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Property Tax Notice Protest 41.44

Section 41.44 – Notice of Protest

Property owners must timely file a notice of protest to receive a property tax protest hearing (i.e. an informal hearing and/or an appraisal review board hearing). Filing a property tax protest is simple and takes only a few minutes. However, it is necessary to file an appeal each year you want to appeal the property tax assessment.

Property tax protests must be filed (hand-delivered to the appraisal district or sent by first-class mail) by the later of 1) May 31, or 2) 30 days after the appraisal district delivers (mails, not the day you receive it) the notice of assessed value (if one is required). The appraisal district is not required to send a notice of assessed value if 1) they do not reappraise the property, or 2) the value increases by $1,000 or less. Many property owners send the appraisal review board (not the appraisal district) a notice of protest approximately one week before May 31.

Property tax protests can be filed either using the form available from appraisal districts or by sending a simple letter. The protest is sufficient if it identifies the protesting property owner, the property being protested and indicates “apparent dissatisfaction with some determination of the appraisal office.” If you prefer to use the form prepared by the Texas Comptroller, you can obtain one by calling the Texas Comptroller or any appraisal district or appraisal review board.

Property owners should consider filing a property tax protest based upon excessive appraisal (assessed value over market value; Section 41.41(a)(1)), unequal appraisal (Section 41.41(a)(2)) and “any other action of the chief appraiser, appraisal district or appraisal review board that applies to and adversely affects the property owner (Section 41.41(a)(a)). In addition, the protest should address any other issues such as being denied an exemption or agricultural valuation.

Filing a protest for excessive appraisal, unequal appraisal and “any other action” ensures that most bases for appeal have been timely and properly protested. Many appraisal review boards will not consider an appeal on unequal appraisal unless it is appealed as a separate issue.

The Texas Property Tax Code also provides for extensions for property owners who are working offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and who are full-time active duty in the US armed forces serving outside the United States.

Annually filing a property tax protest is a meaningful step in minimizing property taxes.

Sec. 41.44. Notice of Protest.

(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) (c), (c-1), and (c-2), to be entitled to a hearing and determination of a protest, the property owner initiating the protest must file a written notice of the protest with the appraisal review board having authority to hear the matter protested:

(1) before June 1 or not later than the 30th day after the date that notice was delivered to the property owner as provided by Section 25.19, whichever is later;

(2) in the case of a protest of a change in the appraisal records ordered as provided by Subchapter A of this chapter or by Chapter 25, not later than the 30th day after the date notice of the change is delivered to the property owner; or

(3) in the case of a determination that a change in the use of land appraised under Subchapter C, D, E, or H, Chapter 23, has occurred, not later than the 30th day after the date the notice of the determination is delivered to the property owner.

(b) A property owner who files his notice of protest after the deadline prescribed by Subsection (a) of this section but before the appraisal review board approves the appraisal records is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest if he shows good cause as determined by the board for failure to file the notice on time.

(c) A property owner who files notice of a protest authorized by Section 41.411 is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest if he files the notice prior to the date the taxes on the property to which the notice applies become delinquent. An owner of land who files a notice of protest under Subsection(a)(3) is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest without regard to whether the appraisal records are approved.

(c-1) A property owner who files a notice of protest after the deadline prescribed by Subsection (a) but before the taxes on the property to which the notice applies become delinquent is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest if the property owner was continuously employed in the Gulf of Mexico, including employment on an offshore drilling or production facility or on a vessel, for a period of not less than 20 days during which the deadline prescribed by Subsection (a) passed, and the property owner provides the appraisal review board with evidence of that fact through submission of a letter from the property owner’s employer or supervisor or, if the property owner is self-employed, a sworn affidavit.

