THE NEW 90-DAY DEADLINE: FORCING APPRAISAL DISTRICTS AND APPRAISAL REVIEW BOARDS TO DO THEIR JOBS

Background. Some taxpayers have had their money held hostage due to the failure of chief appraisers to make decisions on exemption and special valuation applications. In these instances, taxpayers have been forced to pay on the market value of their properties while the chief appraisers ignore their responsibilities. In other words, some Texans are forced to pay taxes when they are entitled not to pay taxes, or entitled to pay much lower amounts.

Other Texans receive decisions leaving them wondering why their applications were denied, as chief appraisers often deny applications without any or adequate explanations. To add insult to injury, in those instances where chief appraisers indicated their grounds for denial, they raise entirely new issues when the matter comes before the appraisal review board. Further, some appraisal review boards take inordinate amounts of time to schedule hearings. This problem is particularly acute in rural appraisal districts.

This behavior is so widespread that the Texas Legislature created new provisions that force chief appraisers to make decisions on property tax exemptions and special appraisals within 90 days and to provide taxpayers detailed explanations for their decisions.  

The Texas legislature now requires appraisal review boards (ARBs) to hear protests within 90 days of them being filed.  

Moving forward, Texans will finally have the tools to force chief appraisers and ARBs to do their jobs in a timely manner.

Changes. Senate Bill 63 requires chief appraisers to take action on applications for property tax exemptions not later than 90 days after: (1) the date the applicant first qualifies for the exemption, or (2) the date the applicant provides to the chief appraiser information necessary for the chief appraiser to determine the applicant's right to an exemption – whichever date is later.

The bill establishes a similar 90-day deadline for chief appraisers to take action on applications for special appraisals and determine the applicant's rights to have their land appraised under one of the following:

  • AGRICULTURAL LAND;
  • OPEN-SPACE LAND;
  • TIMBER LAND OR RESTRICTED-USE TIMBER LAND;
  • RECREATIONAL, PARK, OR SCENIC LAND; OR
  • PUBLIC ACCESS AIRPORT PROPERTY.

If a chief appraiser requires additional information from an applicant to determine the applicant's right to an exemption or to special appraisal of their land, the chief appraiser must deliver a written notice to the applicant not later than the 30th day after the date the application is filed specifying the additional information the applicant must provide. If a chief appraiser modifies or denies an application for a tax exemption or denies an application for special appraisal, the requisite notice to the applicant must state and fully explain each reason for that action.

Scheduling of Protest and Motion to Correct Hearings

All protests and all motions under section 25.25 (correction of errors and substantial overvaluations) filed between January 1st and September 1st must be scheduled for hearing no later than the 90th day after the ARB approves the appraisal records. Motions to correct filed between September 1st and December 31st must be scheduled no later than 90 days after the taxpayer requests a hearing.

Evidence Presented at Protest Hearing – Chief Appraiser Restricted from Changing Basis for Denying Special Appraisals and Exemptions 

Senate Bill 63 prohibits a chief appraiser from offering evidence or argument at a hearing on a protest in support of a reason for modifying or denying an application for a tax exemption or for special appraisal of land, other than a reason stated in the notice delivered to the property owner explaining the reason for which the chief appraiser took that action unless the chief appraiser provides written notice to the property owner of the additional reason for modifying or denying the application not later than the 14th day before the date of the hearing and establishes that the additional reason was not known to the chief appraiser at the time the chief appraiser delivered the initial notice to the applicant.

Conclusion. These new provisions significantly strengthen taxpayers' rights. Taxpayers can force the chief appraiser to decide their exemption or special appraisal application within 90 days, force the appraisal review board to hold a hearing on their protest within 90 days of filing, and force the chief appraiser to explain why he or she denied their applications. This may require taxpayers to file suit for a writ of mandamus in district court. Further, the chief appraiser is bound by the explanation he or she gives for denying the application. These provisions will apply pressure to appraisal districts and appraisal review boards to diligently decide exemption and special appraisal applications.  

The effective date of the bill is September 1, 2021. 

