Property Tax Today

Quarterly Property Tax News

January 1, 2019

Property Tax Today

Quarterly Property Tax News

Volume 7 | January 1, 2018

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 the September/October special edition of Fiscal Notes, our office began a series that examines issues state lawmakers expect to face when they return for the 86th Texas Legislature in January. The budget writing process sometimes overlooks long-term financial obligations and costs such as those associated with state employee pensions, healthcare benefits for retired teachers, the state's prepaid tuition plan and deferred maintenance for state-owned buildings. My office proposes a new way to begin addressing this situation through what I call the Texas Legacy Fund – a permanent endowment for the state, created from a portion of the state's "Rainy Day Fund," which would generate investment earnings specifically for addressing long-term obligations.

In early December, I had the pleasure of speaking to attendees of the 60th Institute on Property Taxation in Austin, co-hosted by the Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) and The University of Texas at Austin.

Speaking of PTAD, not even the holiday season could manage to slow them down. PTAD published the 2016-2017 Biennial Property Tax Report (PDF) and the 2018 ARB Survey Report (PDF) in December and released the 2018 Property Value Study (PVS) pre-preliminary information to chief appraisers and school superintendents, allowing them to review the information and notify us of any clerical errors before PTAD issues the preliminary PVS results.

The busy trend will continue as we look ahead to the first few months of 2019. January marks the start of the 86th Texas Legislature, where PTAD staff will offer information and testimony on property tax matters. PTAD staff will also hit the road to conduct appraisal review board (ARB) training across the state beginning in late-February. We hope to see you in our travels!

Notes from the Field

We recently received a question about whether PTAD considers all sales information confidential and therefore no longer shares sales information with appraisal districts.

The 74th Texas Legislature passed Government Code Section 403.304, effective in 1995, requiring the Comptroller's office to keep information obtained from a person (other than a government or governmental subdivision or agency), under an assurance that the information will be kept confidential, in the course of conducting a study as confidential and not disclose it except:

  1. in a judicial or administrative proceeding pursuant to a lawful subpoena;
  2. to the person who gave the information to the Comptroller's office; or
  3. for statistical purposes in a form that does not identify a specific property or property owner.

PVS Pre-Preliminary Information Release

We sent the 2018 PVS pre-preliminary release of information about sampled properties to chief appraisers and school superintendents for review in December 2018. 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, 2019, for correction before the preliminary PVS release at the end of January 2019. 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, where 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).

Statewide Sales Verification Code

We are in the process of developing statewide sales verification codes pertaining to the transactions submitted in EPTS and would like your feedback. Send us your thoughts, ideas, suggestions and/or examples by completing our Statewide Sales Verification Code Survey. Some things to consider for the sales verification code are:

  • Sale source (MLS, questionnaire, internet, closing statement or verbal);
  • Financing (cash, conventional, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or owner); and
  • Validation (arms-length transaction [ARM], family, not listed, note amount, foreclosure, estate, doubtful title, divorce or assemblage).

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 2019.

The fee for registration is $50 for new member training and $50 for returning member training. The deadline for registration is Jan. 31, 2019.

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.

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 2018 Tax Year. Appraisal districts must submit responses directly into the online survey by March 31, 2019. 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.

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 veterans exemption under Local Government Code Section 140.011 is Feb. 1 through April 1.

To apply, a city or county must submit Comptroller 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 is available on PTAD's Local Government Relief webpage.

Renditions Statements and Property Reports

Rendition statements and property report deadlines depend on property type or location. 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 or location as referenced below.

Rendition Statements and Reports Deadline Allowed Extension(s)
Property located in an appraisal district in which one or more taxing units exempts Freeport property under Tax Code Section 11.251 April 1
  • May 1 upon written request
  • additional 15 days for good cause shown
Property generally April 15
  • May 1 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. April 30
  • May 1 upon written request
  • additional 15 days for good cause shown

Property Tax Forms

You asked and we responded. PTAD is in the process of simplifying property tax forms to make them more user-friendly. We recently revised Form 50-114, Residence Homestead Exemption Application (PDF), from six pages to three, with a separate companion form 50-114-A, Residence Homestead Exemption Affidavits (PDF). Appraisal districts that have already bar coded and/or mailed the longer form may still use it for the 2019 tax year. Keep your eyes peeled for more simplified forms to come!

