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Property Tax Hearing Procedures 41.66

Section 41.66 – Property Tax Protest Hearing Procedures

Property tax protest hearings are to be conducted on an informal basis. Although the appraisal review board (ARB) is required to prepare rules for conducting hearings and make them available upon request, the structure of ARB property tax appeal hearings are generally casual. This is true for hearings at Harris County Appraisal District, Dallas County Appraisal District, Tarrant County Appraisal District, Travis County Appraisal District, Bexar County Appraisal District, Fort Bend County Appraisal District, Galveston County Appraisal District, Brazoria County Appraisal District, Waller County Appraisal District, and most other appraisal districts.

Both the property owner/tax consultant and the appraisal district representatives can present evidence, review the other party’s evidence, present oral argument and cross-examine other witnesses. Property owners can appear or engage a property tax consultant to represent hem.

The ARB may not consider any appraisal district information unless it is presented during the property tax protest hearing. Members of the ARB may not communicate with either the property owner or appraisal district staff regarding a pending protest prior to the property tax appeal hearing. ARB members must sign an affidavit stating that the board members has not communicated with either the property owner or appraisal district staff regarding the property tax protest.

Property tax protest hearings are open to the public and can be recorded.

Property owners can require additional time if the appraisal district has not produced information requested under Section 41.164 (HB201 – evidence that the appraisal district plans to use at the hearing). However, the property owner would typically have a material advantage proceeding with the property tax protest hearing if the appraisal district has not produced evidence it can present at the hearing.

Sec. 41.66. Hearing Procedures.

(a) The appraisal review board shall establish by rule the procedures for hearings it conducts as provided by Subchapters A and C of this chapter. On request made by a property owner in the owner’s notice of protest or in a separate writing delivered to the appraisal review board on or before the date the notice of protest is filed, the property owner is entitled to a copy of the hearing procedures. The copy of the hearing procedures shall be delivered to the property owner not later than the 10th day before the date the hearing on the protest begins and may be delivered with the notice of the protest hearing required under Section 41.46(a). The notice of protest form prescribed by the comptroller under Section 41.44(d) or any other notice of protest form made available to a property owner by the appraisal review board or the appraisal office shall provide the property owner an opportunity to make or decline to make a request under this subsection. The appraisal review board shall post a copy of the hearing procedures in a prominent place in the room in which the hearing is held.

(b) Hearing procedures to the greatest extent practicable shall be informal. Each party to a hearing is entitled to offer evidence, examine or cross-examine witnesses or other parties, and present argument on the matters subject to the hearing.

(c) A property owner who is entitled as provided by this chapter to appear at a hearing may appear by himself or by his agent. A taxing unit may appear by a designated agent.

(d) Hearings conducted as provided by this chapter are open to the public.

(e) The appraisal review board may not consider any appraisal district information on a protest that was not presented to the appraisal review board during the protest hearing.

(f) A member of the appraisal review board may not communicate with another person concerning:

(1) the evidence, argument, facts, merits, or any other matters related to an owner’s protest, except during the hearing on the protest; or

(2) a property that is the subject of the protest, except during a hearing on another protest or other proceeding before the board at which the property is compared to other property or used in a sample of properties.

(g) At the beginning of a hearing on a protest, each member of the appraisal review board hearing the protest must sign an affidavit stating that the board member has not communicated with another person in violation of Subsection (f). If a board member has communicated with another person in violation of Subsection (f), the member must be recused from the proceeding and may not hear, deliberate on, or vote on the determination of the protest. The board of directors of the appraisal district shall adopt and implement a policy concerning the temporary replacement of an appraisal review board member who has communicated with another person in violation of Subsection (f).

(h) The appraisal review board shall postpone a hearing on a protest if the property owner requests additional time to prepare for the hearing and establishes to the board that the chief appraiser failed to comply with Section 41.461. The board is not required to postpone a hearing more than one time under this subsection.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2308, ch. 841, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 173, ch. 13, § 145, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 796, § 39, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 364, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 836, § 3.2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 14, § 8.01(23), eff. Nov. 12, 1991; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 728, § 19.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Cross References:
Appraisal review board organization, see Secs. 6.41, 6.42 & 6.43.
Appraisal review board record requirement, see Rule Sec. 9.803.
Affidavit for protest hearing, see Rule Sec. 9.802.

Notes:
The State Comptroller of Public Accounts now produces the above referenced form of the State Property Tax Board.

Appearance at appraisal review board hearing in person or by affidavit is mandatory condition precedent to filing suit. Webb County Appraisal District v. New Laredo Hotel, Inc., 792 S.W.2d 952 (Tex. 1990).

An appraisal review board exceeds its authority by having a written procedure that a taxpayer’s fiduciary authorization must be filed prior to the filing of a protest or motion. Tarrant Appraisal Review Board v. Martinez Brothers Investments, Inc., 946 S.W.2d 914 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1997, no writ).

Where taxpayer did not check box on appointment of agent form authorizing the sending of notices to the agent, the appraisal review board was required to deliver any notices to the property owner. Mailing a notice without authorization did not trigger the 15- and 45-day appeal time periods. First Union Real Estate Investments v. Taylor CAD, 758 S.W.2d 380 (Tex. App.-Eastland 1988, writ denied).

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

  • Patton Village
  • Danbury
  • Lake Dallas
  • Hackberry
  • Oak Ridge North
  • Webster
  • Hedwig Village
  • Hurst
  • Selma
  • Pleak
  • Oak Point
  • Hollywood Park
  • Kendleton
  • Cross Roads
  • Anna
  • Bee Cave
  • Highland Village
  • Meadows Place
  • Anderson Mill
  • Denton

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

  • Hospital
  • Land
  • Discount store
  • Strip shopping center
  • Country club
  • Movie theatre
  • Subsidized housing
  • Lodging
  • Motel
  • Car wash facility

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