Property Tax Today

Quarterly Property Tax News

January 1, 2020

Property Tax Today

Quarterly Property Tax News

Volume 10 | January 2020

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 We will gladly address property tax matters under our authority.

Message from the Comptroller

photo of Comptroller Hegar
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller

In October, I released the Certification Revenue Estimate (CRE) for the fiscal 2020-21 biennium. After each legislative session, the agency releases the CRE to provide the detailed basis by which the Comptroller certified the budget, to revise estimates in the biennial revenue estimate to reflect legislative activity and current economic information, and to take into account final revenue numbers for the recently ended fiscal year.

In fiscal 2019, the Texas economy continued growing at rates among the highest in the nation. While we project continued steady expansion in this biennium, it will likely be at pace below that of the 2018-19 biennium.

The Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) had a busy December. The annual Property Tax Institute conference, co-hosted with the University of Texas, LBJ School of Public Affairs, was a big success, and I would like to thank everyone who participated or attended. If you didn’t get to go this year, keep an eye out for next year’s conference!

PTAD also released pre-preliminary information about sampled properties in the 2019 Property Value Study (PVS) to chief appraisers and school superintendents. This allows them to review the information and notify us of any clerical errors in their information before PTAD issues the preliminary PVS results.

PTAD is working diligently to update the vast amount of property tax information published through our website, publications, forms and videos, reflecting changes from the 86th Legislature

Lastly, the Legislature released interim charges that indicate the study and consideration of methods to provide additional property tax relief and monitoring of SB 2 implementation. Our office will continue working closely with both chambers by offering property tax information and counsel, as requested, to assist them with their studies.

New Laws, Tax Code and Tax Laws

The annotated Texas Property Tax Code 2019 (Code) and unannotated handbook of selected Texas Property Tax Laws 2019 (Laws) are available for purchase. The cost is $10 for the paper version of either book or $1 for a PDF electronic copy (CD) of the Code and Laws. To order, mail a completed order form (PDF) with your check in the appropriate amount to the Property Tax Assistance Division, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, P.O. Box 13528, Austin, Texas 78711-3528.

Unannotated, copyrighted versions of the publications are also available for free on PTAD’s Legal Resources webpage.

PTAD’s Texas Property Tax Law Changes 2019 (PDF) is a resource for property tax professionals and the public. It summarizes laws enacted by the 86th Texas Legislature related to property tax administration. It can also be viewed or downloaded from PTAD’s Legal Resources webpage.

Tax Code Deadline Changes

There are many Tax Code deadline changes and additions as a result of legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. A full calendar of statutory deadlines can be found on PTAD’s Property Tax Law Deadlines webpage.

PTAD also compiled a summary of deadlines, and changes in deadlines, for each requirement, duty or function imposed on an appraisal district or taxing unit by Senate Bill 2. While the effective date for the majority of the bill is Jan. 1, 2020, there are some exceptions. We compiled this information into a Summary of SB 2 Deadlines Excel spreadsheet so that you can easily sort by any header, and we posted it to our website for easy access. We welcome any feedback that might make this document more user-friendly.

PVS Pre-Preliminary Information Release

We sent the 2019 PVS pre-preliminary release of information about sampled properties to chief appraisers and school superintendents for review in December 2019. The information release only included local data and values for sampled properties; we did not provide PTAD-determined values.

We asked chief appraisers and school superintendents to carefully review the local value information and report any clerical errors to PTAD by Jan. 8, 2020, for correction before the preliminary PVS release at the end of January 2020. Before the January release, PTAD may add, delete or correct sample characteristics as we receive additional information from chief appraisers and PTAD appraisers.

School districts and eligible taxpayers can file a petition protesting the Comptroller’s preliminary findings released at the end of January. The petition is due no more than 40 days after the date on which the Comptroller’s findings are certified to the commissioner of education. Information regarding the protest process is available on PTAD’s Property Value Study and Self Reports webpage.

