When you pay your property taxes, it’s important to be aware of who works behind the scenes. You might have heard about the comptroller but never knew what their exact line of work is.

In this article, we will discuss what a comptroller’s duties are. We’ll explain how a comptroller handles property values like school districts.

You don’t have to be in the Texas retail business to know what a comptroller’s office does. Read on below to uncover the mystery.

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Scope of Duties of the Comptroller According to the Reformed Texas Tax Code

On the Government Code 403.302, the comptroller has control on school district property values. One of which is to conduct a study on the taxable value property of each school district.

  • The study needs to use comparable sales to get the results. The study should make use of generally accepted auditing and sampling techniques
  • The comptroller has to make sure the study determines the taxable value of all property. The land is considered qualified for appraisal depending on its productive value. Its productive capacity should also be in consideration.
  • Also, the study needs to determine the taxable value of each property within the district. The property owner needs to apply for productivity appraisal to qualify.
  • It is also the responsibility of the comptroller to make needed adjustments in the study. The changes should reflect what the Chapter 41, Education Code, states.

The study conducted by the comptroller needs to

  • Happen at least every two years. The implementation of this should be in each district. The validity of the most recent study is “determined” by the comptroller. It is the comptroller who decides if the local value is valid basing from the recent study.
  • Decide if the district’s local value is invalid. This is by going through the most recent study which is also determined by the comptroller.

If the comptroller does not conduct a study for the year, the present year’s local value is being deemed valid.

In each school district property, the comptroller determines the taxable value by doing the following:

  • Make use of the right samples. These samples should result from generally accepted sampling techniques.
  • Use generally accepted standard valuation as a basis for the results. The comptroller also needs to use analysis techniques and statistical compilation.
  • Consider various levels in the appraisal. This affects sold and unsold properties. The results will not change or affect the results of the study.
  • Ensure that the different levels of the appraisal will undergo proper under alteration. The appraisal levels should come from Section 41.43, of the Texas Tax Code.

If the study is valid by the comptroller’s standards, it will be the basis for the school district’s value. Without basis, the comptroller determines the state value of the school district. An exception happens when the local value exceeds the state value.

The comptroller should also use a margin of error (not exceeding 5%). This is the case unless the size of the property samples is being used to determine the value. In some cases, the comptroller has to resort to using a larger margin of error.

How a Comptroller Can Adjust the Property’s Taxable Value

For school districts with a population of 9,000 or less and a total area of 6,000 square miles, a tax year study is in need. If the comptroller finds it invalid, he/she can adjust the taxable value.

The alteration on taxable value needs to be

  • sampled and tested by the weighted mean appraisal ratio,
  • checked by the category weighted mean appraisal ratio, and
  • examined through value estimates.

Taxable value is equal to the market value of all taxable property minus:

  • The total dollar amount of any residential homestead exemptions
  • One-half of the total amount of any residential homestead exemptions
  • The total dollar amount any exemptions granted before May 31st of the year 1993
  • The total dollar amount of any appraised property value:
  • Within a reinvestment zone
  • That generates taxes
  • That is eligible for tax increment
  • The total dollar amount of any exemptions under the Tax Code Sections 11.251 or 11.253
  • Estimated market value and productivity value of the property. These should qualify for appraisal and should not exceed the land’s market value.
  • Part of the residence homesteads appraised value
  • Property owners should receive tax limitations
  • Part of the property market value
  • Market value of all tangible personal properties
  • The appraised value of the property. This includes the collection of delinquent taxes.
  • Part of the appraised property value with the collection of delinquent taxes
  • The amount where the property market value exceeds the appraised property value

This is the main overview of a comptroller’s duties in school property districts. For a more in-depth discussion, you can always ask the help of tax property experts. It helps to know about the status of school district properties in your area.


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