Actions Subject to Protest
Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights
The ARB can hear protests on any action taken by the ap praisal district or chief appraiser that adversely affects a property owner.276 A property owner can protest any of the following:
• reasonable and representative sample of other properties;
sample of properties consisting of a reasonable number of comparable other properties; or reasonable number of comparable properties appropri
ately adjusted.286 The determination of an unequal appraisal protest generally focuses on three key issues:
the property's value;277
• unequal appraisal;278
denial of exemptions;279
• denial or modification of a temporary disaster exemption
or a damage assessment rating;280 denial or change of special appraisal;281 errors in the appraisal record;282 failure to provide notice;283 or any other adverse action of the appraisal district, chief ap- praiser or ARB.284
1. Is the number of properties selected for the sample
reasonable?287 2. Are each of the properties in the sample comparable to
the subject property2288 3. Was the value of each comparable property appropriate
ly adjusted by reference to the subject property2289
Property Value This protest is typically based on the property owner's opin ion that the property's appraised value is above the market value or excessive. The evidence presented for an over-mar ket valuation protest may be sale prices of comparable prop erties in the area and other information, such as the condition of the property. For example, if the property is appraised at $105,000 and the property owner presents evidence indicat ing that the market value is $100,000, it is expected that the ARB would lower the appraised value to $100,000 because the $105,000 value is above market and excessive.
Denial of Exemptions If the chief appraiser denied the residence homestead exemp tion, the property owner should obtain evidence that he or she owned the home and used it as the principal residence.290 If the chief appraiser denied a residence homestead exemp tion for part of the land around the home, the property owner should show how much land is used as a residence.
If the chief appraiser denied an age 65 or older or disabled residence homestead exemption, disabled veteran exemption or other exemption, the property owner should read about the qualifications for exemptions and address them specifically in the protest.
Unequal Appraisal An unequal appraisal protest is based on the property own er's opinion that the property's appraised value is unequal compared to the value of similar properties. The evidence presented for an unequal appraisal, including the selection of comparable properties and the application of appropriate
Denial or Modification of a Temporary Disaster Exemption or a Damage Assessment Rating A property owner may protest the modification or denial of an application for a temporary disaster exemption.291
275 Tex. Tax Code $41.415(h) 276 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(a) 277 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(a)(1) 278 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(a)(2) 279 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(a)(4) 280 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(c)(1) and (2) 281 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(a)(5) and (8) 282 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(a)(3), (6) and (7) 283 Tex. Tax Code $41.411(a) 284 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(a)(9) 285 Tex. Tax Code $23.01(f) 286 Tex. Tax Code $41.43(b) 287 Sagemont Plaza v. Harris County Appraisal District, 30 S.W.3d 425,427 (Tex.App.– Corpus Christi, 2000, pet. denied) 288 Weingarten Realty Investors v. Harris County Appraisal District, 93 S.W.3d 280 (Tex.App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2002, no pet.) 289 Weingarten Realty Investors v. Harris County Appraisal District, 93 S.W.3d 280 (Tex.App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2002, no pet.) 290 Tex. Tax Code $11.13(j)(1) 291 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(c)(1) Texas Property Tax Basics – August 2022 19
To qualify for a temporary disaster exemption, a property must meet the requirements under Tax Code Section 11.35(a); be in an area that the governor declared to be a disaster area following a disaster; and be at least 15 percent damaged by the disaster.292
recognizes both the old and new owners as having an inter est in the property's taxes. If a property owner acquired the property after Jan. 1, he or she may protest its value if the protest is filed before the deadline 298
The appraisal records may show the property as located in one school district when it actually is in another. A property owner can protest the inclusion of property on the appraisal records if it should be taxed at another location in Texas.299
A property owner may also protest the determination of the appropriate damage assessment rating for property qualify ing for a temporary disaster exemption.293 The chief appraiser uses resources such as FEMA or the county emergency man agement authority to determine the percentage of disaster damage and assigns a damage assessment rating of Level I, II, III or IV based on the physical damage sustained by the property.294
Failure to Provide Required Notice A property owner has the right to protest if the chief apprais er or ARB fails to give the property owner any required tax notices.300
A property owner who believes he or she is not receiving all tax notices in a timely manner should contact the appraisal district to ensure that the appraisal district's records correctly reflect the property owner names for each property and mail ing address for all notices.
Denial or Change of Special Appraisal If the property owner protests the value of a farm or ranch that is qualified for special appraisal, he or she should find out how the appraisal district calculated the property's value and compare the appraisal district's information with that of other experts on agriculture, such as the county ag exten sion agent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture or other rec ognized ag sources. The Comptroller's Manual for the Ap praisal of Agricultural Land provides information about the general appraisal process for qualified ag land.
