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Section 41.45

HEARING ON PROTEST.

(a) On the filing of a notice as required by Section 41.44, the appraisal review board shall schedule a hearing on the protest. The appraisal review board shall schedule the hearing to be held as soon as practicable but not later than the 90th day after the date the board approves the appraisal records as provided by Section 41.12. If more than one protest is filed relating to the same property, the appraisal review board shall schedule a single hearing on all timely filed protests relating to the property. A hearing for a property that is owned in undivided or fractional interests, including separate interests in a mineral in place, shall be scheduled to provide for participation by all owners who have timely filed a protest.

(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.

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 965 (S.B. 1919), Sec. 1

(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.

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 644 (H.B. 988), Sec. 17

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2022

(b-1) An appraisal review board shall conduct a hearing on a protest by telephone conference call if the property owner notifies the board that the property owner intends to appear by telephone conference call 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.

(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 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.

Text of subsection as added by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 965 (S.B. 1919), Sec. 1

(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.

Text of subsection as added by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 644 (H.B. 988), Sec. 17

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2022

(b-4) An appraisal review board shall sit in a single-member panel to conduct a protest hearing under this section if the property owner requests that the hearing be conducted by a single-member panel:

(1) in the notice of protest; or

(2) in writing submitted to the board not later than the 10th day before the date of the hearing.

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2022

(b-5) If the recommendation of a single-member panel that conducts a hearing under Subsection (b-4) is not accepted by the appraisal review board, the board may refer the matter for rehearing to a single-member panel composed of a member who did not hear the original protest or the board may determine the protest.

(c) The chief appraiser shall appear at each protest hearing before the appraisal review board to represent the appraisal office.

Text of subsection effective until January 01, 2022

(d) This subsection does not apply to a special panel established under Section 6.425. An appraisal review board consisting of more than three members may sit in panels of not fewer than three members to conduct protest hearings. If the recommendation of a panel is not accepted by the board, the board may refer the matter for rehearing to a panel composed of members who did not hear the original protest or, if there are not at least three members who did not hear the original protest, the board may determine the protest.

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2022

(d) This subsection does not apply to a single-member panel established under Subsection (b-4) of this section or a special panel established under Section 6.425. An appraisal review board consisting of more than three members may sit in panels of not fewer than three members to conduct protest hearings. If the recommendation of a panel is not accepted by the board, the board may refer the matter for rehearing to a panel composed of members who did not hear the original protest or, if there are not at least three members who did not hear the original protest, the board may determine the protest.

(d-1) An appraisal review board to which Section 6.425 applies shall sit in special panels established under that section to conduct protest hearings. A special panel may conduct a protest hearing relating to property only if the property is described by Section 6.425(b) and the property owner has requested that a special panel conduct the hearing or if the protest is assigned to the special panel under Section 6.425(f). If the recommendation of a special panel is not accepted by the board, the board may refer the matter for rehearing to another special panel composed of members who did not hear the original protest or, if there are not at least three other special panel members who did not hear the original protest, the board may determine the protest.

Text of subsection effective until January 01, 2022

(d-2) The determination of a protest heard by a panel under Subsection (d) or (d-1) must be made by the board.

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2022

(d-2) The determination of a protest heard by a panel under Subsection (b-4), (d), or (d-1) must be made by the board.

Text of subsection effective until January 01, 2022

(d-3) The board must deliver notice of a hearing or meeting to determine a protest heard by a panel, or to rehear a protest, under Subsection (d) or (d-1) in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2022

(d-3) The board must deliver notice of a hearing or meeting to determine a protest heard by a panel, or to rehear a protest, under Subsection (b-4), (d), or (d-1) in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.

(e) On request made to the appraisal review board before the date of the hearing, a property owner who has not designated an agent under Section 1.111 to represent the owner at the hearing is entitled to one postponement of the hearing to a later date without showing cause. In addition and without limitation as to the number of postponements, the board shall postpone the hearing to a later date if the property owner or the owner’s agent at any time shows good cause for the postponement or if the chief appraiser consents to the postponement. The hearing may not be postponed to a date less than five or more than 30 days after the date scheduled for the hearing when the postponement is sought unless the date and time of the hearing as postponed are agreed to by the chairman of the appraisal review board or the chairman’s representative, the property owner, and the chief appraiser. A request by a property owner for a postponement under this subsection may be made in writing, including by facsimile transmission or electronic mail, by telephone, or in person to the appraisal review board, a panel of the board, or the chairman of the board. The chairman or the chairman’s representative may take action on a postponement under this subsection without the necessity of action by the full board if the hearing for which the postponement is requested is scheduled to occur before the next regular meeting of the board. The granting by the appraisal review board, the chairman, or the chairman’s representative of a postponement under this subsection does not require the delivery of additional written notice to the property owner.

