Texas lawmakers have passed the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019. The Act, also known as SB2 (Senate Bill 2), is geared towards slowing the growth of rising property taxes, which have driven many Texans out of their homes.
SB2 changes the process of property tax appraisal and the way property tax rates are set. Among other things, it enforces limits on certain property tax increases, authorizes certain fees, and amends some processes related to the collection of property taxes.
One of the amendments introduced in SB2 is the addition of email as a delivery method for property tax notices sent to property owners.
Public notices on property tax
According to the Texas Comptroller, state law requires certain public notices to be sent out to inform taxpayers about their property taxes. One of these is the Notice of Appraised Value, which is sent by the Chief Appraiser to a property owner when the appraised value of his property has increased from the previous year.
The Tax Code requires officials or agencies delivering a notice to a property owner to use regular first-class mail with the postage already paid. Aside from the mailing of effective and rollback property tax rates to individual property owners, the Tax Code also requires certain taxing units to publish those rates.
The Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019 authorizes another delivery method for mail notices: electronic mail. Email is a more convenient and environmentally friendly method of sending and receiving notices. Here’s what you need to know about the delivery of email notices about property taxes:
Delivery of email notices
SB2 amends Section 1.07(a) of the Tax Code with the addition of Section 1.086 or “Delivery of Certain Notices by Email.”
This section says that a property owner can receive email notices from the Chief Appraiser of the appraisal district by sending a written request.
Notices that can be sent to the email address of the property owner include those about changes in property value and about the eligibility of the property for tax exemptions. Property owners can also receive email notices about the approval, denial, cancellation, and other changes in the status of the exemption or the application for exemption.
After the property owner has filed a request to receive notices via email, the Chief Appraiser must confirm the owner’s request by sending an email to the address given by the property owner.
If the property owner has opted to receive notices electronically, the Chief Appraiser is no longer required to mail hard copies of those notices to the property owner.
If the property owner no longer wishes to receive property tax notices via email, he or she needs to send a written revocation to the Chief Appraiser.
If the Chief Appraiser of an appraisal district maintains a website, it should include an electronic form that property owners can use to make requests for email notices electronically.
Confirmation of receipt
SB2 indicates that a property owner to which an email notice was sent has 30 days to confirm that the email has been received. If there is no confirmation of receipt by the 30th day after the date the email was sent, the Chief Appraiser will deliver the notice by first-class mail.
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