The Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, also known as SB2 (Senate Bill 2), introduced several amendments to the existing Tax Code that will place limits on certain tax increases and improve the process of property tax assessment. SB2 also added a new section about residential property owner assistance and the Chief Appraiser’s role in making it available to property tax owners. Here’s what it says:

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Chief Appraiser’s list

According to Section 6.16 of the Tax Code, the Chief Appraiser may maintain a list of the individuals who have taken it upon themselves to provide free assistance to residential property owners. The assistance will be offered to those residential property owners who are occupying their property as their principal residence.

The individuals to be included in the Chief Appraiser’s list are:

  1. A licensed real estate broker or a sales agent,
  2. A licensed or certified real estate appraiser, and
  3. A registered property tax consultant

Eligibility requirements for a real estate broker

The amendment specifies that the real estate broker included in the Chief Appraiser’s list must be one who is licensed under the requirements in the state’s Occupations Code.

According to the Occupations Code, licenses for real estate brokers are only granted to applicants who:

  1. have had active experience as a license holder in the state of Texas in the four years before the 60 months preceding the date the application was filed, and
  2. have had a minimum of 60 semester hours of postsecondary education, which must include at least 10 semester hours of qualifying real estate courses. Two of those hours must have been on a real estate brokerage course that was completed two years or fewer before the application was filed. At least 42 of those hours must be of qualifying real estate or related courses approved by the Texas Real Estate Commission.

Eligibility requirements for a real estate sales agent

The Occupations Code says that a person seeking a sales agent license must provide evidence that he or she has finished a minimum of 12 semester hours of postsecondary education. At least four of those hours must be on principles of real estate. There must also be at least two hours each of contract law, agency law, real estate finance, and contract forms and addendums.

Eligibility requirements for a real estate appraiser

The Occupations Code also specifies the requirements needed for an individual to get a license or a certificate as a real estate appraiser. An applicant must

  1. have passed the appraiser examination from the Appraiser Qualifications Board
  2. complete the educational qualifications or number of classroom hours required by the Board,
  3. prove that he or she has the minimum number of hours of appraisal work required by the Board,
  4. prove that he or she is honest and trustworthy, and
  5. disclose his or her criminal history and other required information.

Eligibility requirements for a property tax consultant

To be registered as a property tax consultant in the state of Texas, an applicant must

  1. complete a minimum of 40 hours of educational courses determined by the executive director, which must include at least four hours on laws and legal issues related to property tax consultation in the state;
  2. pass a competency exam, and
  3. prove that he or she has completed at least four classroom courses or programs on property tax consultation.

The Chief Appraiser’s responsibilities aboutthe list

The Chief Appraiser must maintain the list and furnish property owners a copy upon request. The list must be available on the website of the appraisal district. It must be organized by county and must contain the name, job title, and contact details of each person who will provide free residential property assistance.

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