ARB Training Registration

Registration for ARB member training is open. ARB members cannot participate in hearings, vote on determinations of protests or be reappointed to additional terms until they have completed the Comptroller’s ARB training courses and signed statements agreeing to comply with Tax Code requirements during ARB hearings.

This requirement is especially important to an ARB member in the second year of his or her first term because the member may not have taken the continuing education course in the prior year. Please ensure that ARB members register on time so they complete training requirements before scheduling ARB hearings in 2020.

The fee for registration is $50 for new member training and $50 for returning member training. The deadline for registration is Jan. 31, 2020.

Details about locations, dates and other matters, including registration, are available on PTAD’s Appraisal Review Board Training webpage. ARB members must attend one of the live training seminars or one of the telecast training sessions held in certain regional education service centers across Texas.

Electronic Property Transaction Submissions (EPTS)

Tax Code Section 5.07(c) requires appraisal districts to maintain property sales information collected as part of their uniform record keeping systems. Appraisal districts are required to submit the data to the Comptroller’s office by Feb. 1 and by Aug. 1, when we compile the data into a statewide database. The EPTS Manual (PDF) gives an overview of the prescribed electronic format and provides information regarding submission procedures.

Please remember to use the Texas Property Tax Assistance Property Classification Guide (PDF) when classifying property for value analysis and in reporting valuations for the biennial PVS.

The companion Texas Property Tax Assistance Classification Guide Video allows for continuing education credit for property tax professionals registered with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).

Operations Survey

Tax Code Section 5.03(b) authorizes the Comptroller’s office to require an annual report on the administration and operation of each appraisal office, and the operations survey provides data for that report.

We will send electronic surveys to appraisal districts for collection of their operations data for the 2019 tax year. Appraisal districts must submit responses directly into the online survey by March 31, 2020. A non-fillable PDF version of the survey is available for use as a working copy only. Paper copies are not accepted.

Survey data from previous years and a data visualization tool are available on PTAD’s Property Tax Survey Data and Reports webpage.

Rendition Statements and Property Reports

Rendition statements and property report deadlines depend on property type. The statements and reports are due to chief appraisers after Jan. 1 and no later than the deadline indicated below. Allowed extensions vary by property type as referenced below.
Rendition Statements and Reports Deadline Allowed Extension(s)
Property generally April 15
  • May 15 upon written request
  • Additional 15 days for good cause shown
Property regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Railroad Commission of Texas, the federal Surface Transportation Board or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Tax Code Section 22.23(d). April 30
  • May 15 upon written request
  • Additional 15 days for good cause shown

Local Government Relief Applications

The application period for a qualified city or county to apply for state assistance for a local government disproportionately affected by disabled veteran exemption under Local Government Code Section 140.011 is Feb. 1 through April 1.

To apply, a city or county must submit Form 50-833, Local Governments Disproportionately Affected by Disabled Veterans Exemption (PDF), together with the required documentation during the application period. The application period cannot be extended.

Further information regarding the application process and required documentation can be found on PTAD’s Local Government Relief webpage.

Texas House of Representatives Interim Charges

Speaker Dennis Bonnen published the 86th House Interim Committee Charges (PDF) in October 2019. The House Ways and Means Committee is charged with monitoring the implementation of SB 2 and making recommendations for modifications as necessary and appropriate.

The committee is also charged with studying and considering possible methods of providing property tax relief, including potential sources of revenue that may be used to reduce or eliminate school district maintenance and operations property tax rates.

Texas Senate Interim Charges

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick published the Senate 2019 Interim Legislative Charges (PDF) in October 2019. Property tax-related charges to the Senate Finance Committee include the following:

  • studying the economic dynamics of the current business personal property tax, and
  • considering the economic and fiscal effects of increased exemptions to the business personal property tax versus its elimination.

The Senate Property Tax Committee is charged with monitoring the implementation of SB 2 and making recommendations for its improvement, enhancement or complete implementation.