(e-1) A property owner or a person designated by the property owner as the owner’s agent to represent the owner at the hearing who fails to appear at the hearing is entitled to a new hearing if the property owner or the owner’s agent files, not later than the fourth day after the date the hearing occurred, a written statement with the appraisal review board showing good cause for the failure to appear and requesting a new hearing.

(e-2) For purposes of Subsections (e) and (e-1), “good cause” means a reason that includes an error or mistake that:

(1) was not intentional or the result of conscious indifference; and

(2) will not cause undue delay or other injury to the person authorized to extend the deadline or grant a rescheduling.

(f) A property owner who has been denied a hearing to which the property owner is entitled under this chapter may bring suit against the appraisal review board by filing a petition or application in district court to compel the board to provide the hearing. If the property owner is entitled to the hearing, the court shall order the hearing to be held and may award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the property owner.

(g) In addition to the grounds for a postponement under Subsection (e), the board shall postpone the hearing to a later date if:

(1) the owner of the property or the owner’s agent is also scheduled to appear at a hearing on a protest filed with the appraisal review board of another appraisal district;

(2) the hearing before the other appraisal review board is scheduled to occur on the same date as the hearing set by the appraisal review board from which the postponement is sought;

(3) the notice of hearing delivered to the property owner or the owner’s agent by the other appraisal review board bears an earlier postmark than the notice of hearing delivered by the board from which the postponement is sought or, if the date of the postmark is identical, the property owner or agent has not requested a postponement of the other hearing; and

(4) the property owner or the owner’s agent includes with the request for a postponement a copy of the notice of hearing delivered to the property owner or the owner’s agent by the other appraisal review board.

(h) Before the hearing on a protest or immediately after the hearing begins, the chief appraiser and the property owner or the owner’s agent shall each provide the other with a copy of any written material or material preserved on a portable device designed to maintain a reproduction of a document or image that the person intends to offer or submit to the appraisal review board at the hearing. Each person must provide the copy of material in the manner and form prescribed by comptroller rule.

(i) To be valid, an affidavit offered under Subsection (b) must be attested to before an officer authorized to administer oaths and include:

(1) the name of the property owner initiating the protest;

(2) a description of the property that is the subject of the protest; and

(3) evidence or argument.

(j) A statement from the property owner that specifies the determination or other action of the chief appraiser, appraisal district, or appraisal review board relating to the subject property from which the property owner seeks relief constitutes sufficient argument under Subsection (i).

(k) The comptroller shall prescribe a standard form for an affidavit offered under Subsection (b). Each appraisal district shall make copies of the affidavit form available to property owners without charge.

(l) A property owner is not required to use the affidavit form prescribed by the comptroller when offering an affidavit under Subsection (b).

(m) If the protest relates to a taxable leasehold or other possessory interest in real property that is owned by this state or a political subdivision of this state, the attorney general or a representative of the state agency that owns the land, if the real property is owned by this state, or a person designated by the political subdivision that owns the real property, as applicable, is entitled to appear at the hearing and offer evidence and argument.

(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.

(o) If the chief appraiser uses audiovisual equipment at a hearing on a protest, the appraisal office shall provide audiovisual equipment of the same general type, kind, and character, as prescribed by comptroller rule, for use during the hearing by the property owner or the property owner’s agent.

(p) The comptroller by rule shall prescribe:

(1) the manner and form, including security requirements, in which a person must provide a copy of material under Subsection (h), which must allow the appraisal review board to retain the material as part of the board’s hearing record; and

(2) specifications for the audiovisual equipment provided by an appraisal district for use by a property owner or the property owner’s agent under Subsection (o).

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2306, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 171, ch. 13, Sec. 138, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 794, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 796, Sec. 37; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 836, Sec. 3.1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 828, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1039, Sec. 38, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 416, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 463, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(99), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 626 (H.B. 538), Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2008.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1267 (H.B. 1030), Sec. 4, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 771 (H.B. 1887), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 924 (S.B. 1546), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1259 (H.B. 585), Sec. 21, eff. January 1, 2014.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1201 (S.B. 1394), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2016.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (H.B. 455), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 744 (S.B. 1286), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 2), Sec. 62, eff. September 1, 2020.

Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 533 (S.B. 63), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2021.

Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 644 (H.B. 988), Sec. 17, eff. January 1, 2022.

Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 965 (S.B. 1919), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2021.

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