Property Tax Today

Quarterly Property Tax News

January 1, 2021

Property Tax Today

Quarterly Property Tax News

Volume 15 | Jan 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

Each session, Texas lawmakers face a range of complex revenue and spending choices. Predicting the course of a complex and dynamic economy like Texas' is a difficult task even in the best of times. An unprecedented global event like COVID-19 magnifies and adds to the challenges presented to the 87th Texas Legislature. No matter how different this session may look, my office stands ready to assist legislators and state leadership as they work to craft a budget and address other issues facing Texans recovering from the pandemic and the related economic fallout.

In early December, I had the pleasure of addressing attendees of the first-ever virtual Institute on Property Taxation (PTI), co-hosted by the Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) and the University of Texas at Austin. While the format may have been different, PTI provided the same informative property tax industry content that attendees have come to expect, and I would like to thank everyone who participated or attended.

PTAD staff kept busy all the way through the holiday season, publishing the 2018-2019 Biennial Property Tax Report. PTAD also released pre-preliminary information about sampled properties in the 2020 Property Value Study (PVS) to chief appraisers and school superintendents, allowing them to review their information for clerical errors and notify us before PTAD issues the preliminary PVS results at the end of January.

The busy trend will continue as we look ahead to the first few months of 2021. January marks the start of the 87th Texas Legislature, where PTAD staff will offer information and technical assistance on property tax matters, certify the 2020 preliminary PVS results to the commissioner of education and publish the 2020 Methods and Assistance Program (MAP) reports.

PVS Pre-Preliminary Information Release

We sent the 2020 PVS pre-preliminary release of information about sampled properties to chief appraisers and school superintendents for review in December 2020. 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, 2021, for correction before the preliminary PVS release at the end of January 2021. 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.

Electronic Property Transaction Submission (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 Property Classification Guide video (PDF) allows for continuing education credit for property tax professionals registered with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).

Appraisal Review Board (ARB) Training

Due to the ongoing pandemic, in-person ARB training will not resume until officials declare it is safe to meet in large gatherings, which will not likely occur for the 2021 ARB training season this spring.

Remote ARB training options for 2021 and registration information are forthcoming. PTAD will offer a combination of live virtual session(s) in addition to remote presentations that may be watched online.

The Governor's office waived the requirement to provide the training in a classroom setting which allows us to provide online training.

The 86th legislative session resulted in new eligibility requirements for ARB members. ARB members may not be related by third degree by blood or second degree by marriage to another ARB member.

This training meets the requirement of Tax Code Section 41A.06 for potential arbitrators applying for inclusion in the Comptroller's registry of arbitrators.

Renditions 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

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 2020 tax year. Appraisal districts must submit responses directly into the online survey by March 31, 2021. 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.

MAP Reviews

On March 13, 2020, the Governor declared a state of disaster in all counties for COVID-19. The Governor has renewed the disaster declaration in each subsequent month through December 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, your appraisal district may be entitled to receive a Limited Scope Methods and Assistance Program (MAP) review if:

  • Your appraisal district must undergo a MAP review in 2021.
  • Your appraisal district is in a county located wholly or partly in a governor-declared disaster area.
  • The disaster caused:
    • a building used by your appraisal district to conduct business to be destroyed, inaccessible or damaged and unusable for at least 30 days;
    • your appraisal records to be destroyed or unusable for at least 30 days;
    • your computer system to be destroyed or unusable for at least 30 days; or
    • you to not to have the resources to undergo a MAP review unless it is limited in scope.

To request a Limited Scope MAP, complete the request form and return it to Your assigned MAP reviewer is able to answer any questions you may have about whether you qualify for a Limited Scope MAP.

Biennial Report

PTAD is pleased to announce the publication of the Comptroller's Biennial Property Tax Report for Tax Years 2018 and 2019 (PDF) . This report includes the total appraised values and taxable values of taxable property by category, together with the tax rate of each county, municipality and school district in effect for the preceding two-year period reported by appraisal districts to PTAD through Electronic Appraisal Roll Submissions.

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.

Tax Bills and Delinquency

In most cases, the deadline for paying your property taxes is Jan. 31. Taxes that remain unpaid on Feb. 1 are delinquent. Penalty and interest charges are added to the original amount.

If taxes go delinquent, the tax collector adds a 6 percent penalty and 1 percent interest on Feb. 1. Penalty continues to accrue at 1 percent per month until July 1. On July 1, the penalty becomes 12 percent. Interest is charged at the rate of 1 percent per month, with no maximum. PTAD offers a 2020-2021 Penalty and Interest Chart for use in calculating the total amount due on delinquent property tax bills.

Private attorneys hired by taxing units to collect delinquent accounts can charge an additional penalty of up to 20 percent to cover their fees. If the delinquency date is postponed, penalties and interest begin accruing on the postponed delinquency date.

Failure to receive a tax bill does not affect the validity of the tax, penalty or interest due, the delinquency date, the existence of a tax lien or any procedure the taxing unit institutes to collect the tax.

Check with the tax collection office on local payment options that may be available, such as credit card payments, deferrals, discounts, escrow accounts, installment payments, split payments, partial payments and work contracts.

Information regarding payment of property taxes is available on PTAD's Property Tax Bills webpage.

Proposed Rules

Proposals to repeal and replace the administrative rules regarding procedures for protesting the Comptroller's PVS and audit findings were filed with the Texas Register on Dec. 21, 2020, for publication on Jan. 8, 2021. The 30-day comment period begins when the rule is published and ends Feb. 7, 2021. You can access the rule proposals in the Texas Register and on PTAD's Property Tax Rules webpage.

Adopted Rules

Property Tax Administration Rule §9.4011, Appraisal of Timberlands and the accompanying Manual for the Appraisal of Timberland (PDF) became effective Oct. 27, 2020.

Property Tax Administration Rule §9.4001, Valuation of Open-Space and Agricultural Lands and the accompanying Manual for the Appraisal of Agricultural Land (PDF) became effective Nov. 4, 2020.

The effective rules are available on PTAD's Property Tax Rules webpage or as published in the Texas Administrative Code on the Texas Secretary of State's website.

Action Items

Below is a list of action items for the first quarter of 2021. 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
  • Feb. 1 – EPTS due for all appraisal districts
  • March 31 – Operations survey responses due
  • 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.