July 1, 2021
Volume 17 | Jul 2021
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 email@example.com. We will gladly address property tax matters under our authority.
In May, I revised the Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE) and projected 2020-21 revenue available for general-purpose spending to be $113.88 billion and the ending balance in general revenue-related (GR-R) funds to be $725 million, an increase of $1.67 billion from the negative balance projected in the January 2021 BRE.
The increased ending balance, combined with upwardly revised projections of revenue collections for the 2022-23 biennium, results in an estimate of $115.65 billion available for general-purpose spending in 2022-23, an increase of $3.12 billion from the January BRE.
When finalizing our economic forecast for the January BRE, COVID case counts and hospitalizations were on the rise, and the vaccine rollout was in its early stages. Those conditions necessitated caution about the near-term economic outlook. Since then, case counts and hospitalizations have decreased sharply, many restrictions have been lifted and economic activity in the state has accelerated.
The revised revenue forecast assumes continued economic growth through the next biennium, but we proceed with uncertainty regarding the ultimate course of the economy. We still do not fully understand exactly what will happen with the pandemic's long-term effects on businesses, workplace practices, employee availability and consumer behavior. We will continue to monitor and analyze conditions, but Texas remains well-positioned to recover from the COVID outbreak and return to its norm of economic growth in excess of the national rate.
The conclusion of a legislative session brings implementation of new laws, and the 87th Regular Session brought numerous changes for property tax. The Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) is hard at work updating forms, publications, videos and webpages to reflect these changes. This newsletter includes a list of updated forms, publications and videos with each edition.
We continue to work on the 2021 Texas Property Tax Law Changes publication, which will include property tax law changes from the 87th Legislature. We hope to have it posted to our website soon. The 2021 Tax Code and 2021 Property Tax Laws books will also be for sale this fall.
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, in determining the number of parcels.
EARS requires appraisal districts to provide appraisal roll information in a standard electronic format, accompanied by Form 50-792, Electronic Appraisal Roll Submission Media Information Form (MIF) (PDF) and computer-generated certified recaps that include:
All information must be submitted through the secured EARS file transfer protocol (FTP) site.
PTAD rejects EARS files with material discrepancies and submissions that are incomplete. PTAD considers submissions that are missing the necessary recap(s), taxing unit(s), MIF and/or EARS data files to be incomplete and untimely. Submission information and guidance are located in the EARS section of PTAD's PVS and Self Reports webpage and the EARS Manual (PDF).
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 the split school districts, using the record layout and date range specified in the EPTS Manual (PDF) along with a signed 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 the software that supports SFTP protocol for file transfers. Submission information and guidance are located in the EPTS section of PTAD's PVS and Self Reports webpage and the EPTS Manual (PDF).
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 these data. PTAD's EARS Manual (PDF) offers additional information on this process.
Appraisal districts with fewer than 200,000 but more than 10,000 taxable parcels, excluding Category G parcels, must submit all PVS required forms, including certified freeze recaps and/or required backup documentation by Sept. 1; the remainder are due by Oct. 1. Appraisal districts should use Category D parcels, not acres, in determining the number of parcels.
Failure to provide complete and signed PVS forms and/or required information by the deadline may impact a school district's state funding.
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, PVS Tax Rate Submission Spreadsheet (XLSX) as detailed in the Electronic Appraisal Roll Submission Manual (PDF) (April 2021).
The appraisal district must provide the adopted tax rates by Oct. 5, 2021, indicating those taxing units with pending tax rate elections by placing an X in the appropriate column of Form 50-886-a. A subsequent post-election submittal of the spreadsheet with the final tax rates must be provided by Nov. 15, 2021.
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 2020 and 2021. A breakdown of the amounts of reimbursement requested and the amounts paid to each entity can be found on PTAD's Local Government Relief webpage.
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 type of property.
A property owner may appeal through binding arbitration if the property is valued at $5 million or less, or if it is a residence homestead (regardless of value). For information regarding filing a request for binding arbitration with the appraisal district, check PTAD's Arbitration Information webpage.
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.
Updated versions of the Comptroller's arbitrator training videos that reflect changes from previous legislative sessions are available on the Property Tax Assistance Division's Arbitration webpage. We will make updates from the 87th Regular Session after the effective dates of the enrolled bills.
Arbitrators must complete the following four-part video series within 120 days to meet the requirements of Tax Code sections 5.043 and 41A.06(b)(3):
The training fee is $50 for each arbitrator and includes all four videos. Visit PTAD's Arbitration webpage for more information on the training.
The Texas Farm and Ranch Survey for the 2021 PVS will be available online in September. PTAD also sends it by regular mail to agricultural appraisal advisory board members. The survey requests 2020 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.
Senate Bill 1245 passed during the 87th Regular Session requires the Comptroller's office to issue an instructional guide providing information to assist individuals in completing the Farm and Ranch Survey and conduct an informational session on how to complete the survey.
After each legislative session, the Comptroller's office and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) determine the continuing education requirements for the state-required laws and rules update program required for property tax professionals registered with TDLR. Contact us at PTPCE@cpa.texas.gov if you are interested in information about the requirements for providing this program.
Below is a list of action items for the third quarter of 2021. You can find a full list of important property tax law deadlines for appraisal districts, taxing units and property owners on PTAD's website.
If the last day for any 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.