Property Tax Today

Quarterly Property Tax News

July 1, 2023

Property Tax Today

Quarterly Property Tax News

Volume 25 | July 2023

Property Tax Today features content regarding upcoming deadlines, action items and information releases.

Please let us know what you would like to see in future editions by sending property tax questions and/or suggested topics to Property Tax Communications. We will gladly address property tax matters under our authority.

Message from the Comptroller

photo of Comptroller Hegar
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller

In the April issue of Fiscal Notes, we take a look at the online reports and data visualization tools my office provides to promote statewide fiscal transparency. These tools not only help policymakers, but also ensure that all Texans have fiscal information at their fingertips.

Each program, task and mandate assigned to the Comptroller’s office brings an abundance of data; the agency also maintains economic data from state and local entities. Ensuring Texans have access to reliable data from trusted sources to see how government spends tax dollars is a tenet of the Texas Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

The Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) is an active part of my office’s drive for transparency in the realm of property tax data. PTAD produces several reports and data visualization tools to present information collected through surveys and studies.

PTAD is currently hard at work updating forms, publications, videos and webpages to reflect changes from the 88th Legislature, Regular Session, and will continue offering information and technical assistance on property tax matters during subsequent called sessions. This newsletter includes a list of updated forms, publications and videos with each edition.

PTAD continues to work on the 2023 Texas Property Tax Law Changes publication, which will include property tax law changes from the 88th Legislature. We hope to have it posted to our website soon. The 2023 Property Tax Code and 2023 Property Tax Laws books will also be for sale later this year.

PTAD is actively working on School District Property Value Study (SDPVS) protests to develop the final 2022 school district taxable values for certification to the commissioner of education, appraising property for the 2023 SDPVS, reviewing appraisal districts for the 2023 Methods and Assistance Program (MAP) reviews, as well as preparing for the 2023 arbitration season.

Electronic Appraisal Roll Submission (EARS)

Appraisal districts with fewer than 200,000 taxable parcels but more than 10,000 taxable parcels, excluding Category G parcels, must submit certified appraisal rolls by Aug. 1; the remainder are due by Sept. 1. Appraisal districts should use Category D parcels, not acres, to determine the number of parcels.

EARS requires appraisal districts to provide appraisal roll information in a standard electronic format, accompanied by a signed Form 50-792, Electronic Appraisal Roll Submission Media Information Form (MIF) (PDF) and computer-generated certified recaps (grand totals) for each taxing unit that collects property tax that include:

  • category values;
  • exemptions totals; and
  • the agricultural valuation breakdown with the prior land-use classes for wildlife and timber-in-transition and soil/timber type classes for timber in production and timber at restricted use.

Appraisal districts must submit all information through the secured EARS file transfer protocol (FTP) site and promptly notify PTAD of the submission by emailing

PTAD rejects EARS files with material discrepancies greater than 2 percent and with incomplete submissions. PTAD considers submissions to be incomplete and untimely if they are missing the necessary recap(s), taxing unit(s), MIF and/or EARS (AJR, AUD and TU2) data files. Submission information and guidance is available in the EARS section of PTAD's Data Submission Requirements webpage, the EARS Manual (PDF) , or by viewing the video of the 2023 EARS Process.

Electronic Property Transaction Submission (EPTS)

The deadline for all appraisal districts to submit their EPTS is Aug. 1.

Appraisal districts must submit all property transaction records in their possession, including split school districts, using the record layout and date range specified in the EPTS Manual (PDF) along with a signed Form 50-793, Electronic Property Transaction Submission Media Information and Certification Form (PDF) .

PTAD can receive EPTS files by email or via the secured EPTS FTP site. This site requires a registered user and software that supports SFTP protocol for file transfers. Submission information and guidance is available in the EPTS section of PTAD's Data Submission Requirements webpage and the EPTS Manual (PDF) .

New Category J (Utilities) Sampling Method

As discussed at the 2022 Annual Utility Industry Meeting, PTAD is changing the Category J (Utilities) sampling method to a two-years on/two-years off method, beginning with the 2023 SDPVS.

PTAD anticipates the following benefits to studying a company two years in a row:

  • improvements to data sharing and communication between PTAD and the sampled companies;
  • the ability to build on prior year’s data to improve the accuracy of the SDPVS;
  • the ability to use prior year discussions and negotiations to immediately inform the next study; and
  • ensuring testing of all school districts with and without the sampled utility property over a four-year period.

The new Category J samples are located on our website.

SDPVS Required Information

Tax Code Section 5.09 requires PTAD to collect information to report the total appraised values, taxable values and tax rates of each county, municipality, school district and special district. Tax Code Section 5.09(a-1)(1) authorizes PTAD to prescribe the format and deadlines for the submission of this data. PTAD's EARS Manual (PDF) offers additional information on this process.

Appraisal districts must submit all SDPVS required forms, including the required backup documentation specified on each form, by Oct. 15.

Except for the Tax Rate Submission Spreadsheet, indicate N/A on any form that does not apply or provide a statement identifying the form and why it is no longer required. Do not send blank or incomplete forms. The forms may be emailed to

Failure to provide completed and signed SDPVS forms and/or required information by the deadline may impact a school district's state funding and the appraisal district's MAP review.

2023 Tax Rate Information

Tax Code Section 5.091 requires appraisal districts to report to the Comptroller's office the total tax rate imposed by each taxing unit within their jurisdiction.

Appraisal districts must provide the information by using Form 50-886-a, Tax Rate Submission Spreadsheet (XLSX) as detailed in the EARS Manual (PDF) .

