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 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.
Tax Code Section 5.103(e) directs the Comptroller of Public Accounts to develop a survey for the purpose of providing the public with a reasonable opportunity to offer comments and suggestions concerning procedures used by an ARB in conducting a hearing and the fairness and efficiency of the ARB.
The Comptroller's office has developed an electronic survey that is administered locally by each appraisal district office. Property owners may complete the survey at their local appraisal district office.
Tax Code Section 5.103(f) requires the Comptroller's office to issue an annual report summarizing the comments and suggestions received from property owners.
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.