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Property Tax Determination Protest 41.47

Section 41.47 – Determination of Property Tax Protest

The appraisal review board (ARB) panel typically makes its decision and verbally announces it at the end of the property tax appeal hearing. After the complete ARB meets to affirm the decision, the ARB send, by certified mail, written notice of its decision. Receipt of the written notice of the results of the property tax protest triggers a 45-day period during which the property owner can further appeal the results with a judicial appeal or binding arbitration (for market value for properties with a value of $1 million or less after the ARB hearing).

One disputed issue is whether the ARB must provide multiple decisions if there are multiple bases of property tax protests. While it is clear several decisions are necessary if the owner appeals market value and a homestead exemption, most appraisal districts claim only one appeal is necessary when both market value and unequal appraisal are appealed.

Sec. 41.47. Determination of Protest.

(a) The appraisal review board hearing a protest shall determine the protest and make its decision by written order.

(b) If on determining a protest the board finds that the appraisal records are incorrect in some respect raised by the protest, the board by its order shall correct the appraisal records by changing the appraised value placed on the protesting property owner’s property or by making the other changes in the appraisal records that are necessary to conform the records to the requirements of law. If the appraised value of a taxable property interest, other than an interest owned by a public utility or by a cooperative corporation organized to provide utility service, is changed as the result of a protest or challenge, the board shall change the appraised value of all other interests, other than an interest owned by a public utility or by a cooperative corporation organized to provide utility service, in the same property, including a mineral in place, in proportion to the ownership interests.

(c) Repealed in 1985.

(d) The board shall deliver by certified mail a notice of issuance of the order and a copy of the order to the property owner and the chief appraiser.

(e) The notice of the issuance of the order must contain a prominently printed statement in upper-case bold lettering informing the property owner in clear and concise language of the property owner’s right to appeal the board’s decision to district court. The statement must describe the deadline prescribed by Section 42.06(a) of this code for filing a written notice of appeal, and the deadline prescribed by Section 42.21(a) of this code for filing the petition for review with the district court.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 172, ch. 13, Sec. 140; amended by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 4191, ch. 504, Sec. 3; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 145, Sec. 1, ch. 733, Sec. 2, and ch. 794, Sec. 2; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 181, ch. 2, Sec. 14.03.

Cross References:
Delivery of notice, see Sec. 1.07.
Filing a notice of appeal, see Sec. 42.06.
Filing a petition for judicial review within 45 days, see Sec. 42.21.
Appraisal review board record requirement, see Rule Sec. 9.803.

Notes:
The notice of the appraisal review board determination was insufficient to comply with statutory requirements of delivery of notice because the notice (1) identified the property only by docket number, not by legal description or a taxpayer account number, and (2) the parent corporation and not the property subsidiary corporate owner was listed. State law treats subsidiary corporations and parent corporations as separate entities and entitles each to notice sufficient to meet the minimum requirements of the Tax Code and due process. It did not matter that the taxpayer’s agent was present at the hearing when the review board made its decision. Receiving the notice, not attending the hearing, triggers the 45-day period for the taxpayer to file in district court. Valero South Texas Processing Co. v. Starr County Appraisal District, 954 S.W.2d 863 (Tex. App. — San Antonio 1997).

The 45-day limitation period for appeal of an appraisal review board decision only begins to run when proper notice is delivered to the appropriate party. Section 1.07(b) requires the tax official or agency to address the notice to the property owner, the person designated under Section 1.111(f) to receive the notice for the property owner (if that section applies) or, if appropriate, the property owner’s agent at his address according to the most recent record in the possession of the official or agency. If a property owner files a written request for notices to be sent to a particular address, the official or agency shall send the notice to the address stated in the request. The erroneous delivery of a notice and order does not serve to trigger the 45-day period for appeal. A specific statutory scheme sets forth the manner in which property tax representatives may be designated and the effect that designation has on a taxing authority’s obligation to deliver notice. The Texas Administrative Code provides that when an agent is an employee of a subsidiary of the owner, the owner is not required to provide documents supporting that agent’s authority. The agent designation form itself states only that the person naming a tax agent should attach documentation – a suggestion that is not mandatory. Harris County Appraisal District and Harris County Appraisal Review Board v. Drever Partners, Inc., 938 S.W.2d 196 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th District] 1997).

