April 1, 2019
Volume 8 | April 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 email@example.com. We will gladly address property tax matters under our authority.
In January, my office released the Biennial Revenue Estimate, showing the state is projected to have approximately $119.1 billion in revenue available for general purpose spending during the 2020-21 biennium. This is an 8.1 percent increase from the amounts available for the 2018-19 biennium.
Despite this projected revenue growth, the Legislature will face difficult choices in balancing the budget. The most pressing and costly budget drivers will include a potentially large boost to education spending to reduce the property tax burden and reform school finance.
In the January special edition of Fiscal Notes, my office turned an eye to the state's biggest expenditure — school finance. Most of the problems surrounding school finance relate to the current funding formulas, which contribute to the rising local property tax collections reducing the state's share of the total bill. It is my hope that this report gives lawmakers a clearer view of this public policy challenge.
The Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) had an eventful first quarter. In addition to offering information and testimony to the Texas Legislature on property tax matters, PTAD certified the property value study (PVS) preliminary findings to the commissioner of education; released the final 2018 Methods and Assistance Program (MAP) reports; and hit the road in late February to conduct appraisal review board (ARB) member training sessions in various cities across the state.
We published the 2018 PVS preliminary findings on our website and certified to the Texas Education Association (TEA) commissioner of education on Jan. 31, 2019. Of the 876 school districts evaluated for the 2018 PVS, we certified valid preliminary findings for 808 ( 92 percent), which means we will certify their locally reported appraised values to TEA later this year for use in determining local school funding.
Currently, we are working on 98 PVS protests to the PVS preliminary findings. The protestors include school districts, eligible property owners and authorized appraisal districts in districts for which we assigned a value other than local value to property. The deadline to file protest petitions for the 2018 PVS preliminary findings was March 12, 2019, the 40th day after the date the Comptroller's office certified the preliminary findings to TEA. The informal protest process will continue through May 31, 2019.
In January, PTAD released 2018 final MAP reviews and notified chief appraisers whose districts received reviews. You can learn more about MAP reviews and download copies of reports for your submission to your boards of trustees by accessing the Methods and Assistance Program webpage. PTAD also referred 18 appraisal districts to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) for failure to complete the recommendations included in their 2017 final MAP review. TDLR will work with these districts over the next year on the recommendations.
PTAD typically updates its depreciation schedule, trend factors and life expectancy charts in March each year. The 2019 charts are located in the resources section on PTAD's Property Value Study and Self-Reports webpage.
PTAD sent the Appraisal District Operations Survey for the 2018 Tax Year to each appraisal district in January 2019 with responses requested by March 29, 2019. 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.
This year's application deadline for a qualified city or county to apply for state assistance for a local government disproportionately affected by the disabled veteran exemption under Local Government Code Section 140.011 is April 1, 2019.
Further information regarding the application process and required documentation is located on PTAD's Local Government Relief webpage.
Rendition statements and property report deadlines depend on property type or location. The statements and reports must be delivered to the chief appraiser after Jan. 1 and no later than the deadline indicated below. Allowed extensions also 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 exempt freeport property under Tax Code Section 11.251||April 1||
|Property generally||April 15||
|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||
The last dates that the Comptroller's office will hold 2019 ARB training are May 6 and 7 in San Antonio. We will conduct new ARB member training on Monday, May 6, and continuing education (CE) training for returning ARB members on Tuesday, May 7.
PTAD offers a live telecast shown simultaneously at 11 locations throughout the state for new members on May 1 and CE on May 2. Visit PTAD's Appraisal Review Board Training webpage for information regarding the locations and registration for training sessions.
A religious organization denied a Tax Code Section 11.20 exemption because of its charter must amend the charter and file a new application by May 31 or before the 60th day after the date of notification of the exemption denial, whichever is later.
A private school denied a Tax Code Section 11.21 exemption because of its charter must amend the charter and file a new application by June 30 or the 60th day after the date of notification of the exemption denial, whichever is later.
Property owners are entitled to an explanation of the remedies available when they are dissatisfied with the appraised value of their property. The deadline for property owners to file most protests with the ARB is May 15 or by the 30th day after delivery of the notice of appraised value, whichever is later. The Comptroller's publication Property Taxpayer Remedies (PDF) provides an explanation of the remedies available to taxpayers and procedures to follow in seeking remedial action.
PTAD also offers videos that provide an overview of the appeal process and cover the most common situations that arise in a protest hearing.
PTAD is looking for new instructor applicants! Our division approves instructors to teach TDLR core educational courses. Minimum qualifications include holding an approved professional designation and satisfaction of education and experience requirements. Check PTAD's Guidelines for Education Approval for specific qualifications. The instructor approval process consists of four easy steps:
Contact Heather Hampton for more information on how to become an instructor!
The Comptroller's Data Analysis and Transparency (DAT) Division maintains many transparency databases and reports to help Texans better understand public finances at the state and local level.
Below are some of the most recent financial transparency initiatives available on the Comptroller's website.
New! Special Purpose District Public Information Database
The Special Purpose District Public Information Database (SPDPID) contains self-reported financial and tax information, as well as information about SPD governing boards. SPDs report their information annually. Visit the Comptroller's SPDPID to view individual entity reports or easily download the entire database for your own analysis. To learn more about other transparency initiatives and Texas' finances, you may also want to check out the following resources:
Tax Code Chapter 41A gives property owners meeting certain criteria the option to request binding arbitration as an alternative to appealing an ARB decision to district court.
You can find information regarding binding arbitration, including frequently asked questions, forms, fee schedule and arbitrator registry, on PTAD's Arbitration Information webpage.
In 2019, appraisal districts must use a cap rate of 10 percent for appraising agricultural or open-space land and a cap rate of 7.47 percent for appraising timberland. For more cap rate information, see our website.
Texas Association of Appraisal Districts (TAAD) Conference
PTAD proudly participated in TAAD's 2019 Annual Conference, Feb. 24-27, 2019, in Austin. PTAD Assistant Director Shannon Murphy, managers Bill Messick and Rick Parker, and supervisor Lori Fetterman presented. PTAD attendees also included supervisors Casey Bean, Stephanie Mata and Lorraine Miller.
Since late February, members of PTAD's Information Services team have been on the road conducting ARB training across the state. Trainers this year include Catie Burleigh, Carmen Chavez, Stephanie Rose, Charlotte Thomas, Leslie Ward and Craig Williams. This group will have covered more than 4,500 miles by the time training ends in early May!
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.