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Property Tax Protest and Appeal Procedures
Property owners have the right to protest actions concerning their property tax appraisals. You may follow these appeal procedures if you have a concern about:
• The appraised (market) value of your property;
• The unequal value of your property compared with other properties;
• The inclusion of your property on the appraisal roll;
• Any exemptions that may apply to you;
• The qualification for an agricultural or timber appraisal;
• The taxing units taxing your property;
• The local governments which should be taxing your property;
• The property ownership;
• The change of use of land receiving special appraisal;
• Failure of the chief appraiser or appraisal review board to send a required notice; or
• Any action taken by the chief appraiser, appraisal district or appraisal review board that applies to and adversely affects you.
For information about informal review and obtaining property tax records, call the appraisal district at (936) 598-6171.
Review by the Appraisal Review Board
If you can’t resolve your problem informally with the county appraisal district (CAD) staff, you file a notice of protest to have your case heard by the appraisal review board (ARB).
The ARB is an independent board of citizens that hears and determines protests regarding property appraisals or other concerns listed above. It has the power to order the appraisal district to make the necessary changes based on evidence heard during the ARB hearing.
If you file a written request for an ARB hearing (notice of protest) before the deadline, the ARB will set your case for a hearing and send you written notice of the time, date, place and subject of the hearing. If necessary, you may request a hearing in the evening or on a Saturday. You may use comptroller form 50-132, Property Appraisal – Notice of Protest, to file your written request for an ARB hearing.
Prior to your hearing, you may ask to review the evidence the appraisal district plans to introduce at the hearing to establish any matter at issue. Before a hearing on a protest or immediately after the hearing begins, you or your agent and the appraisal district are required to provide each other with a copy of any materials (evidence) intended to be offered or submitted to the ARB at the hearing. Evidence may be submitted for any hearing type either in paper or on a small portable electronic device (such as a CD, USB flash drive or thumb drive) which will be kept by the ARB. Do NOT bring evidence on a smart phone. The ARB’s hearing procedures regarding all the requirements to properly submit evidence on a small portable electronic device must be reviewed.
To the greatest extent practicable, the hearing will be informal. You or a designated agent may appear in person, by telephone or by written affidavit to present your evidence, facts and argument. You must indicate the type of hearing you request on your written notice of protest filed with the ARB not later than the 10th day before the hearing date and provide your evidence and written affidavit before the ARB hearing begins. You may use Comptroller Form 50-283, Property Owner’s Affidavit of Evidence to the Appraisal Review Board, to submit evidence for your telephone conference call hearing or for hearing by affidavit.
You and the appraisal district representative have the opportunity to present evidence about your case. In most cases, the appraisal district has the burden of establishing the property’s value by a preponderance of the evidence presented.
In certain protests, the chief appraiser has the burden of proving the property’s value by clear and convincing evidence. You should review ARB hearing procedures to learn more about evidence and related matters.
Note: You should not 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, an Arbitrator or SOAH
After it decides your case, the ARB must send you a copy of its order by certified mail. If you are not satisfied with the ARB’s decision, you have the right to appeal to district court. As an alternative to district court, you may appeal through binding arbitration or the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) if you meet the qualifying criteria.
If you choose to go to district court, you must start the process by filing a petition with the district court within 60 days of the date you receive the ARB’s order. If you chose to appeal through binding arbitration, you must file a request for binding arbitration with the appraisal district not later than the 60th day after you receive notice of the ARB order. If you chose to appeal to the SOAH, you must file an appeal with the appraisal district not later than the 30th day after you receive notice of the ARB’s order. Appeals to district court, binding arbitration or SOAH all require payment of certain fees or deposits.
If you believe that the ARB or chief appraiser failed to comply with an ARB procedural requirement, you may file a complaint. If it is not resolved by the ARB or chief appraiser, you can request limited binding arbitration to compel the ARB or the chief appraiser to comply.
You must pay the amount of taxes due on the portion of the taxable value not in dispute, the amount of taxes due on the property under the order from which the appeal is taken or the amount of taxes due in the previous year.
You can get more information by contacting Shelby County Appraisal District at 724 Shelbyville Street, Center, Texas 75935, (936) 598-6171.
You can get comptroller forms and additional information on how to prepare a protest from the Comptroller’s website at https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/
Deadline for Filing Protests with the ARB*
Not later than May 30 (or within 30 days after a notice of appraised value was mailed to you, whichever is later).
Late protests are allowed for good cause if you miss the deadline. The ARB decides whether you have good cause. Late protests are not allowed after the ARB approves the appraisal records for the year.
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 not later than 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 taxes become delinquent (usually February 1) or no later than the 125th day after the date you claim you received a tax bill from one or more of the taxing units that tax your property. 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.
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