Dear Property Owner:

This information is furnished by the Central Appraisal Review Board in order to assist you in presenting your appeal.

Presenting a Protest

Prior to appearing before the Appraisal Review Board, a property owner should keep several points in mind.

Be on time and prepared for your appointment. Due to the volume of owners that do not show for their appointments, several hearings are scheduled at the same time, and heard on a first come, first served basis. You should be ready to present your protest, along with supporting documentation, at the assigned time. Documentation would include comparable sales, recent appraisals, photos, etc. *Owner/agent must provide a minimum of 7 copies of all protest evidence to be presented. This allows one for the ARB secretary to be made a part of the public record and for each board member. Photos require just 2 sets.

Stick to the facts in your presentation. The Appraisal Review Board is empowered to deal with market value, agricultural use value, exemptions, and identification of taxing units, inequalities. Its members have NO responsibility for or control over Appraisal District operations, tax rates for the Taxing jurisdictions or politics. We suggest these topics not be included in your protest.

Be direct and concise. All testimony should be directed to members of the Appraisal Review Board. Be sure that the information and comments you bring before the Board are limited to the MATTER STATED in your Notice of Protest.

Recognize that the Board is serving in a quasi-judicial function. Much the same as a judge, the Appraisal Review Board listens to the presentations of both the property owner and Appraisal District and makes a determination. It is not a case of property owner versus the Appraisal District and the Appraisal Review Board. The decision weighs on the evidence presented.

Prepare a simple but well organized presentation: The Board will hear the presentation of many property owners during its hearings, so it is to your advantage to stress key facts and figures. By writing them down in logical order and making copies for each Board member, you can better ensure that the Board has all the information it needs to make a sound decision.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Texas Property Tax Code
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Section 1.04(7)
“Market Value” means the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if:
  1. exposed for sale in the open market for a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser;
  2. both the seller and the purchaser know of all the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable restrictions on its use; and
  3. both the seller and purchaser seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other.

Questions to help determine if market transaction:
  1. Known to be for sale? Listed or posted?
  2. Was it adjoining property you owned?
  3. Were the parties to the sale related?
  4. Was financing unique, not available to general public?
  5. Owner financed?
  6. Was it a forced sale: estate? Bid/Auction? Foreclosure?
  7. Tax sale? Court-ordered? In-Lieu of Foreclosure?
Suggested Procedures for Protesting Value
  1. File a RENDITION for your property with the Appraisal District by April 15th.
  2. Read your NOTICE OF APPRAISED VALUE very carefully when it is received in May or early June.
  3. Do some comparisons. Find other property like yours and check for equality and level of appraisal. Same Class, close in square footage and amenities, close in age are some examples to ensure a comparable property. Find and price houses similar to yours that are for sale or have sold in the last 12 months. What are properties selling for now?
  4. If you disagree with the value on the Notice of Appraised Value, file a LETTER OF PROTEST with the Appraisal District, after reviewing your property with a staff Appraiser at the Appraisal District.
  5. Be on time for your appointment with the Board of Review. Don’t forget your DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE and EXHIBITS. REMEMBER: Have an extra 7 copies to leave with each Board member, CAD staff representative and file copy.
  6. Real Property Evidence could include such items as pictures, sales amounts of similar properties and/or closing statements, if the sale meets the standard of a market transaction.
  7. Personal Property Evidence could include a list of all assets, a copy of a current financial statement for your business, a bill of sale, contracts listing personal, and/or pictures.

In your preparation, the CAD can print appraisal cards and small maps that you’d like to use. Due to the volume of requests, there is a small charge just to cover the supplies. To have time to compare and prepare, don’t wait until the last minute to make your requests.

If you have any questions, or need more information, contact the Appraisal District. QUESTIONS you may want to consider when preparing for a hearing. Remember your evidence and statements will become public record.

Residential
  1. Has your house been remodeled recently? Last year? Since you purchased it?
  2. When did you purchase your home?
  3. Current? Do you mind sharing the amount and terms with us? Could we have a copy of the Closing? Was it listed? Do you own adjoining property?
  4. Do you have comparables and did you check their values?
  5. What has happened in your neighborhood that might affect your property?
  6. Have you considered selling your property? How much?
  7. Have you had a qualified real estate person give you an estimate of value or have you had an appraisal done recently?
  8. Has there been a reason for change?
Commercial
  1. Have you remodeled or renovated within the past few years?
  2. Have you checked values of similar property?
  3. Did you purchase your property from a sheriff’s sale, FDIC sale, a foreclosure, etc.?
  4. Do you know of recent sales that are comparable?
  5. What type of financing do you have?
  6. Was this done by January 1?
Business Personal Property
  1. Did you bring a copy of your inventory? Furniture? Fixtures?
  2. What amount of your inventory is obsolete or unmarketable?
  3. Did you render a true and correct listing of your property?
  4. Would you bring your books in for evidence?
  5. Have you expanded your business?
  6. Have you compared your value with similar property?

