taxes Property Tax Assistance

Limited Binding Arbitration

Important Information: Senate Bill 2355 from the 88th Regular Legislative Session made changes to Tax Code Chapter 41A relating to binding arbitration. These changes allow our office to implement an online process for limited binding arbitration (LBA) and manage an online arbitrator registry. The Property Tax Arbitration System (PTAS) will be available in mid-2024 and more information about using PTAS will be released in the coming months. Until the online system becomes available, arbitration filings will follow the current process.

House Bill 4101 from the 88th Regular Legislative Session amended one of the reasons for filing for LBA and is effective for Tax Code Chapter 41 protests filed on or after Jan. 1, 2024. The updated Request for LBA (PDF) will be available prior to the 2024 protest season.


Tax Code Section 41A.015 gives property owners meeting certain criteria the option to request limited binding arbitration (LBA) to compel the appraisal review board (ARB) or the chief appraiser, as appropriate, to:

  • rescind procedural rules adopted by the ARB that are not in compliance with the model hearing procedures prepared by the comptroller;
  • schedule a hearing on a protest as required by law;
  • deliver a copy of the Taxpayer Remedies publication, the ARB hearing procedures or information on a property owner's right to request evidence the chief appraiser will introduce at the ARB hearing at least 14 days before the scheduled hearing;
  • allow the property owner to offer evidence, examine or cross-examine witnesses or other parties, and present arguments;
  • set a hearing for a time and date certain and postpone a hearing that does not begin within two hours of the scheduled time;
  • schedule hearings on protests concerning multiple properties identified in the same notice of protest on the same day at the request of the property owner or the property owner’s designated agent; or
  • refrain from using or offering as evidence information requested by the property owner that was not delivered to the property owner at least 14 days before the hearing.

The Comptroller's office is responsible for maintaining the Arbitrator Registry, processing requests, remitting payment to the arbitrator when appropriate and refunding any portion of the property owner's deposit (PDF) as applicable, but is prohibited from giving advice or direction on a matter relating to a pending arbitration.

Property owners are encouraged to read and be familiar with Tax Code Chapter 41A and Comptroller Rules relating to LBA.


Qualification Prior to Filing

A property owner may not request LBA unless:

  • The property owner has filed a notice of protest on the property for the tax year.
  • The property owner has delivered written notice to the chairman of the ARB, the chief appraiser, and the taxpayer liaison officer for the applicable appraisal district of the procedural requirement with which the property owner alleges the ARB or chief appraiser failed to comply on or before the fifth business day after the date the ARB or chief appraiser was required to comply with the requirement. This notice must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • The chairman of the ARB or chief appraiser, as applicable, fails to deliver to the property owner on or before the 10th day after the date the notice is delivered a written statement confirming that the ARB or chief appraiser will comply with the requirement or cure a failure to comply with the requirement.
Filing Process

Not earlier than 11 days or later than 30 days after the date the property owner delivers the required notice described above, a property owner must file Form AP-241, Request for Limited Binding Arbitration (PDF) together with the required deposit (PDF) with the Comptroller’s office at the following address:

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Attention: Arbitration
111 E. 17th Street, 4th Floor
Austin, Texas 78774

A property owner may file a single LBA request that covers more than one property, more than one protest hearing or more than one procedural violation. The deposit (PDF) amount is computed based on the single property that would have required the largest deposit if filed separately.

Arbitrator Appointment and Hearing

Once the arbitration has been processed, the Comptroller's office will appoint an arbitrator to hear the dispute. Only arbitrators who are licensed attorneys may be appointed to LBA cases.

The arbitrator is responsible for working with the parties to set the date, time and location of the hearing.

More information about arbitrator qualification, the assignment process and the scheduling of hearings can be found on the Arbitrator Registry and Duties webpage.

At the conclusion of the hearing the arbitrator must determine if the ARB or chief appraiser failed to comply with one or more of the procedural requirements indicated in the request. If the arbitrator determines the ARB or chief appraiser failed to comply, the ARB or chief appraiser must comply with the requirement or, if a hearing has already been held and determined on the protest, the ARB must rescind the ARB order and hold a new hearing that complies with the procedural requirement.

If an arbitrator determines the ARB or chief appraiser failed to comply with one or more procedural requirements indicated in the LBA request, the property owner's deposit will be refunded, minus a $50 administrative fee retained by the Comptroller's office and the appraisal district will pay the arbitrator's fee as indicated on the determination form. If an arbitrator determines the ARB or chief appraiser complied with the procedural requirements indicated in the LBA request, the property owner's deposit will be used to pay the arbitrator's fee as indicated on the determination form.

Dismissal

Arbitrators are required by law to dismiss all LBA requests they determine do not meet the requirements of the law. In the event that a case is dismissed, other than when there are delinquent taxes on the property, the arbitrator may charge up to the total allowable fee and the property owner may not receive a refund of their deposit. LBA requests are required to be dismissed for the following reasons:

  • The owner or agent did not file a notice of protest under Chapter 41.
  • Taxes on the subject property are delinquent for any prior year or were not paid before the delinquency date.
  • The owner or agent has not delivered written notice to the ARB chair, the chief appraiser and the taxpayer liaison officer as required by Tax Code Section 41A.015(b)(1).
  • The owner filed the LBA request earlier than the 11th day or later than the 30th day from the date notice of the alleged violation was delivered to the ARB chair, the chief appraiser and the taxpayer liaison.
  • The ARB or chief appraiser delivered a written statement to the owner by the deadline pursuant to Tax Code Section 41A.015(b)(2).
  • Litigation was filed before the LBA request was submitted that involves the same issues for the same properties in the same tax year as addressed in the LBA request.
  • The request does not involve a matter described in Tax Code Section 41A.015(a)(1)-(7).