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Property Tax Notice 1.07

Section 1.07a-d Delivery of Notice

Texas property owners are often uncertain whether they need to drive to the appraisal district office to hand-deliver a protest (notice of appeal) or exemption application completed on the filing deadline day (May 15) or if they can mail it in.

Fortunately, the Texas Property Tax Code provides “A notice permitted to be delivered by first-class mail by this section is presumed delivered when it is deposited in the mail.” Many property owners and property tax consultants deposit mail in the mailbox or deliver it to a post office to obtain a postmark consistent with the deadline date.

Sec. 1.07. Delivery of Notice.

(a) An official or agency required by this title to deliver a notice to a property owner may deliver the notice by regular first-class mail, with postage prepaid, unless this section or another provision of this title requires a different method of delivery or the parties agree that the notice must be delivered as provided by Section 1.085.

(b) The official or agency shall 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 the agent’s address according to the most recent record in the possession of the official or agency. However, if a property owner files a written request with the appraisal district that notices be sent to a particular address, the official or agency shall send the notice to the address stated in the request.

(c) A notice permitted to be delivered by first-class mail by this section is presumed delivered when it is deposited in the mail. This presumption is rebuttable when evidence of failure to receive notice is provided.

(d) A notice required by Section 11.45(d), 23.44(d), 23.57(d), 23.79(d), or 23.85(d) must be sent by certified mail.

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2220, ch. 841, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4947, ch. 885, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 796, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1039, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 441, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1126, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Cross References:
Electronic communication, see Sec. 1.085.
Notice of new application for exemption, see Sec. 11.43(c).
Notice cancelling exemption, see Sec. 11.43(h).
Notice of annual exemption application, see Sec. 11.44(a).
Notice of modification or denial of exemption, see Sec. 11.45(d).
Notice of decision on report of decreased value, see Sec. 22.03(c).
Notice of annual application for agricultural land, see Sec. 23.43(e).
Notice of denial of agricultural land, see Sec. 23.44(d).
Notice of new application for open-space land, see Sec. 23.54(e).
Notice of denial of open-space land, see Sec. 23.57(d).
Notice of penalty for failure of property owner to notify chief appraiser that open-space land no longer qualifies for special appraisal, see Sec. 23.54(i).
Notice to file a new application for timber land, see Sec. 23.75(e).
Notice of penalty for failure of property owner to notify chief appraiser that timber land no longer qualifies for special appraisal, see Sec. 23.75(i).
Notice of denial of timber land appraisal, see Sec. 23.79(d).
Notice of penalty for late application for timber land, see Sec. 23.751(c).
Notice of new application for recreation, park, and scenic land, see Sec. 23.84(c).
Notice of denial of recreation, park, and scenic land appraisal, see Sec. 23.85(d).
Notice of penalty for violating deed restriction of recreational, park, and scenic land, see Sec. 23.87(b).
Notice of new application for public access airport property, see Sec. 23.94(c).
Notice of denial of application for public access airport property appraisal, see Sec. 23.95(d).
Notice of penalty for violating deed restriction for public access airport property, see Sec. 23.97(b).
Notice of transportation business intangible value appraisal, see Sec. 24.09.
Notice of the qualification or cancellation of separate taxation of improvements, see Sec. 25.08(d).
Notice of qualification of standing timber for separate taxation, see Sec. 25.10(d).
Notice of qualification or cancellation of separate taxation for undivided interests, see Sec. 25.11(c).
Notice of appraised value, see Sec. 25.19.
Notice to property owner of a change in appraisal records, see Sec. 41.11(a).
Protest of failure to give notice, see Sec. 41.411.
Notice of protest hearing, see Sec. 41.46.
Notice of additional penalty for delinquent taxes, see Sec. 33.07(d).

Notes:
The failure of the taxing unit to give the required five-year notice of delinquent taxes (now repealed) resulted in the cancellation of penalties and interest on taxes when the taxpayer was able to prove that the notice was not delivered. The introduction of tax records establishes a prima facie case to establish every material fact, and a rebuttable presumption arises that all required notices likewise have been delivered. The presumption disappears, however, if the taxpayer produces competent evidence to justify a finding against the presumed fact. Tax notices must be addressed according to the most recent records in the possession of the taxing unit; if no address exists for a taxpayer, statutory notice requirements do not apply. In this case, evidence was sufficient to support the trial court’s finding that the school district did not deliver notice, thereby canceling penalties and interest for certain tax years. However, the owner did not overcome the presumption of delivery regarding other taxing units for certain years and therefore cancellation of the penalties and interest was not mandated. The case was remanded for trial court determination of the amounts of penalties, interest, attorney fees, court costs and other fees to be assessed. Aldine Independent School District, et.al. v. Ogg, 122 S.W.3d 257 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.], 2003, no pet..).