  

Property Tax Protest and Appeal Procedures
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The law gives property owners the right to protest actions concerning their property tax appraisals. You may follow these appeal procedures if you have a concern about:

  1. the market or special appraised value placed on your property
  2. the unequal appraisal of your property
  3. the inclusion of your property on the appraisal roll
  4. any exemption that may apply to you
  5. the qualification for an agricultural or timber appraisal
  6. the taxable status of your property
  7. the local governments which should be taxing your property
  8. the ownership of property
  9. the change of use of land receiving special appraisal
  10. any action taken by the chief appraiser, appraisal district or appraisal review board that applies to and adversely affected you.
Informal Review

If a taxpayer disagrees with the appraisal district value placed on their property, a phone call or visit to the appraisal district may eliminate the necessity of a hearing before the ARB.

Review by the Appraisal Review Board

If you can't resolve your problem informally with the county appraisal district (CAD) staff, you may have your case heard by the appraisal review board (ARB). 

The ARB is an independent board of citizens that reviews problems with appraisals or other concerns listed above. It has the power to order the CAD to make the necessary changes to solve problems. If you file a written request for an ARB hearing (called a notice of protest) before the deadline, the ARB will set your case for a hearing. You'll receive written notice of the time, date and place of the hearing. If necessary, you may request a hearing in the evening, Saturday or Sunday. Prior to your hearing, you may ask to review the evidence the CAD will use to uphold their determination. The CAD may ask you for a copy of the evidence you plan to present. The hearing will be informal. You or a designated agent may appear in person to present evidence or you may send notarized evidence for the ARB to review at your hearing. The CAD representative will present evidence about your case. You may cross-examine the CAD representative. The ARB will make its decision based on the evidence presented. The CAD has the burden of establishing the property’s value by a preponderance of the evidence presented. You can get a copy of a protest form from the appraisal district office at 801 North Perry St., Palestine, Texas 75801 

Note: You shouldn't try to contact ARB members outside of the hearing. The law requires ARB members to sign an affidavit saying that they haven't talked about your case before the ARB hears it. 

Review by the District Court or an Arbitrator

After it decides your case, the ARB must send you a copy of its order by certified mail. If you're not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to appeal. If you choose to go to court, you must start the process by filing a petition within 60 days of the date you receive the ARB's order. As an alternative and within the same time period, you may file a request for binding arbitration with the County Appraisal District in certain cases.

Tax Payment

You must pay the either of the amount of taxes due on the portion of the taxable value not in dispute or the amount of taxes due on the property under the order from which the appeal is taken.

More Information

You can get more information by contacting your appraisal district at 801 North Perry Street, Palestine, Texas 75801 903-723-2949.

Deadline

On or before May 31 (or 30 days after a notice of appraised value was mailed to you, whichever is later). 
Late protests are allowed if you miss the usual deadline for good cause. Good cause is some reason beyond your control, like a medical emergency. The ARB decides whether you have good cause. 
Late protests are due the day before the appraisal review board approves records for the year. Contact your appraisal district for more information. 

Special Deadlines

For change of use (the appraisal district informed you that you are losing agricultural appraisal because you changed the use of your land), the deadline is before the 30th day after the notice of the determination was mailed to you. 

For ARB changes (the ARB has informed you of a change that increases your tax liability and the change didn't result from a protest you filed), the deadline is before the 30th day after the notice of the determination was mailed to you. 

If you believe the appraisal district or ARB should have sent you a notice and did not, you may file a protest until the day before the taxes become delinquent (usually February 1). The ARB decides whether it will hear your case based on evidence about whether a required notice was mailed to you. 

* The deadline is postponed to the next business day if it falls on a weekend or holiday. 


