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Required Training for Chief Appraiser 5.042

Texas Chief Appraisers Selected by Board of Directors and Rule Appraisal Districts

Texas chief appraisers run appraisal districts “at the pleasure” of the appraisal district board of directors. They can be terminated at any time for any reason. The board of directors is selected by tax entities in the county and does not include any property owner representives. The chief appraiser is responsible for setting values and maintaining records for each property, settling protests at the informal hearing or attending the appraisal review board hearing and hiring / supervising the balance of the staff. The chief appraiser position is quasi-political, including communications with tax entities and the Texas legislature.

Section 5.042 – Required Training for Chief Appraiser

Training for chief appraisers for Texas appraisal districts was passed in 2005 and is required for chief appraisers appointed on or after July 1, 2006. It may seem unnecessary to someone unfamiliar with the operation of appraisal districts. However, there is a wide gap between the law (documented in Texas Property Tax Code) and the actions of chief appraisers. Cynics believe the chief appraisers knowingly ignore the law while others believe they are misinformed.

The current reality, as of September 2006, is appraisal district staff habitually violates numerous actions of the Texas Property Tax Code. These include submitting illegitimate evidence at appraisal review board hearings, inappropriately influencing the appraisal review board, selectively reappraising recently sold properties and scheduling appraisal review board hearings (which should be scheduled by the appraisal review board).

Chief appraisers typically work as appraisers in appraisal districts prior to being appointed chief appraiser. Past practices tend to be perpetuated even when they are unlawful (based on the Texas Property Tax Code).

Chief appraisers report to the board of directors of the appraisal district. The Texas Comptroller has limited ability to correct unlawful behavior by appraisal districts. The Board of Tax Professional Examiners licenses and can sanction appraisers, including the chief appraiser. This option has been used infrequently if at all.

Mandatory education for chief appraisers should positively impact taxation of Texas property. Ultimately, however, lawful behavior by chief appraiser is a matter of volition. The Texas legislature has provided property-owner friendly laws regarding the property tax appraisal review board process. Well-educated chief appraisers are more likely to honor these rules.

Sec. 5.042. Required Training for Chief Appraisers.

(a) Except as provided by this section, a person may not serve as a chief appraiser for an appraisal district unless the person has completed the course of training prescribed by Section 1151.164, Occupations Code.

(b) A person may serve in a temporary, provisional, or interim capacity as chief appraiser for a period of up to one year without completing the training required by this section.

(c) This section does not apply to a county assessor-collector who serves as chief appraiser under Section 6.05(c).

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1111 (H.B. 2382), Sec. 2, eff. July 1, 2006.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1111, § 2, eff. July 1, 2006 also provides:

(a) The Board of Tax Professional Examiners shall implement the training program required under Section 1151.164, Occupations Code, as added by this Act, not later than January 1, 2006.

(b) A person is not required to complete the training program prescribed under Section 1151.164, Occupations Code, as added by this Act, to serve as a chief appraiser for an appraisal district until July 1, 2006.

(c) The change in law made by this Act by the enactment of Section 5.042, Tax Code, applies only to a chief appraiser appointed on or after July 1, 2006.
These codes affect property owners across the state, in both larger and smaller counties including:

  • Bexar County
  • Waller County
  • Brazoria County
  • Collin County
  • Travis County
  • Williamson County
  • Tarrant County
  • Lamar County
  • Jim Wells County
  • Johnson County
  • Ellis County
  • Smith County
  • Kaufman County
  • Comanche County
  • Starr County
  • Scurry County
  • Hockley County

The Texas Property Tax Code applies to all property types in Texas including:

  • Community shopping center
  • Daycare center
  • Movie theatre
  • Land
  • Truck terminal
  • Mini-warehouse
  • Convenience store
  • Shopping mall
  • Shopping center
  • Airplane hangar

O’Connor & Associates offers property tax services to all property owners of all land uses across Texas.

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