(c-2) A property owner who files a notice of protest after the deadline prescribed by Subsection (a) but before the taxes on the property to which the notice applies become delinquent is entitled to a hearing and determination of the protest if the property owner was serving on full-time active duty in the United States armed forces outside the United States on the day on which the deadline prescribed by Subsection (a) passed and the property owner provides the appraisal review board with evidence of that fact through submission of a valid military identification card from the United States Department of Defense and a deployment order.

(d) A notice of protest is sufficient if it identifies the protesting property owner, including a person claiming an ownership interest in the property even if that person is not listed on the appraisal records as an owner of the property, identifies the property that is the subject of the protest, and indicates apparent dissatisfaction with some determination of the appraisal office. The notice need not be on an official form, but the comptroller shall prescribe a form that provides for more detail about the nature of the protest. The form must permit a property owner to include each property in the appraisal district that is the subject of a protest. The comptroller, each appraisal office, and each appraisal review board shall make the forms readily available and deliver one to a property owner on request.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2306, ch. 841, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 170, ch. 13, § 137, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4945, ch. 884, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 504, § 2, eff. June 12, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 185, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 796, § 36, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 836, § 1.4, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 6, § 50, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 631, § 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 829, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.

Cross References:
Notice of change in appraisal records affecting tax liability, see Sec. 41.11.
Notice of increase in appraised value, see Sec. 25.19.
Delivery date for Sec. 25.19 notice is mailing date, see Sec. 1.07.
Delinquency date, see Secs. 31.02 & 31.04.
Model form for notice of protest, see Rule Sec. 9.801.
Timeliness of action by mail, see Sec. 1.08.
Exclusivity of remedies, see Sec. 42.09.
Representative of property owner, see Sec. 1.111.

Notes:
The taxpayer must follow statutory procedures for allocation of value to apply. The owner waived constitutional entitlement to interstate allocation by failing to protest before the appraisal review board. The aircraft was located in the district on January 1 of each year in question, and the taxpayer did not challenge the description of the property on the appraisal rolls. The aircraft value therefore could not be allocated for prior years. A & S Air Service, Inc. v. Denton Central Appraisal District, 99 S.W.3d 340 (Tex. App.-Ft. Worth 2003, no pet.).

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).

Taxpayer’s letter to appraisal district indicating dissatisfaction with its value was sufficient to constitute a protest. Filing protest with appraisal district did not make protest invalid where appraisal district staff also served appraisal review board. Burnet County Appraisal District v. J.M. Huber Corp., 808 S.W.2d 613 (Tex. App.-Austin 1991).

Where taxpayer protested 1984 value before ARB, appealed ARB order to district court, appeal was still pending in 1985, and 1985 value was unchanged from 1984, suit was sufficient notice of dissatisfaction with the 1985 appraisal. Taxpayer was not required to file a formal protest or appear before the ARB on the 1985 value and could request the court to rule on the 1985 value as well. Estepp v. Miller, 731 S.W.2d 677 (Tex. App.-Austin 1987, writ ref’d n.r.e.).

In establishing a detailed timeline associated with the protest process, an appraisal review board has no authority to schedule a hearing on a protest before receiving the property owner’s notice of protest or to notify a property owner of a prescheduled hearing, nor can such authority be implied. An appraisal review board lacks authority before a property owner has filed a written notice of protest to schedule a hearing on a property tax appraisal protest and to notify the property owner about the hearing time. Op. Tex. Att’y Gen. GA-0311 (2005).

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

  • Fort Bend County
  • Denton County
  • Waller County
  • Williamson County
  • Tarrant County
  • Travis County
  • Harris County
  • Taylor County
  • Maverick County
  • Val Verde County
  • Johnson County
  • Lamar County
  • Scurry County
  • Wilbarger County
  • Harrison County
  • Grayson County
  • Palo Pinto County

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

  • Night club
  • Auto service garage
  • Country club
  • Strip shopping center
  • Lumber storage
  • Truck stop
  • Auto salvage yard
  • Auto dealer
  • Convenience store
  • Shopping mall

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

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