Biennial Report

PTAD is pleased to announce the publication of the Comptroller's Biennial Property Tax Report for Tax Years 2016 and 2017. 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.

We have also developed a new Biennial Report Data Visualization Tool that allows users to explore data as charts and graphs that allow for comparisons across multiple years of reports.

MAP Happenings

A lot happens for the Methods and Assistance Program (MAP) reviews in January 2019. Appraisal districts with outstanding 2017 MAP recommendations will be referred to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. On-site visits begin for the 2019 MAP reviews, which continue through the summer.

The MAP team is working on the 2020-21 MAP review instruments, which we will send for chief appraiser comments and feedback in August 2019. We will consider all comments and submit the final draft of these instruments to the Property Value Study Advisory Committee (PVSAC). In November 2019, we will provide these documents to appraisal districts scheduled for 2020 MAP reviews to begin their reviews.

Reinvestment Zone, Abatement and TIRZ Materials

The Comptroller's Data Analysis and Transparency (DAT) division encourages local governments, school districts and appraisal districts to submit the required reinvestment zone, abatement or tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ) forms using our recently updated online forms. Appraisal districts with school districts that created reinvestment zones for executing Tax Code Chapter 313 agreements should complete Form 50-275 (PDF). Forms are not required in areas that do not have reinvestment zones, abatements or TIRZ.

The Comptroller's office publishes an increasing amount of user-friendly materials including:

  • Biennial Registries of Reinvestment Zones for Tax Abatements and Tax Increment Financing;
  • abatement and TIRZ webinar that includes specific details on these programs;
  • webpages on the possible benefits of an abatement or a TIRZ, the 6-Step Abatement Process and the 8-Step TIRZ Process;
  • November 2018 Tax Abatement Log (Excel; sortable and searchable), which includes all reinvestment zones, abatements, businesses receiving the abatements, payroll dollars created and FTEs created based on information received by our office;
  • TIRZ Financials by County Report (Excel; sortable and searchable), which includes revenue, expenditures, TIF fund balance, principal due, interest due, tax increment base, current captured value and tax increment total; and
  • a new November 2018 Abatement-Employment Report spreadsheet that identifies reinvestment zones, their number of job commitments or pledges, the property's base value and the payroll dollars created.

If you have questions or need assistance finding information or completing the appropriate forms contact DAT's Frank Alvarez.

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 2018-2019 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.

Event News

Property Tax Institute
PTAD recently co-hosted the 60th Institute on Property Taxation with the University of Texas at Austin's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Held on Dec. 4-5, the conference covered a wide range of topics of interest to appraisal districts and tax offices. We were pleased to have Comptroller Glenn Hegar headline our lineup of presenters! We offer a big Texas thank you to all of our presenters: Roland Altinger, Frank Alvarez, Mike Amezquita, Sharon Baxter, Anita Campbell, Debbie Cartwright, Marya Crigler, Windy Grams, Dr. Detlef Hallerman, Lonnie Hendry, Jr., Alvin Lankford, Jeff Law, Marc Moffitt, Richard Molina, Ken Nolan, David Shoemaker, Mike Soto, Matthew Tepper and Martin Villarreal.

Texas Rural Chief Appraisers
PTAD was proud to participate in the Texas Rural Chief Appraiser's 25th Annual Conference, Oct. 28-30, 2018. PTAD Director, Korry Castillo, and managers Bill Messick and Rick Parker presented. PTAD attendees also included Casey Bean, Anna Botello, John Dennis, Joe Holcomb, Laurie Mann, Stephanie Mata, Lorraine Miller, Shannon Murphy and Sarah Wessels.



2018 Annual Utility Industry Meeting
On the afternoon of Oct. 9, 2018, PTAD hosted its 2018 Annual Utility Industry Meeting. The meeting featured reports by representatives from the industries of telecommunications, electrics and gas distribution, oil and gas midstream and railroads. PTAD manager Rick Parker, along with Larry Weber and Bwembya Chikolwa, of PTAD's Data Security and Analysis team, provided reports on the PVS.


Action Items

Below is a list of action items for the first quarter of 2018. 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. 9 - Deadline to review and report clerical errors on local value information provided in the PVS pre-preliminary results
  • Jan. 31 - ARB training registration deadline
  • Feb. 1 - EPTS due for all appraisal districts
  • March 12 - Deadline to protest preliminary PVS results
  • 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.