  

Hearing Procedures

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I. Description of Procedures

Pursuant to Section 41.66, Texas Tax Code, the Anderson County Central Appraisal Review Board establishes the following procedures for hearings. It is the Appraisal Review Board’s desire to keep all procedures on a “common sense” approach and comply fully with the requirements listed in the Tax Code. If a question of procedure arises, to which the Board needs further direction, the first step will be to review provisions of the Tax Code, and if necessary, seek advice of legal counsel.

At least 14 days before a hearing on a protest, the chief appraiser shall deliver a copy of “Taxpayers’ Rights and Remedies” and these hearing procedures to the person initiating the protest. The chief appraiser shall also inform the protesting party that he or she may inspect and may obtain a copy of the data, schedules, formulas, and all other information that will be introduced at the hearing. The charge of the copies should reflect legal copying charges, $.25 per copy, but not to exceed $15 for each residence and $25 for other types of property. Requested information that was not made available in a timely fashion cannot be used as evidence in the hearing. Sales Data is considered confidential information, per HB 2188, and protesting parties will be required to sign a statement confirming the information will be held confidential.

Hearing procedures, to the greatest extent practicable, shall be informal. Each party to a hearing is entitled to offer evidence, examine or cross-examine witnesses or other parties, and present argument on the matters subject to the hearing. A property owner who is entitled to appear at a hearing may appear himself or by his duly appointed agent with a signed Agent Form. A taxing unit entitled to challenge may appear by a designated agent. Hearings are open to the public, except when legal notice is given of an executive session to consider pending/contemplated litigation or any other matter as provided by law. A copy of these hearing procedures shall be posted in a prominent place in the room in which the hearing is held.

II. Scheduling/Notice of Hearing

An employee of the appraisal district will be designated as “secretary to the Appraisal Review Board”. This person, in accordance with Chapter 41 and other applicable sections of the Tax Code, shall schedule hearings and notify the owner/agent of the hearing.

Property owners (not represented by an agent) may have a one-time postponement of their hearing, without cause. The request must be made in writing (fax, certified mail, email or in person) 48 hours prior to your scheduled hearing date. Remember, by law, the ARB must complete their work by July 20th.

When an owner/agent requests a postponement or to reschedule, the board shall grant such, when the owner/agent shows reasonable cause for the inability to attend the scheduled hearing or if the chief appraiser consents to the postponement. PTD 41.45.e. 

III. Hearing Procedures

  1. The secretary shall schedule several protest per day. The protests shall be heard as scheduled. If the protesting party is late, the protest shall be moved to the end of the schedule or another time as determined by the Appraisal Review Board presiding officer.
  2. Fifteen minutes shall be allocated for each hearing (2 or less properties). The board may waive the time limit at its discretion.
  3. At the beginning of each hearing, the secretary to the Appraisal Review board will identify the cause number, account number, owner, location of subject and nature of the protest.
  4. The ARB members shall execute the affidavit stating they have had no prior communications from any party relating to the subject property.
  5. Each person that will address the ARB during the course of the appointed hearing shall sign an Oath of Sworn Testimony, per Property Tax Code 41.67.a. The CAD representatives will sign an Oath of Sworn Testimony upon their first appearance of the day and understand that they are under that Oath for all remaining appearances of that day.
  6. The owner/agent shall present witnesses, documentary evidence, and related arguments and will be allotted approximately five minutes. The Appraisal district representative and the Appraisal Review Board may cross-examine the parties or witnesses for a reasonable time as determined by the presiding officer.

    *Owner/agent must provide a minimum of 7 copies of all protest evidence to be presented. This allows one for the ARB secretary to be made a part of the public record and for each board member. Photos require just 2 sets.

    The Appraisal District will then be entitled to present witnesses, documentary evidence, and related arguments and will be allotted approximately five minutes. The owner/agent and the Appraisal Review Board may cross-examine these witnesses or the parties for a reasonable time as determined by the presiding officer.

    All cross-examination shall be informal with all questions concerning procedure determined by the presiding officer. The ARB board will exclude irrelevant testimony and may instruct all parties to confine testimony and evidence to matters relevant to the issues before the board

    Any remaining time may be used for rebuttal, questions by the Appraisal Review Board, or closing statements.
  7. The Appraisal Review Board will make its final determination by vote recorded by the secretary to the Board at the conclusion of the hearing. The Order Determining Protest shall be mailed to the owner/agent as soon as practicable.
IV. Audio & Video Procedure

All hearings will be audio taped by the Appraisal District. The audio recordings are a part of the open records and evidence presented by both parties. Audio recordings will be made available to the public with 3 days notice, at the expense of the requestor. Review of audiotapes will be allowed in the offices of the CAD. The owner/agent may also audiotape the proceeding.

