Lawmakers in Texas have voted to pass SB2 (Senate Bill 2) or the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, giving property owners hope for much-needed tax relief.

SB2 includes amendments on property tax appraisals and property tax rate-setting. It puts a cap on certain tax rate increases and introduces rules on electronic communication between property owners and the appraisal district. It also sets out the roles of the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board.

What does the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board do?

Section 5.01, an amendment to the Tax Code, indicates that the Comptroller is tasked with appointing the members of the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board. The board’s main task is to advise the Comptroller on issues related to property taxation in the state and management of the appraisal districts.

The Property Tax Administration Advisory Board can make recommendations to the Texas Comptroller on how to improve the property tax system. These include best practices, conflict resolution, and other key issues.

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What are the roles of the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board?

According to the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board shall be composed of a minimum of six members. All of them will be appointed by the Comptroller.

The Property Tax Administration Advisory Board members will be representatives of the property tax payers, the assessors, the appraisal districts, and the school districts. There will also be one board member who is knowledgeable in ratio studies.

The members of the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board will assist the Comptroller in conducting key studies as outlined by SB2.

The Comptroller is tasked with conducting a review of the management of each appraisal district. This review must be conducted at least every two years. It will look into how each district provides assistance to taxpayers and will determine compliance with established operating standards and procedures.

The Comptroller will consult with the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board to establish standards, procedures, and methodologies for the conduct and scoring of the review.

The appointment of a board member with experience in ratio studies will enable the Comptroller to conduct a study determining the degree of uniformity and the median level of appraisals in each appraisal district. As outlined in SB2, this study, which must also be conducted every two years, must include every major category of property in each appraisal district.

The Comptroller is also tasked with publishing a report of the findings of this study. These findings should include the median levels of appraisal for each property category, the coefficient of dispersion, and any other pertinent statistical measures that the Comptroller considers appropriate for the study. The ratio study will be distributed to all the members of the legislature, as well as to all the appraisal districts.

Apart from assisting the Comptroller in conducting these two important studies, the members of the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board shall serve at the pleasure of the Texas Comptroller. Any advice provided by a member of the board must be provided during a meeting convened by the Comptroller.

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