The Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019 or SB2 (Senate Bill 2), which is aimed at providing Texas property owners long-awaited tax relief, was recently passed. The bill includes numerous amendments that outline changes to the property appraisal process and the way property tax rates are determined.

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With SB2, the Tax Code was amended to include special districts in the Biennial Property Tax Report. It also redefines the roles and responsibilities of the Comptroller in the preparation and publication of the report.

Property tax reports and surveys

According to the Tax Code, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is responsible for preparing and administering surveys and issuing reports interpreting the data gathered and interpreted through those surveys. The Comptroller is also responsible for compiling the information provided by property owners, appraisal districts, and taxing units, and publishing the information electronically on the website of the Comptroller’s office.

One of these reports is the Biennial Property Tax Report. Here’s what you need to know about the report:

The roles and responsibilities of the Comptroller

Section 5.09 of the Tax Code says that the Comptroller is tasked with preparing a biennial report detailing the total appraised values and taxable values of all taxable property. These values are organized by property category and by the tax rates of each municipality, county, special district, and special district. The values collected are those in effect for the two years before the year in which the biennial report is being prepared.

The Comptroller is in charge of determining the format used by the appraisal district or taxing unit in submitting the information that will be used for the Biennial Property Tax Report. The Comptroller is also tasked with collecting and reviewing the information submitted from each county, municipality, school district, and special district.

The Biennial Property Tax Report is to be published not later than December 31 of every even-numbered year. The Comptroller is responsible for publishing the report on the website of the office of the Comptroller and for notifying the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the members of the legislature that the biennial report is already available on the website.

The Comptroller is only responsible for compiling and publishing the data that was received. The office of the Comptroller is not responsible for the accuracy of the information that was provided.

What information is included in the biennial report?

The goal of the Biennial Property Tax Report is to assist taxpayers, tax assessor-collectors, appraisal districts, appraisal review boards, and elected officials in the management of property taxes. It does this by providing valuable data, which includes property tax rates and property value information for the two tax years preceding the date of publication.

It includes such information as tax revenue in the state by source, percent of taxable value by property category, property taxes reported by type of taxing unit, and the market value vs. taxable value of different types of properties. It also includes the five basic rules for property taxes and offers a comprehensive look at appraisal district operations.

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