Video equipment must be set up in an area designated by the ARB. Equipment must be set up between 8:00 am and 8:30 am the day of the hearing so as not to disrupt other hearings. Equipment cannot be removed until the end of the last hearing of the day. Owner/agent is responsible to provide someone to operate the equipment. It must be stationary and not disruptive to the hearing process. 

V. Affidavits in Lieu of Personal Appearance
The property owner may offer his evidence or argument by affidavit without personally appearing if the owner attests to the affidavit before an officer authorized to administer oaths or notary and submits such affidavit prior to the scheduled hearing.

VI. Ex Parte contact and Conflict of Interest

The board shall not consider any information on a protest that is not presented to the board during the protest hearing, PTC 41.66. A member of the review board may not communicate with another person regarding any matter relating to a protest other than matters necessary for the scheduling of hearings or in other proceedings before the board at which the property is compared to other property or used in a sample of properties.

An ARB member may not participate in any hearing in which that member has ownership interest in the subject of the protest. A member may not participate in the hearing in which the member is related by affinity within the second degree or by consanguinity within the third degree.

VII. Rulings and Subpoenas

The Chairperson shall preside over all hearings. Roberts Rule’s of Order shall govern the proceedings.

The board, sitting as a whole, may subpoena witnesses or books, records, or other documents. The Property Tax Code, 22.27 & 41.61, will govern the process by which the ARB proceeds with a subpoena.

Persons to whom a subpoena is directed are entitled to compensation:

  1. Reasonable cost of producing any requested documents,
  2. Mileage of $0.40 a mile going to and returning from proceedings,
  3. Fee of $50 per day for each whole or partial day needed at the proceedings

  

Rules of Procedure

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I. Officers
  1. The officers of the Appraisal Review Board are the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson and the Secretary.
  2. The officers will be elected as soon as possible after the new board members are appointed. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson and Secretary shall be elected from board members by a simple majority vote of those present and voting.
  3. The chairperson will preside over the meetings of the board and perform such other responsibilities as these rules require.
  4. The Secretary shall be responsible for overseeing the keeping of minutes for all board meetings, overseeing the keeping of all records of the board and for determining that all records by the board are sent. The secretary may delegate any of the above responsibilities to members of the appraisal staff provided by the Chief Appraiser for that purpose. The Secretary will perform such other responsibilities as these rules and the law require.
  5. The Vice-Chairperson will perform the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson and assist the Chairperson in his performance of duties at the Chairperson’s request.
II. Meetings
  1. Robert’s Rules of Order will govern the conduct of all meetings of the board other than hearings. Where Robert’s Rules are in conflict with the rules of this board, the rules of the board will govern. The person chairing the board or panel may vote or make motions on any matter.
  2. The board will meet at any time at the call of the Chairperson. A majority of the board may call a meeting of the board at any time.
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Hearing Rules

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1.0 The Chairperson shall preside over all hearings of the board. All cases scheduled for hearings will be assigned a cause number to identify the case during the proceedings of the board. The chairperson may vote or make motions in any matter before the board.
2.0The order of the proceedings shall be as follows:
  1. Board members hearing the protest shall execute affidavits regarding ex parte contact.
  2. All witnesses will be sworn.
  3. The appraisal records for the property(ies) under protest will be admitted into the record.
  4. The property owner or the taxing unit (or the agent of either) will state the nature of the complaint and present evidence and argument, limited to the matter stated on protest.
  5. The appraisal office will present its evidence and argument.
  6. The board shall permit cross-examination if requested by either party.
  7. Parties may make brief closing statements. The board may alter the order of the proceedings for any hearing.
3.0The board shall permit the cross-examination of witnesses or parties by the representative of the opposing party when requested to do so. The board shall limit such cross-examination to matters that are relevant to the subject of the hearing and shall not permit questions that are abusive or personal. All cross-examinations must be completed within the time limits for the hearing.
4.0Scheduling and Postponement

The board must hear a protest if the taxpayer initiating the protest timely files a notice of protest pursuant to Tex Prop Tax Code 41.44. The board may hear a protest when requested by a property owner that has not timely filed a notice of protest only if the property owner shows good cause for late filing.
4.1Determination of Good Cause for Late Protests