Constitutional Amendments Passed

On Nov. 5, 2019, Texas voters approved two new property tax-related amendments to the Texas Constitution:

  • A property tax exemption of precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in Texas.
  • A temporary property tax exemption of property located in a Governor-declared disaster area.

For more information on constitutional amendments, please refer to the Texas Secretary of State’s website.

MAP Reviews

The 2020-21 Methods and Assistance Program (MAP) review cycle begins in January for appraisal districts scheduled to receive a MAP review in 2020. MAP reviewers will use the recently adopted questions, guidelines and data collected to review appraisal district governance, taxpayer assistance, operations and appraisal standards, procedures and methodology used and compliance with generally accepted standards, procedures and methodology. The MAP reviewers will work with appraisal districts through August to develop preliminary recommendations.

The 2020-21 MAP review questions and guidelines are posted on PTAD’s Methods and Assistance Program webpage.

Event News

Property Tax Institute
PTAD recently co-hosted the 61st Institute on Property Taxation with the University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Held on Dec. 10-11, the conference covered a wide range of topics of interest to appraisal districts and tax offices. We were pleased to have Deputy Comptroller Lisa Craven headline our lineup of presenters! We extend a big thank you to all of our presenters: Roland Altinger, Frank Alvarez, Mike Amezquita, Dr. Amanda Brownson, Michelle Cardenas, Sarah Curtis, Arlaine Decrevel, Shane Docherty, Lori Fetterman, Tracey Foster, Dr. Detlef Hallermann, Emily Hightree, Brent Jones, Ilyanna Kadich, Ken Nolan, Connie Rose, Stephanie Rose, Brent South, Janét Spurgin, John Villareal, Debbie Wheeler, Craig Williams and Jordan Wise.

TTARA Annual Meeting
PTAD Director Korry Castillo participated on a panel at the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association Annual Meeting, Nov. 14-15. Joining her on the panel were Associate Deputy Comptroller for Fiscal Matters, Phillip Ashley; Associate Deputy Comptroller for Tax, Karey Barton; Associate Deputy Comptroller of Operations and Support, Robert Wood; and Chief Revenue Estimator, Tom Currah.

PTAD attendees also included Casey Bean, Andrew Belcher, Alison Gilliam, Laurie Mann, Lorraine Miller, Shannon Murphy, Rick Parker and Jeff Van Pelt.

Texas Rural Chief Appraisers
PTAD proudly participated in the Texas Rural Chief Appraiser’s 26th Annual Conference, Oct. 27-29. PTAD Assistant Director Shannon Murphy and Manager Bill Messick presented. PTAD attendees also included Casey Bean, Andrew Belcher, John Dennis, Lori Fetterman, Emily Hightree, Joe Holcomb, Doug Kubecka, Lorraine Miller, Michelle Reynolds, Karen Wade and Sarah Wessels.

PTAD Information and Customer Service Supervisor, Stephanie Mata, presented at the Texas Association of Property Tax Professionals 32nd Annual Conference. Liz Alvarado also represented PTAD by attending the conference.

Cap Rate

Tax Code sections 23.53 and 23.74 provide the methods for determining the cap rate for calculating agricultural and timber land values. PTAD will post the 2020 cap rates for appraising agricultural or open-space land and timberland by the end of January on its Cap Rate for Special Valuations webpage.

Action Items

Below is a list of action items for the first quarter of 2020. A full list of important property tax law deadlines for appraisal districts, taxing units and property owners is available on PTAD’s website.

  • Jan. 1 - Chief appraiser eligibility forms due
  • Jan. 8 - Deadline to review and report clerical errors on local value information provided in the PVS pre-preliminary information release
  • Jan. 31 - ARB training registration deadline
  • Feb. 1 - EPTS due for all appraisal districts
  • March 11 - Deadline to file PVS protest petitions of certified preliminary findings
  • April 1 - Deadline for qualified local governments to file applications for disabled veterans assistance payments

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.

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.