A property owner cannot protest a failure to give notice if the taxes on the property are delinquent. 301 Before the delin quency date, the property owner must pay a partial amount, usually the amount of taxes not in dispute.302 A property owner may ask the ARB to be excused from prepaying taxes; to do so, he or she must file an oath attesting to an inability to pay the taxes in question and argue that prepaying them would restrain his or her right to access to the ARB.303 The ARB will hold a hearing and decide the terms or conditions of payment.304
Find out why the chief appraiser denied the application. Spe cial appraisal laws have specific requirements for the prop erty to qualify. Provide evidence that the property is eligible for special appraisal based on its principal devotion to ag use, as well as the history and intensity of this use. 295
If the property owner has taken only part of the land out of ag use, he or she may need to show which parts still qualify.296 If the land has been let lie fallow, the property owner should show that the time it has been out of ag use is not excessive or is part of a typical crop or livestock rotation process for the county.297
Any Other Adverse Actions Property owners have the right to protest any appraisal dis trict action that applies to and adversely affects them.305 For example, the chief appraiser may claim the property was omitted from the appraisal roll and not taxed in a previous year.306 A property owner can protest only those actions that affect the property. 307
Errors in Appraisal Records Errors in appraisal records often are simply mistakes. The appraisal district may, for example, have failed to change a property's records, resulting in an incorrect owner.
292 Tex. Tax Code $11.35(a) 293 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(c)(2) 294 Tex. Tax Code $11.35(f) and (g) 295 Tex. Tax Code Ch. 23, Subchs., C, D, E or H 296 Tex. Tax Code $23.55(d) 297 Tex. Tax Code $23.51(1) and (2)
298 Tex. Tax Code $41.412(a) 299 Tex. Tax Code $41.42 300 Tex. Tax Code $41.411 301 Tex. Tax Code $41.411(c) 302 Tex. Tax Code $41.4115(b) 303 Tex. Tax Code $41.4115(d) 304 Tex. Tax Code $41.411(d) 305 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(a)(9) 306 Tex. Tax Code $25.21(a) 307 Tex. Tax Code $41.41(a)
The law refrain from using or offering as evidence information re- quested by the property owner that was not delivered to the property owner at least 14 days before the hearing. 364
Upon receipt of a completed request for LBA, the Comptrol ler's office will process the request and appoint an arbitrator to hear the dispute.373 Only arbitrators who are licensed at torneys may be appointed to hear an LBA case.374
A property owner cannot file a request for LBA unless he or she has first filed a protest and followed the local complaint resolution process.365
The appointed arbitrator will arrange for an LBA hearing. 375 Not later than 20 days after the hearing, the arbitrator will issue an award that includes a determination on whether the ARB or chief appraiser failed to comply with a procedural requirement as alleged in the request for LBA.376
The property owner must deliver written notice of an alleged violation of a procedural requirement to the ARB chair, chief appraiser and the taxpayer liaison officer by certified mail within five business days from the date the ARB or chief ap- praiser was required to comply with the requirement.366
The ARB chair or chief appraiser has 10 days to deliver a written statement to the property owner confirming they will comply with the procedural requirement or cure a failure to comply with the requirement.367
A determination that the ARB or chief appraiser failed to comply with a procedural requirement must direct the ARB or chief appraiser, as applicable, to comply with the proce dural requirement, or, if the protest hearing was held and the ARB issued an order of determination, direct the ARB to rescind the order and hold a new hearing on the protest that complies with the procedural requirement.377 The ARB or the chief appraiser, as soon as practicable after receiving notice of a determination, must take any action required to comply with the determination.378 The arbitrator's determination is final and cannot be appealed. 379
The ARB can cure an alleged failure to comply with a pro cedural requirement that occurred during an ARB hearing by rescinding the order determining the protest and schedul ing a new hearing on the protest.368 Failure to comply with a procedural requirement is not a ground for postponement of a hearing on a protest.369
If the ARB chair or chief appraiser does not provide the property owner with a statement of the intention to comply with the procedural requirement or cure a failure to comply with the procedural requirement, the property owner may file a request for LBA with the Comptroller's office no earlier than the 11th day and no later than the 30th day after de livering notice of the alleged procedural violation the to the ARB chair, chief appraiser, and taxpayer liaison officer.370 The request must be submitted on the form prescribed by the Comptroller's office and include a required deposit ranging from $450 to $550 based on the property type and value. 371
If the arbitrator determines that the ARB or chief appraiser failed to comply with the procedural requirement, the ap praisal district must pay the arbitrator's fee and the deposit will be refunded to the property owner, less the Comptrol ler's $50 administrative fee.380 If the arbitrator determines that the ARB or chief appraiser complied with the procedural requirement, the Comptroller's office pays the arbitrator's fee from the property owner's deposit.381
An LBA determination does not affect the property owner's right to appeal the final ARB order of determination to dis trict court or to pursue any other statutory remedy available to the property owner.382
364 Tex. Tax Code $41A.015(a) 365 Tex. Tax Code $414.015(a) 366 Tex. Tax Code $414.015(b)(1) 367 Tex. Tax Code $41A.015(b)(2) 368 Tex. Tax Code $414.015(c) 369 Tex. Tax Code $414.015(c) 370 Tex. Tax Code $41A.015(d) 371 Tex. Tax Code $414.015(e) 372 Tex. Tax Code $41A.015(0) 373 Tex. Tax Code $41.015(g) 374 Tex. Tax Code $41A.015(p) 375 Tex. Tax Code $41A.08(a) 376 Tex. Tax Code $$414.015(1)(1) and 414.09(a) 377 Tex. Tax Code $41A.015(j)(2) 378 Tex. Tax Code $414.015(m) 379 Tex. Tax Code $41A.015(j)(4) 380 Tex. Tax Code $414.015(k) 381 Tex. Tax Code $41A.015(1)(1) 382 Tex. Tax Code $41A.015(n)