In addition to the developments contained in our release dated July 17, 2023, the second special legislative session ended recently in Texas with passage of several significant property tax bills, addressing administrative and compliance issues. The following bills should be noted.
Property Tax Modernization – Electronic Communications (HB 1228)
HB 1228 provides property owners the option to elect to exchange property tax communications (i.e., notices, reports, returns) with tax officials electronically. The bill takes effect for the 2024 tax year in counties with a population of 120,000 or more and for the 2025 tax year in counties with less than 120,000. The bill also allows a property owner, or the property owner’s agent, to request a copy of the information used to appraise the owner’s property without a fee.
Binding Arbitration – Deposit Payments (SB 2355)
Beginning January 1, 2024, binding arbitration applications will be filed with the Comptroller’s office, not the appraisal district. For applications filed via the Comptroller’s electronic system (when available), arbitration deposits must also be paid electronically through the system. For applications not filed electronically, deposits can be made by check/money order or other form acceptable to the Comptroller. Cashier’s checks are no longer required.
Burden of Proof – Certain Property Tax Appeals (HB 2488)
Effective September 1, 2023, on judicial review, the appraisal district has the burden of proof to establish the appraised value of the property subject to the appeal by clear and convincing evidence if the appraised value of the property in the preceding year was determined at a trial on the merits.
Appraisal Review Board (ARB) Protest Hearing Database (HB 796)
HB 796 requires appraisal districts to create a searchable internet database of information regarding protest hearings conducted by the ARB for the district, available by January 1, 2024. It will include the names of the ARB members, the account number and category of the subject property for each hearing, the date and time of hearing, the Central Appraisal District’s (CAD’s) appraised value and the property owner’s asserted value, and the ARB’s determination and value if applicable. Beginning on January 1, 2025, the database shall include information for protests relating to the most recent tax year and each tax year thereafter, until the database includes information for protests relating to the most recent five tax years.
Binding Arbitration to Compel Compliance (HB 4101)
Effective January 1, 2024, property owners who have filed a notice of protest under Chapter 41 may file a request for binding arbitration to compel the ARB or chief appraiser to comply with the hearing procedures adopted by the ARB.
Taxpayer Liaison Officer (HB 1285)
State law requires the board of directors for an appraisal district created for a county with a population of more than 120,000 to appoint a taxpayer liaison officer. Effective January 1, 2024, House Bill 1285 amends the Tax Code to expand the duties of the taxpayer liaison officer to include the resolution of a complaint related to the appraisal district or its ARB that does not involve the appraisal of property and to provide for the appointment of deputy taxpayer liaison officers. The bill requires the Comptroller of Public Accounts to establish and supervise a program for training and educating taxpayer liaison officers and deputy taxpayer liaison officers, completion of which is mandatory not later than the first anniversary of the date the officer is appointed and on a biennial basis thereafter.
The bill requires information about, and contact information for, the taxpayer liaison officer to be posted online by the appraisal district, if the district maintains a website, and requires information about the duties of such an officer to be included as part of the pamphlet on property taxpayer remedies published by the Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Notarization Requirements – Business Personal Property Renditions (HB 2121)
Effective January 1, 2024, the notarization requirement is eliminated for rendition statements or property reports filed on behalf of property owners when the value of the rendered property is $150,000 or less.
We will continue to provide updates on Texas law changes in future releases. If you would like to learn more about these changes, please register for our webinar to be held on August 16, 2023.
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