Prior to scheduling a hearing on a property owner protest, the board will determine whether the protest was filed by the deadline required by law. When a property owner files a notice of protest after the legal deadline but before the date the board approves the appraisal records, the board will make a determination as to whether the property owner had good cause for his failure to file the notice on time. The board may make the determination of good cause based upon the property owner’s written explanation or may schedule a hearing or meeting upon the matter for determination by the board.
4.2Re-Scheduling or Postponement

When a property owner requests a postponement or re-scheduling of his or her hearing the board shall grant a one time postponement, if written request is made 48 hours before your scheduled hearing date. The board shall consider a postponement when such written request from the property owner or agent shows reasonable cause for his inability to attend the hearing on the scheduled hearing date or if the chief appraiser consents to the postponement. (Tax Code 441.45(e)). However, the board must re-schedule a hearing if the owner or his/her agent is scheduled for an ARB hearing in another district on the same date. The ARB hearing scheduled first by U.S. Postmark has first right to the hearing date.
5.0Rulings by the Board

Any party to a protest hearing may request a ruling by a board. Such requests may include, but are not restricted to the following: Request to examine witnesses, request to cross-examine witnesses, requests to admit evidence in written form, request to limit a witness testimony to relevant matters, request for official notice of certain facts and request for continuance of a hearing. Any member of the board hearing the case may request rulings of the board.
5.1A formal motion is not required to request a ruling by the board although a request may be made as a motion. Any request for ruling must clearly state the matter upon which the board is asked to rule.
5.2The board shall act an any request for ruling by majority vote of those present and hearing the case. The board may delegate the responsibility of ruling on requests to the chairperson conducting a hearing.
6.0Admission of Documentary Evidence

Any party may submit evidence in documentary form by submitting the ORIGINAL document to the board. Any party wishing to submit a copy of a document must request that the board rule that the copy is admissible. The board may admit the copy into evidence when the board determines that the original document is not readily available.
7.0Official Notice

Any party to a hearing or any member of the board hearing the case may request that the board take official notice of any facts judicially cognizable by a court. The board will rule on any request for official notice.
7.1 When the board has chosen to take official notice of any fact, the board must afford any party the opportunity to contest the facts officially noticed. The party contesting official notice may present argument and evidence to show why the board should not take notice of the matter requested.
8.0Issuance of Subpoenas

The board sitting as a whole, on its own motion or at the request of a party, may subpoena witnesses or books, records, or other documents. To issue a subpoena, the board must conduct a hearing to determine that good cause exists for the issuance of a subpoena. Said hearing may be held without notice to the parties and the board’s decision may be based upon the written request of the party requesting the subpoena. The board may subpoena witnesses, books, records or other documents of the appraisal district or of the property owner who is a part to the protest. Records of the appraisal district that are made confidential by law must be subpoenaed by the board in order to be considered in any protest hearing.
8.1A party to a hearing or proceeding of the board must make a request for subpoena in writing.
8.2When a party requests a subpoena, the board shall determine an amount of deposit reasonably sufficient to insure payment of the costs estimated to accrue for issuance and service of the individual to whom it is directed.
8.3The board shall approve the amount of compensation for each person to whom a subpoena is directed. each person to whom a subpoena is directed must present a written claim to the board for the amount of compensation to which he is entitled.
8.4Persons to whom a subpoena is directed are entitled to the following compensation:
  1. The reasonable costs of producing any documents subpoenaed as approved by the board.
  2. Mileage of forty (40)cents a mile for going and returning from the place of the proceedings.
  3. A fee of $50 per day for each whole or partial day that the individual is necessarily present at the proceedings.
9.0Affidavits in Lieu of Personal Appearance

The property owner may offer his evidence or argument by affidavit without personally appearing if the owner attests to the affidavit before an officer authorized to administer oaths or notary and submits such affidavit prior to the scheduled hearing.
10.0Ex Parte Contact

The board shall not consider any information on a protest that is not presented to the board during the protest hearing. A member of the review board may not communicate with another person regarding any matter relating to a protest other than matters necessary for the scheduling of hearings or in other proceedings before the board at which the property is compared to other property or used in a sample of properties.
11.0Conflict of Interest

A member of the review board may not participate in the determination or hearing of any protest in which he or she has any ownership interest in the property that is the subject of the protest. A member of the review board may not participate in the determination or hearing of any protest in which he or she is related by affinity within the seconded degree or by consanguinity within the third degree.
12.0Records of Hearings

The review board shall keep such records of its hearings as are required by law and by rule of the State Comptroller of Public Accounts.