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S.B. No. 1919

AN ACT relating to the authority of a property owner to participate by
videoconference at a protest hearing by certain appraisal review
boards.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 41.45, Tax Code, is amended by amending
Subsections (b), (b-1), (b-2), (b-3), and (n) and adding Subsection
(b-4) to read as follows:
(b) A property owner initiating a protest is entitled to
appear to offer evidence or argument. A property owner may offer
evidence or argument by affidavit without personally appearing and
may appear by telephone conference call or videoconference to offer
argument. A property owner who appears by telephone conference
call or videoconference must offer any evidence by affidavit. A
property owner must submit an affidavit described by this
subsection to the board hearing the protest before the board begins
the hearing on the protest. On receipt of an affidavit, the board
shall notify the chief appraiser. The chief appraiser may inspect
the affidavit and is entitled to a copy on request.
(b-1) An appraisal review board shall conduct a hearing on a
protest by telephone conference call or by videoconference, as
specified by the property owner at the owner’s election, if:
(1) the property owner notifies the board that the
property owner intends to appear by telephone conference call or
videoconference in the owner’s notice of protest or by written
notice filed with the board not later than the 10th day before the
date of the hearing; or
(2) the board proposes that the hearing be conducted
by telephone conference call or videoconference and the property
owner agrees to the hearing being conducted in that manner.
(b-2) If a property owner elects to have a hearing on a
protest conducted by telephone conference call or videoconference,
the appraisal review board shall:
(1) provide:
(A) a telephone number for the property owner to
call to participate in the hearing, if the hearing is to be
conducted by telephone conference call; or
(B) an Internet location or uniform resource
locator (URL) address for the property owner to use to participate
in the hearing, if the hearing is to be conducted by
videoconference; and
(2) hold the hearing in a location equipped with
[telephone] equipment that allows each board member and the other
parties to the protest who are present at the hearing to hear and,
if applicable, see the property owner offer argument.
(b-3) A property owner is responsible for providing access
to a hearing on a protest conducted by telephone conference call or
videoconference to another person that the owner invites to
participate in the hearing.
(b-4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section,
an appraisal review board is not required to conduct a hearing by
videoconference if the board:
(1) is established for a county with a population of
less than 100,000; and
(2) lacks the technological capability to conduct a
videoconference.
(n) A property owner does not waive the right to appear in
person at a protest hearing by submitting an affidavit to the
appraisal review board or by electing to appear by telephone
conference call or videoconference. The board may consider an
affidavit submitted under this section only if the property owner
does not appear in person at the hearing. For purposes of
scheduling the hearing, the property owner must state in the
affidavit that the property owner does not intend to appear at the
hearing or that the property owner intends to appear at the hearing
in person or by telephone conference call or videoconference and
that the affidavit may be used only if the property owner does not
appear at the hearing in person. If the property owner does not
state in the affidavit whether the owner intends to appear at the
hearing and has not elected to appear by telephone conference call
or videoconference, the board shall consider the submission of the
affidavit as an indication that the property owner does not intend
to appear at the hearing. If the property owner states in the
affidavit that the owner does not intend to appear at the hearing or
does not state in the affidavit whether the owner intends to appear
at the hearing and has not elected to appear by telephone conference
call or videoconference, the board is not required to consider the
affidavit at the scheduled hearing and may consider the affidavit
at a hearing designated for the specific purpose of processing
affidavits.
SECTION 2. The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
a protest under Chapter 41, Tax Code, for which a notice of protest
was filed by a property owner on or after the effective date of this
Act.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.

______________________________                               ______________________________
President of the Senate                                                              Speaker of the House

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1919 passed the Senate on
May 5, 2021, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.

______________________________
Secretary of the Senate

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1919 passed the House on
May 26, 2021, by the following vote: Yeas 147, Nays 0, two present
not voting.

______________________________
Chief Clerk of the House

Approved:

______________________________
Date

______________________________
Governor

Property Tax Protection Program™ Benefits

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