The appraisal district must provide the adopted tax rates by Oct. 15, 2023, indicating those taxing units with pending tax rate elections by placing a Y in the appropriate column of Form 50-886-a. Appraisal districts must provide a subsequent post-election submittal of the spreadsheet with the final tax rates by Nov. 15, 2023.

Appealing Appraisal Review Board (ARB) Determinations

A property owner dissatisfied with ARB findings has the right to appeal the ARB decision in one of three ways, depending on the facts and property type.

A property owner may appeal through regular binding arbitration (RBA) if the property is valued at $5 million or less, or if it is a residence homestead (regardless of value). Visit PTAD’s RBA webpage for information regarding filing an RBA request with the appraisal district.

A property owner may appeal ARB orders for real or personal properties with values of more than $1 million to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). More information regarding filing a SOAH appeal is located on SOAH's website.

Alternatively, a property owner may appeal an ARB decision to the state district court in which the property is located.

Limited Binding Arbitration (LBA)

Tax Code Section 41A.05 allows a property owner to file an LBA request to compel the chief appraiser or ARB chair to comply with certain procedural requirements related to protests before the ARB.

To be eligible to file an LBA request, a property owner must have filed a protest on the property and meet specific notification and filing requirements. More information on how to file an LBA request, including filing requirements and deadlines, is available on PTAD’s LBA webpage.

Farm and Ranch Survey

The Texas Farm and Ranch Survey (FARS) for the 2023 SDPVS will be available online in September. PTAD also sends the FARS by regular mail to agricultural appraisal advisory board members. The survey requests 2022 data.

PTAD calculates open-space land values for purposes of the SDPVS annually for all counties. Input from chief appraisers, agricultural appraisal advisory board members, agricultural extension office personnel and other individuals involved in agriculture is important as we calculate typical farm and ranch income and expenses for use in the SDPVS. Information provided increases the accuracy of the SDPVS, which results in more equitable state funding of school districts.

PTAD also publishes the Farm and Ranch Survey Instructional Guide (PDF) that provides information to assist individuals in completing the FARS.

Local Government Relief

A city adjacent to a U.S. military installation, or a county in which a U.S. military installation is wholly or partly located, may be entitled to a disabled veteran assistance payment from the state under Local Government Code Section 140.011. The city or county must be a qualified local government for a fiscal year to receive a payment.

The Comptroller's office made payments totaling $10.5 million to qualified cities and counties in fiscal 2023. A breakdown of the amounts of reimbursement requested and the amounts paid to each entity is available on PTAD's Local Government Relief webpage.

Becoming an Arbitrator

Potential arbitrators must complete the Comptroller's arbitrator training modules on property tax law and ARB procedures and meet licensing requirements before conducting an arbitration hearing. More information on arbitrator registry requirements, including the application for applying for the registry is available on PTAD’s Arbitrator Registry and Application webpage.

Property Taxes in Disaster Areas

The governor recently issued severe weather disaster declarations for the following counties:

  • May 10, 2023 – Hidalgo;
  • May 17, 2023 – Cameron;
  • June 6, 2023 – Bailey, Briscoe, Castro, Deaf Smith, Garza, Hale, Lamb, Lynn, Parmer, Potter, Randall and Roberts; and
  • June 16, 2023 – Camp, Cass, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Marion, Morris, Ochiltree, Panola, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Upshur and Wood.

Tax Code Section 11.35, Temporary Exemption for Qualified Property Damaged by Disaster, allows qualified properties that are at least 15 percent damaged by a disaster in counties included in the declaration to receive a temporary exemption of a portion of the property's appraised value. Qualified property includes:

  • tangible personal property used for income production;
  • improvements to real property; and
  • certain manufactured homes.

Property owners must apply for the temporary exemption no later than 105 days after the governor declares a disaster area. Form 50-312, Temporary Exemption Property Damaged by Disaster (PDF) , is available on PTAD’s Property Tax Forms webpage.

You can find more information on statutory relief for property owners in disaster areas on PTAD’s Property Taxes in Disaster Areas and During Droughts webpage.

Wildlife Management Guidelines Update

Our office recently updated the Guidelines for Qualification of Agricultural Land in Wildlife Management Use (PDF) , which was last updated in October 2007. Updates to the publication generally consisted of statutory changes, non-substantive changes to improve the format, clarity and grammar and added footnotes to provide greater accuracy. Though we do not adopt these guidelines by rule, we consulted with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and posted the publication on our website for public comment in January 2023.

Action Items

Below is a list of action items for the third quarter of 2023. You can find a full list of important property tax law deadlines for appraisal districts, taxing units and property owners on PTAD's website.

  • Aug. 1 – Oil and gas submissions due
  • Aug. 1 – EARS due for any appraisal district with fewer than 200,000 taxable parcels but more than 10,000 parcels (excluding Category G)
  • Aug. 1 – EPTS due for all appraisal districts
  • Sept. 1 – Utility data report due
  • Sept. 1 – EARS due for any appraisal district with fewer than 10,000 or more than 200,000 taxable parcels (excluding Category G)

Attorney General Opinion

The Office of the Attorney General issued the following opinion:

Opinion No. KP-0444 (PDF)

(May 20, 2023)

Addressing the authority of a municipality to utilize a maintenance and operations tax increase authorized in an election under Tax Code Section 26.07 for use other than on maintenance and operations.

Prior Issues >>

Please be advised that the information in this newsletter is current as of the date of its publication and is provided solely as an informational resource. 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 be directed to legal counsel and not to the Comptroller's staff.