Sec. 403.303. PROTEST. (a) A school district or a property owner whose property is included in the study under Section 403.302 and whose tax liability on the property is $100,000 or more may protest the comptroller’s findings under Section 403.302(g) or (h) by filing a petition with the comptroller. The petition must be filed not later than the 40th day after the date on which the comptroller’s findings are certified to the commissioner of education and must specify the grounds for objection and the value claimed to be correct by the school district or property owner.
(b) After receipt of a petition, the comptroller shall hold a hearing. The comptroller has the burden to prove the accuracy of the findings. Until a final decision is made by the comptroller, the taxable value of property in the district is determined, with respect to property subject to the protest, according to the value claimed by the school district or property owner, except that the value to be used while a final decision is pending may not be less than the appraisal roll value for the year of the study. If after a hearing the comptroller concludes that the findings should be changed, the comptroller shall order the appropriate changes and shall certify to the commissioner of education the changes in the values of the school district that brought the protest, the values of the school district named by the property owner who brought the protest, or, if the comptroller by rule allows an appraisal district to bring a protest, the values of the school district named by the appraisal district that brought the protest. The comptroller may not order a change in the values of a school district as a result of a protest brought by another school district, a property owner in the other school district, or an appraisal district that appraises property for the other school district. The comptroller shall complete all protest hearings and certify all changes as necessary to comply with Chapter 48, Education Code. A hearing conducted under this subsection is not a contested case for purposes of Section 2001.003.
(c) The comptroller shall adopt procedural rules governing the conduct of protest hearings. The rules shall provide each protesting school district and property owner with the requirements for submitting a petition initiating a protest and shall provide each protesting school district and property owner with adequate notice of a hearing, an opportunity to present evidence and oral argument, and notice of the comptroller’s decision on the hearing.
(d) A protesting school district may appeal a determination of a protest by the comptroller to a district court of Travis County by filing a petition with the court. An appeal must be filed not later than the 30th day after the date the school district receives notification of a final decision on a protest. Review is conducted by the court sitting without a jury. The court shall remand the determination to the comptroller if on the review the court discovers that substantial rights of the school district have been prejudiced, and that:
(1) the comptroller has acted arbitrarily and without regard to the facts; or
(2) the finding of the comptroller is not reasonably supported by substantial evidence introduced before the court.
(e) If, in a hearing under Subsection (b), the comptroller has not heard the case or read the record, the decision may not be made until a proposal for decision is served on each party and an opportunity to file exceptions is afforded to each party adversely affected. If exceptions are filed, an opportunity must be afforded to all other parties to file replies to the exceptions. The proposal for decision must contain a statement of the reasons for the proposed decision, prepared by the person who conducted the hearing or by a person who has read the record. The proposal for decision may be amended pursuant to the exceptions or replies submitted without again being served on the parties. The parties by written stipulation may waive compliance with this subsection. The comptroller may adopt rules to implement this subsection.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 26, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1040, Sec. 64, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 574, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 983, Sec. 11, eff. June 18, 1999.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 412 (S.B. 1652), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 3.075, eff. September 1, 2019.