Taxing units were required to provide evidence of mailing the five-year delinquent tax notice (now repealed) before the presumption of delivery to an individual taxpayer arises. Taxing units must also claim avoidance through waiver as an affirmative defense to a taxpayer’s plea in intervention. By failing to do so, the issue was waived by the taxing units. Further, taxing units must raise a taxpayer’s corporate capacity to sue defense by verified pleadings or waive the issue. WHM Properties, Inc. v. Dallas County, 119 S.W.3d 325 (Tex. App.-Waco, 2003, pet. filed).

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).

To prove that notice of appraised value was delivered as required by the Tax Code, the appraisal district must show: the correct amount of postage was placed on the envelope; how the notice itself was put into the mail as a first-class letter; whether the taxpayer’s most recent address was used; and that the notice was not returned. A mere stipulation of valid notice was insufficient. Harris County Appraisal District v. Dincans, 882 S.W.2d 75 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1994, rehearing denied, error denied).

Requesting a new application for open-space land appraisal provides a mechanism by which the chief appraiser can obtain needed information; the chief appraiser does not have to make individual determinations before requiring a new application. A new application mailed to the taxpayer’s correct address and not returned by the postal service gives the taxpayer sufficient notice. Peil v. Waller County Appraisal District, 737 S.W.2d 33 (Tex. App.-Houston 1987, no writ).

Where taxpayer testified he did not receive an appraisal notice, presumption of delivery under Sec. 1.07 was rebutted and burden shifted to appraisal district to show notice was properly delivered (i.e. deposited in the mail, correctly addressed.). Thus, where appraisal district addressed notice to previous owner of property, the fact that the previous owner was still listed as owner in the district’s records did not make the notice valid. Sec. 1.07 requires delivery to the current owner, at the most recent address listed in the appraisal records. New v. Dallas Appraisal Review Board, 734 S.W.2d 712 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1987, writ denied).

A county that imposes the 15% collection penalty cannot seek attorney’s fees in a delinquent tax suit. Taxpayer’s testimony that he didn’t receive a notice of imposition of the Sec. 33.07 penalty combined with evidence that the district had an incorrect address listed for taxpayer was enough to support trial court’s finding that notice was not delivered. Uvalde CAD v. Parker, 733 S.W.2d 609 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1987, writ ref’d n.r.e.).

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. MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. Tarrant Appraisal District, 723 S.W.2d 350 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1987, no writ).

Compliance with predecessor to this section required county to mail a notice; county was not required to show taxpayer received the notice. Fisher v. Kerr County, 739 S.W.2d 434 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1987).

Where the appraisal district denies a taxpayer’s assertion that a notice of appraised value was never delivered if required by the code, a material issue of fact exists that prevents the trial court from granting summary judgment for the taxpayer. Uvalde County Appraisal District v. F.T. Kincaid, 720 S.W.2d 678 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1986, writ ref’d n.r.e.).

Where property owner or his agent received notice of appraised value at property owner’s listed address and appraisal district complied with required procedures, notice is presumed delivered when it is placed in the mail and the validity of the appraisal and the existence of a tax lien remain unaffected. Dallas County Appraisal District v. Lal, 701 S.W.2d 44 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1985, writ ref’d n.r.e.).

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

  • Haslet
  • Willis
  • Highland Village
  • Westworth
  • Blue Mound
  • Surfside Beach
  • Celina
  • High Island
  • Oak Point
  • Coupland
  • Kendleton
  • Weston
  • Fairview
  • Allen
  • Nevada
  • Helotes
  • Texas City
  • Pantego
  • Taylor
  • Fairchilds

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

  • Office warehouse
  • Vacant land
  • Convenience store
  • Community shopping center
  • Nursing home
  • Single-tenant retail
  • Research and development
  • Discount store
  • Strip shopping center
  • Auto salvage yard

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

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