Property owner admitted the receipt of both notice of issuance of order of the appraisal review board determination and a copy of the order signed by current appraisal review board chairman. Sending the notice of appeal to former chairman of review board was insufficient to perfect appeal for judicial review. R. J. Underhill v. Jefferson County Appraisal District, 725 S.W.2d 301 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1987, no writ).

If an employee of the property owner, but not the appointed fiduciary, receives the appraisal review board order and signs for the receipt of the notice as the property owner’s agent, the notice is presumed delivered. Personal, in-hand delivery to the appointed fiduciary is not necessary. Property owner must file written notice of appeal within 15 days of receiving notice. Copy of order determining protest met requirements sufficiently for sending order and notice of issuance of order, and two documents were not required to be sent. MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. Tarrant Appraisal District, 723 S.W.2d 350 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1987, no writ).

Taxpayer protesting an appraisal review board determination was barred from judicial review for failure to file notice within 45 days from receipt of the review board’s determination, the “final order” required by Section 41.47 of the Tax Code. Flores v. Fort Bend Central Appraisal District, 720 S.W.2d 243 (Tex. App.-Houston 1986).

A taxpayer’s notice of intent to file an appeal is proper if the chief appraiser forwards the notice of appeal to the review board during the 15-day filing period; although the taxpayer’s appeal was accomplished through an indirect means, it met the legislative intent of notice to the review board. Texas Conference Association of Seventh-Day Adventists v. Central Appraisal Review Board of Johnson County, 719 S.W.2d 255 (Tex. App.-Waco 1986, writ ref’d n.r.e.).

Where taxpayer was dissatisfied with his property appraisal his exclusive remedies under the Property Tax Code are that of administrative and judicial review within available grounds of protest. When a taxpayer’s protest to tax has been determined by the review board, he may then file suit for judicial review of the board’s decision, but the board’s decision is not a prerequisite to a suit by a taxing unit for delinquent taxes. The statute allows the appraisal board additional time to act by allowing a determination of all protests not only before appraisal records are approved, but “or as soon thereafter as practicable.” Valero Transmission Company v. Hays Consolidated Independent School District, 704 S.W.2d 857 (Tex. App.-Austin 1985, writ ref’d n.r.e.).

The grant of summary judgment in favor of an appraisal district is improper where a question existed pertaining to delivery of written order by the appraisal review board. Taxpayers were not required to comply with Sec. 42.06(a) because the appraisal district had not necessarily complied with Sec. 41.47 notice requirements, specifically, issuance of a written order, and delivery of notice of issuance and a copy of the order to the property owner and chief appraiser. Taxpayers’ failure to timely file notice of appeal under Sec. 42.06 under the circumstances did not deprive the court of jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Sec. 42.09 does preclude appellants from challenging the review board’s determination by any procedure other than the one prescribed by the code. Herndon Marine Products, Inc. v. San Patricio County Appraisal Review Board, 695 S.W.2d 29 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1985, writ ref’d n.r.e.).

These codes affect property owners across the state, in both larger and smaller cities including:

  • Anderson Mill
  • Fairview
  • White Settlement
  • Garfield
  • Lakeway
  • Danbury
  • Grapevine
  • Justin
  • Woodbranch
  • Lincoln Park
  • Aubrey
  • Saginaw
  • Selma
  • Orchard
  • Oyster Creek
  • Trophy Club
  • Irving
  • Shady Hollow
  • Granger
  • Westworth

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

  • Manufacturing/processing
  • Bowling alley
  • Night club
  • Daycare center
  • Hotel
  • Supermarket
  • Warehouse
  • Car wash facility
  • Regional mall
  • Lodging

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

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