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Property Tax Fiduciary 1.11

Section 5.041 – Training of Appraisal Review Board Members

Appraisal review board hearings are a crucial component of the Texas property tax system. The complete appraisal review board (ARB) typically consists of 10 to 100 members. However, property tax protests are typically heard by a panel of three appraisal review board members, These three ARB members hear evidence presented by the property tax owner (or his property tax consultant) and the appraisal district; they then make a decision.

Appraisal review board members make complex decisions regarding what evidence is lawful, valuation of real estate, unequal appraisal of property, credibility of evidence and burden of proof. Texas law requires a course for new appraisal review board members. However, the meaningful training is provided as they begin hearing appeals (by other appraisal review board members).

The writer has attended the eight-hour training course for appraisal review board members several times. The content is good, but limited. In eight hours, comptroller staff attempt to train new appraisal review board members regarding Texas property tax law, real estate appraisal and property tax hearing procedures.

Eight hours is an inadequate amount of time to address any of these issues, with possible exception of hearing procedures. Eight hours is clearly an inadequate amount of time to address appraisal of real estate, business personal property and minerals. By not providing an adequate amount of time to address the relevant topics, the Texas Comptroller is effectively delegating training (assigned to them by law) to incumbent appraisal review board members.

While the writer believes the vast majority of appraisal review board members have good intentions, their actions are inappropriately biased in favor of the appraisal district in many cases. Delegating training to incumbent appraisal review board members tends to perpetuate unlawful behavior which undermines the credibility of the Texas property tax system.

Sec. 5.041. Training of Appraisal Review Board Members

(a) The comptroller shall:

(1) approve curricula and provide materials for use in training and educating members of an appraisal review board; and

(2) supervise a course for training and education of appraisal review board members and issue certificates indicating course completion.

(b) A member of the appraisal review board established for an appraisal district must complete the course established under Subsection (a). A member of the appraisal review board may not participate in a hearing conducted by the board unless the person has completed the course established under Subsection (a) and received a certificate of course completion.

(c) The comptroller may contract with service providers to assist with the duties imposed under Subsection (a), but the course required may not be provided by an appraisal district or a taxing unit. The comptroller may assess a fee to recover a portion of the costs incurred for the training course, but the fee may not exceed $50 per person trained.

(d) The course material for the course required under Subsection (a) is the comptroller’s Appraisal Review Board Manual in use on the effective date of this section. The manual shall be updated regularly. It may be revised on request, in writing, to the comptroller. The revision language must be approved on the unanimous agreement of a committee selected by the comptroller and representing, equally, taxpayers and chief appraisers. The person requesting the revision shall pay the costs of mediation if the comptroller determines that mediation is required.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection (b), an appraisal review board member appointed after a course offering may continue to serve until the completion of the subsequent course offering.

(f) The comptroller may not advise a property owner, a property owner’s agent, an appraisal district, or an appraisal review board on a matter that the comptroller knows is the subject of a protest to the appraisal review board.

Added by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 2312, ch. 691, Sec. 1.

Cross References:
Hearing on protest, see Sec. 41.45.
Hearing procedures, see Sec. 41.66.

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

  • Thorndale
  • DeSoto
  • The Colony
  • Jacinto City
  • Ferris
  • Hickory Creek
  • Holiday Lakes
  • Webberville
  • Hitchcock
  • Angleton
  • Sugar Valley
  • Hurst
  • Blue Ridge
  • Old Brazoria
  • Timberwood Park
  • Hackberry
  • Briarcliff
  • Danbury
  • Onion Creek
  • Cedar Hill

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

  • Night club
  • Health spa
  • Office building
  • Veterinary clinic
  • Airplane hangar
  • Community shopping center
  • Manufacturing/processing
  • Discount store
  • Office warehouse
  • Daycare center

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

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