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(a) This section applies only to persons who have agreed to serve as arbitrators under Chapter 41A.

(b) The comptroller shall:

(1) approve curricula and provide an arbitration manual and other materials for use in training and educating arbitrators;

(2) make all materials for use in training and educating arbitrators freely available online; and

(3) establish and supervise a training program on property tax law for the training and education of arbitrators.

(c) The training program must:

(1) emphasize the requirements regarding the equal and uniform appraisal of property; and

(2) be at least four hours in length.

(d) The training program may be provided online. The comptroller by rule may prescribe the manner by which the comptroller may verify that a person taking the training program online has taken and completed the program.

(e) The comptroller may contract with service providers to assist with the duties imposed under Subsection (b), but the training program may not be provided by an appraisal district, the chief appraiser or another employee of an appraisal district, a member of the board of directors of an appraisal district, a member of an appraisal review board, or a taxing unit. The comptroller may assess a fee to recover a portion of the costs incurred for the training program, but the fee may not exceed $50 for each person trained. If the training is provided to a person other than a person who has agreed to serve as an arbitrator under Chapter 41A, the comptroller may assess a fee not to exceed $50 for each person trained.

(f) The comptroller shall prepare an arbitration manual for use in the training program. The manual shall be updated regularly and may be revised on request, in writing, to the comptroller. The revised language must be approved by the unanimous agreement of a committee selected by the comptroller and representing, equally, taxpayers and chief appraisers. The person requesting the revision must pay the costs of mediation if the comptroller determines that mediation is required.

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 2), Sec. 8, eff. January 1, 2020.

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