taxesProperty Tax Assistance

2020 Court Decisions and AG Opinions

Listed below are 2020 decisions and opinions concerning various property tax issues. The list does not include all opinions and decisions concerning property tax. The summaries are provided by the Comptroller's office as a public service intended solely as an informational resource. The summaries are not intended as substitutes for or interpretations of the opinions and decisions summarized and should not be relied upon as such. The information provided neither constitutes nor serves as a substitute for legal advice. Questions regarding the meaning or interpretation of any information included or referenced herein should, as appropriate or necessary, be directed to an attorney or other appropriate counsel.

Attorney General Opinions

Opinion No. KP-0283

Opinion No. KP-0283 (PDF)
(Jan. 2, 2020)

Re: Authority of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority to impose fees or to by election establish a taxing district to fund the replacement, operation, and maintenance of dams (RQ-0310-KP) (PDF)

The Attorney General set forth the following conclusion in his summary:

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority may establish and impose a fee on property owners whose land abuts the water resources controlled by the Authority for the unique services those landowners receive from the Authority, as long as the fee does not amount to a tax on those property owners.

The Authority's enabling legislation prohibits it from levying or collecting a tax. Thus, the Authority itself may not establish a taxing district to repair and maintain the dams. However, property owners may, with the requisite approval, establish a water control improvement district with taxing authority to raise revenue to fund repair of the dams. The district may contract with the Authority to perform repairs, and it may pay for the repairs using tax proceeds, provided the district imposes controls to ensure the funds are used for a public purpose of the district.

Opinion No. KP-0287

Opinion No. KP-0287 (PDF)
(Jan. 21, 2020)

Re: Voting entitlement of a taxing unit in the election of an appraisal district's board of directors under Tax Code Section 6.03(d) (RQ-0299-KP) (PDF)

The Attorney General set forth the following conclusion in his summary:

Tax Code section 6.031 authorizes a change to the voting entitlement of taxing units in the appointment of an appraisal district's board of directors. Under the transition provisions of House Bill 1010 from 2007, a court would likely conclude that House Bill 1010 invalidated any previously adopted alternative method for determining that voting entitlement.

The voting entitlement for the appointment of appraisal district directors should be determined by Tax Code Section 6.03(d), absent action taken under Tax Code Section 6.031 to change that method subsequent to House Bill 1010.

Opinion No. KP-0299

Opinion No. KP-0299 (PDF)
(April 13, 2020)

Re: Application of the temporary tax exemption for qualified property damaged by a disaster, as set forth in section 11.35(g) of the Tax Code (RQ-0345-KP) (PDF)

The Attorney General set forth the following conclusion in his summary:

Section 11.35 of the Tax Code creates a temporary tax exemption for qualified property damaged by a disaster, as declared by the Governor. A court would likely conclude that the Legislature intended to limit the temporary tax exemption to apply to property physically harmed as a result of a declared disaster. Thus, purely economic, non-physical damage to property caused by the COVID19 disaster is not eligible for the temporary tax exemption provided by section 11.35 of the Tax Code.

Opinion No. KP-0300

Opinion No. KP-0300
(April 22, 2020)

Re: Authority of a governmental body subject to Section 551.007 of the Government Code to regulate public comment sessions during open meetings (RQ-0313-KP) (PDF)

The Attorney General set forth the following conclusion in his summary:

Governmental bodies may comply with Government Code Section 551.007 by conducting one public comment session at the beginning of the meeting and may adopt reasonable rules to cap the total time given to each person who wishes to testify.

Opinion No. KP-0307

Opinion No. KP-0307 (PDF)
(May 8, 2020)

Re: Procedures for conducting appraisal review board hearings during the COVID-19 disaster (RQ-0351-KP) (PDF)

The Attorney General set forth the following conclusion in his summary:

Tax Code subsection 41.45(o) and 34 Texas Administrative Code subsection 9.805(d) do not allow appraisal review boards to require protest hearings to be conducted by videoconference in lieu of in-person hearings when requested by a property owner.

Opinion No. KP-0319

Opinion No. KP-0319 (PDF)
(July 1, 2020)

Re: Authority of the Jackson County County-Wide Drainage District to set a tax rate and to levy and collect taxes without commissioners court approval (RQ-0328-KP) (PDF)

The Attorney General set forth the following conclusion in his summary:

Absent an election granting it authority, the Jackson County County-Wide Drainage District does not possess authority to levy, set the rate, and collect a flood control tax.

Opinion No. KP-0326

Opinion No. KP-0326 (PDF)
(Aug. 10, 2020)

Re: Whether subsection 2054.5191(a-1) of the Government Code requires a member of the board of directors of an appraisal district to complete certified cybersecurity training (RQ-0332-KP) (PDF)

The Attorney General set forth the following conclusion in his summary:

A court would likely conclude that appraisal district board members are appointed and are not required to complete the certified cybersecurity training program it mandated by Government Code subsection 2054.5191(a-1).

Opinion No. KP-0329

Opinion No. KP-0329 (PDF)
(Aug. 25, 2020)

Re: Whether an employee of an appraisal district may serve as a trustee of an independent school district that is a participating taxing unit of the appraisal district under section 6.054 of the Tax Code (RQ-0335-KP) (PDF)

The Attorney General set forth the following conclusion in his summary:

Tax Code Section 6.054 prohibits an appraisal district employee from also serving as trustee on the board of an independent school district that is a participating taxing entity in the appraisal district.