the reappraisal in the
proportion the total dollar amount of taxes imposed by that taxing
unit on that land in the preceding year bears to the total dollar
amount of taxes all taxing units participating in the appraisal
district imposed on that land in the preceding year.
(d) If land is reappraised as provided by this section, the
governing body of each taxing unit that participates in the
appraisal district and imposes taxes on the land shall provide for
prorating the taxes on the land for the tax year in which the
reappraisal is conducted. If the taxes are prorated, taxes due on
the land are determined as follows: the taxes on the land based on
its value on January 1 of that year are multiplied by a fraction,
the denominator of which is 365 and the numerator of which is the
number of days in that year before the date the reappraisal was
conducted; the taxes on the land based on its reappraised value are
multiplied by a fraction, the denominator of which is 365 and the
numerator of which is the number of days, including the date the
reappraisal was conducted, remaining in the year; and the total of
the two amounts is the amount of taxes imposed on the land for that
year. Notwithstanding Section 26.15, the assessor for each
applicable taxing unit shall enter the reappraised value on the
appropriate tax roll together with the original appraised value and
the calculation of the taxes imposed on the land under this section.
If for any tax year the reappraisal results in a decrease in the tax
liability of the landowner, the assessor for the taxing unit shall
prepare and mail a new tax bill in the manner provided by Chapter
31. If the owner has paid the tax, each taxing unit that imposed
taxes on the land in that year shall promptly refund the difference
between the tax paid and the tax due on the lower appraised value.
(e) In appraising the land for any subsequent tax year in
which the Texas Animal Health Commission quarantine remains in
place, the chief appraiser shall continue to take into account the
effect on the value of the land caused by the infestation of ticks.
(f) If the owner of the land is informed by the Texas Animal
Health Commission that the quarantine is no longer in place, not
later than the 30th day after the date on which the owner received
that information the owner of the land shall so notify the chief
appraiser. If the owner fails to notify the chief appraiser as
required by this subsection, a penalty is imposed on the property
equal to 10 percent of the difference between the taxes imposed on
the property in each year it is erroneously allowed appraisal under
this section and the taxes that would otherwise have been imposed.
(g) The chief appraiser shall make an entry in the appraisal
records for the property against which the penalty is imposed
indicating liability for the penalty and shall deliver a written
notice of imposition of the penalty to the person who owns the
property. The notice shall include a brief explanation of the
procedures for protesting the imposition of the penalty. The
assessor for each taxing unit that imposed taxes on the property on
the basis of appraisal under this section shall add the amount of
the penalty to the unit’s tax bill for taxes on the property against
which the penalty is imposed. The penalty shall be collected at the
same time and in the same manner as the taxes on the property
against which the penalty is imposed. The amount of the penalty
constitutes a lien on the property against which the penalty is
imposed and accrues penalty and interest in the same manner as a
delinquent tax.
SECTION 4. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2007.

______________________________ ______________________________
President of the Senate Speaker of the House

I certify that H.B. No. 967 was passed by the House on April
4, 2007, by the following vote: Yeas 144, Nays 0, 2 present, not
voting.

______________________________
Chief Clerk of the House

I certify that H.B. No. 967 was passed by the Senate on May
23, 2007, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.

______________________________
Secretary of the Senate
APPROVED: _____________________
Date

_____________________
Governor

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