Property Tax Today

Quarterly Property Tax News

Volume 1 | July 1, 2017

Property Tax Today

Quarterly Property Tax News

Volume 1 | July 1, 2017

We are excited to bring you the inaugural quarterly edition of Property Tax Today, offering news and information regarding property tax matters in Texas.

Property Tax Today features information regarding upcoming deadlines, action items and information releases. By providing property tax news in this format, we hope to cut down on the number of GovMail delivery messages you receive. We will, however, continue to send GovMail messages regarding upcoming deadlines and other urgent information.

We would like to hear from you regarding information you would like to see in future editions. Please send property tax questions and/or suggested topics to We will gladly address property tax matters under our authority.

Message from the Comptroller

photo of Comptroller Hegar
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller

With the conclusion of the recent legislative session, comes implementation of new laws and updating current information provided. The Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) has been hard at work updating forms, publications, videos and web pages.

As you may know, Governor Greg Abbott called a special session to begin on July 18 and property tax is on the list of issues to be addressed. We will revise all of our information again if required by laws passed during the 85th First Called Session. Please remember to always check PTAD's website for the most current versions of published information and forms.

We continue to work on the 2017 Law Changes publication, which will include property tax law changes from the regular and special sessions. We hope to have it posted to our website soon thereafter. The 2017 Tax Code and 2017 Property Tax Laws books will also be for sale this fall. Submit the order form and payment to PTAD to place an order for those books.

I encourage you to attend the Property Tax Institute in Austin, Dec. 5-6, to learn about some of these changes. Save the dates!

Notes from the Field

A commonly misunderstood topic of the Property Value Study (PVS) is the classification of property in Categories D1, D2 and E. The Texas Property Tax Assistance Property Classification Guide states the types of property included in each of these categories.

  • Category D1 includes real property that is qualified as open-space land.
  • Category D2 includes the rural improvements that sit on the Category D1 qualified open-space land. These improvements include barns, sheds, corrals, silos and other improvements associated with farming or ranching, but does not include residences.
  • Category E includes rural land not qualified for Category D1 open-space land and any Category D2 improvements on it.

image of field notes Further confusion often occurs because the PVS value shown for Category E accounts sometimes does not match the appraisal district's value. This is because the PVS only includes improvements that the appraisal district has coded as Category E. The PVS does not include any land the appraisal district has on the account that is qualified for open-space valuation.

Further, the PVS often does not show full consideration on Category E sales because it only reports the Category E value in our study and not the Category D1 portion. This requires us to apportion the sale price between the Category E property and the market value of the Category D1 property that may be on the same account.

Farm and Ranch Survey

The Texas Farm and Ranch Survey for the 2017 PVS will be available online in September. The survey will also be sent by regular mail to agricultural appraisal advisory board members. It requests 2016 data.

PTAD calculates open-space land values 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. Information provided increases the accuracy of the PVS, which results in more equitable state funding of school districts.

Electronic Appraisal Roll Submission (EARS)

Appraisal districts with fewer than 200,000 taxable parcels but more than 10,000 parcels are required to submit certified appraisal rolls by Aug. 1; the remainder are due by Sept. 1. Additional information is available in the EARS Manual.

EARS requires appraisal districts to provide appraisal roll information in a standard electronic format. Each submission must be accompanied by Form 50-792, Electronic Appraisal Roll Submission Media Information Form (MIF) (PDF) and submitted through the secured EARS FTP site. Submission information and guidance can be found in the EARS section of PTAD's PVS and Self-Reports web page and the EARS Manual (PDF).

Electronic Property Transaction Submission (EPTS)

The deadline for all appraisal districts to submit their EPTS is Aug. 1, 2017.

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

PTAD can receive EPTS files by email via the secured EPTS FTP. This FTP site requires a registered user and the software that supports SFTP protocol for file transfers. Submission information and guidance can be found in the EPTS section of PTAD's PVS and Self-Reports web page and the EPTS Manual (PDF).

Local Government Relief

A city adjacent to a United States military installation or a county in which a United States 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 Texas Legislature appropriated $5,000,000 for the Comptroller's office to make payments to qualified cities and counties in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. A breakdown of the amount of reimbursement requested and the amount paid to each entity can be found on PTAD's Local Government Relief web page.

ARB Appeals to Arbitration

PTAD is pleased to offer information regarding the option for property owners to request binding arbitration as an alternative to appealing an ARB decision to district court if they meet the criteria in Tax Code Chapter 41A. Information regarding binding arbitration, including the frequently asked questions, forms, fee schedule and arbitrator registry, can be found on PTAD's arbitration web page.

PTAD also offers several information videos for property owners and persons seeking to become registered arbitrators. Persons applying to become arbitrators must view certain videos to become eligible to hear arbitrations. PTAD's Information Services Team can assist you with arbitration information and questions.

Property Taxes in Disaster Areas and During Droughts

In compliance with Tax Code Section 31.032(h), the gross receipts threshold for use in determining the eligibility of a business entity to pay property taxes in installments if the property is located in a disaster area has been updated for the 2016 calendar year to $5,593,604. More information on these installments can be found on PTAD's website.

Operations Survey Data

The Appraisal District Operations Survey for the 2016 Tax Year was sent to each appraisal district in March 2017 with responses requested by May 17, 2017. If you are one of the few appraisal districts to not yet respond, please submit your responses electronically through the online survey link previously sent to you.

Action Items

Below is a list of action items for the third quarter of 2017. A full list of important property tax law deadlines for appraisal districts, taxing units and property owners can be found on PTAD's website.

  • Aug. 1 - EARS due for appraisal districts with less than 200,000 parcels, but more than 10,000 (excluding Category G)
  • Aug. 1 - EPTS due for all appraisal districts
  • Aug. 1 - Oil and gas data submission due
  • Sept. 1 - Utility data report due
  • Sept. 1 - EARS due for appraisal districts with less than 10,000 parcels and more than 200,000 (excluding Category G)

If the last day for one of the deadlines is on Saturday, Sunday or a legal or state holiday, the act is timely if performed on the next regular business day.

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.