Tax Code Section 5.041(f) prohibits the Comptroller's office from advising a property owner, a property owner's agent, or the chief appraiser or another appraisal district employee on a matter that the Comptroller's office knows is the subject of a protest to the ARB. The Comptroller's office may, however, provide advice to an ARB member as authorized by Tax Code Sections 5.041(a)(4) or 5.103 and may communicate with the ARB chairman or a taxpayer liaison officer concerning a complaint filed under Tax Code Section 6.052.
The Comptroller's office now has a toll-free line dedicated to serving ARB members. Please call 1-800-252-7551 if you need assistance regarding technical questions relating to the duties and responsibilities of ARB members and property appraisal issues.
Tax Code Section 6.41(d) requires the appraisal district board of directors to appoint ARB members in counties with a population less than 120,000. The appraisal district board of directors determines the number of ARB members to serve on the ARB, with a statutory minimum of three members.
In counties with a population of 120,000 or more, Tax Code Section 6.41(d-1) requires the local administrative district judge (the judge) to appoint the ARB members, including enough ARB members to fill each special panel.
Tax Code Section 6.41(b-2) requires appraisal district boards of directors in counties with a population of 1 million or more to increase the number of ARB members to allow certain complex property protests to be referred to special ARB panels. Special panel ARB members must meet the following qualifications to be appointed to special ARB panels:
If an ARB needs special panel members but does not have enough qualified applicants, a special panel ARB member may be appointed who holds a bachelor's degree in any field.
Tax Code Section 6.425(b)(1) and (2) requires a property to meet two criteria to be eligible for a protest hearing in front of a special panel.
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Tax Code Section 5.103(a) requires the Comptroller's office to prepare model hearing procedures for ARBs. The model procedures are required to be followed, according to Tax Code Section 5.103(d), when an ARB establishes its hearing procedures.
The model hearing procedures address specific matters required by Tax Code Section 5.103. An ARB may include additional procedures in its local hearing procedures regarding legal and administrative matters that are not addressed by the model procedures. The local procedures, however, may not contradict, negate or otherwise substantively change the model procedures. ARBs should seek advice from legal counsel in establishing local hearing procedures.
In compliance with Tax Code Section 5.104, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts provides a survey as a reasonable opportunity for the following persons who attended appraisal review board (ARB) hearings to offer comments and suggestions concerning the ARB:
The survey is intended to capture information concerning the performance of ARB panels and full ARBs, but not the results of protest hearings. One survey should be completed per hearing conducted by a single ARB panel or the full ARB in a single day, whether concerning one account or several accounts and whether the accounts are related to the same property or not. Persons participating in protest hearings before the same ARB panel or full ARB on several days may complete one survey on each day. Persons participating in multiple protest hearings before different ARB panels are allowed to complete one survey for each panel in a single day.
Survey respondents may submit the surveys directly to the Comptroller's Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) and are no longer required to complete surveys at the appraisal district office.
Tax Code Section 6.052 requires appraisal districts in counties with populations of more than 120,000 to appoint taxpayer liaison officers.
The appraisal district board of directors appoints the taxpayer liaison officer, who serves at the pleasure of that board. Chief appraisers or other persons who perform appraisal or legal services for appraisal districts for compensation are not eligible to be taxpayer liaison officers.
The primary responsibilities for taxpayer liaison officers are to administer public access functions; resolve disputes; handle ARB complaints, comments and suggestions; provide public information; present reports to the board of directors; and assist the local administrative district law judge.
Taxpayer liaison officers may be called upon to assist ARBs in preparing local hearing procedures based on the Comptroller's model hearing procedures and Tax Code Section 6.052 requires taxpayer liaison officers to assist taxpayers, agents, and any member of the public with the Comptroller's ARB Survey.
Taxpayer liaison officers are responsible for receiving and compiling a list of comments and suggestions filed by chief appraisers, property owners or their agents concerning matters listed in the ARB's hearing procedures or any other matter related to the fairness and efficiency of the ARB. The taxpayer liaison officer must forward to the Comptroller's office all comments and suggestions received outside of the Comptroller's electronic ARB survey. The comments must be entered verbatim using the Comptroller's template.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 855, which requires state agencies to publish a list of the three most commonly used Web browsers on their websites. The Texas Comptroller’s most commonly used Web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.