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/29/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 29, 2022 | 0 Comments

CALIFORNIAPG&E Pays Over $339 Million in Property Taxes to 50 California CountiesYahoo FinanceDuring the second half of 2022, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) paid property taxes of over $339 million to the 50 counties where it owns properties that support gas and electric service to 16 mi...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/28/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 28, 2022 | 0 Comments

ARIZONATax defeat leaves fire districts in a bindgilbertsunnews.comState firefighter organizations lobbied the Legislature this year to put a question on the Nov. 8 ballot asking voters to approve a 20-year, .1% sales tax that would generate revenue for fire districts across the state. The Legisl...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/27/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

NATIONALWhy it's so hard to convert offices into housingQZAs employees shift to working outside the office, some Manhattan developers are considering turning their office towers into apartment buildings. The latest high-profile example? The former headquarters of Goldman Sachs, in the heart of th...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/22/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

FLORIDAFla. Medical Properties Are Tax-Exempt, Appeals Court SaysLaw360Properties owned by two Florida not-for-profit companies, including a teaching hospital and clinics, are exempt from taxation because they were equitably owned by University of Florida, a state appeals court said... TEXASKere...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/21/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 21, 2022 | 0 Comments

NEW YORKA Secret Society Tied to the Underground Railroad Fights to Save Its HomeThe New York TimesOn a brisk morning in November, bright yellow leaves from a huge ginkgo tree scattered onto the front yard of 87 MacDonough Street. Under peeling paint and missing cornices, Essie Gregory stood on t...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/20/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 20, 2022 | 0 Comments

CALIFORNIAStanford surpasses Getty Museum as largest recipient of property tax exemptions in CaliforniaPalo Alto OnlineStanford University recently surpassed the Getty Museum in Los Angeles as the largest recipient of property tax exemptions in California. The university received more than $16.8 ...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/19/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 19, 2022 | 0 Comments

NATIONALKohl's, Nordstrom, and Others Could See Closures in 2023Business InsiderA wave of closures may be coming for US department stores. That's according to analysts at UBS, who predicted this week that national chains could have to shutter some brick-and-mortar locations in 2023 – even those t...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/16/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 16, 2022 | 0 Comments

ILLINOISAnalysis: Illinois local governments have given Amazon $733M in tax breaks, second among statesPrairie State WireAmazon has received $733 million in property tax breaks to open its facilities in 16 Illinois communities, second-highest among U.S. states. That's according to an analysis of ...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/15/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 15, 2022 | 0 Comments

ALABAMAHenry Co. Commission rescinds abatement for solar projectWDHNThe Henry County Commission has reneged on the approval of a 20-year tax abatement for the Chicago-based renewable energy company — Hecate Energy. This comes after nearly 30 Henry County Citizens, primarily from the Tumbleton are...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/14/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 14, 2022 | 0 Comments

ARKANSASDillard's sues BOE for lower taxesjonesborosun.comAccording to the complaint filed with the Craighead County Circuit Court, Dillard's Dollars, lnc., is appealing the Nov. 2 judgment entered by Judge Marvin Day in the County Court of Craighead County, which sided with the BOE's decision to...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/13/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 13, 2022 | 0 Comments

NATIONALStarting to Be Housing Bust 2 for Homebuilders & New Single-Family HousesWolf StreetIf a homebuilder cannot sell their ballooning inventory of unsold new houses to households, at current prices and mortgage rates, amid plunging sales and soaring cancellation rates of signed contracts – to...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/12/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

CONNECTICUTNew Britain wins Southington land valuation suit, gets credits for overpaymentMy Record JournalA contested land valuation court case decided against Southington will result in a loss of local tax revenue for upcoming fiscal years. New Britain's Board of Water Commissioners contested So...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/9/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 09, 2022 | 0 Comments

CALIFORNIA Bay Area homeowners shouldn't expect lower property taxes despite falling pricesMercury NewsBay Area home values likely will continue to fall in 2023 — with the San Francisco area set to take the biggest losses in the country — but that doesn't mean homeowners should necessarily expect...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/8/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 08, 2022 | 0 Comments

ILLINOISIllinois Property Tax Appeal Board seeks more resources to clear caseloadkpvi.comMembers of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board is requesting improvements to their offices from the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission. The five-member board, also known as PTAB, provides an unbiased fo...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/7/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 07, 2022 | 0 Comments

NATIONALThe 'office apocalypse' is upon usBusiness InsiderBefore the pandemic, 95% of offices were occupied. Today that number is closer to 47%. Employees' not returning to downtown offices has had a domino effect: Less foot traffic, less public-transit use, and more shuttered businesses have cau...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/6/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 06, 2022 | 0 Comments

CANADAB.C. property assessments higher, but market has changed, warns assessorVancouver SunB.C.'s property assessment agency is warning homeowners that figures released next month estimating the value of their home will probably be higher than the current market price. B.C. Assessment says in a s...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/5/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 05, 2022 | 0 Comments

INTERNATIONALAssessor's appeal against decision that vandalised industrial premises had little value refused by Inner HouseScottish Legal NewsIt was argued by the appellants that the committee was wrong to focus on whether a potential tenant would still have a use for the premises. The respondent...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/2/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 02, 2022 | 0 Comments

NATIONALFalling property tax assessments could challenge local governmentsJLLAs property values decline meaningfully in the wake of interest rate increases, some of the largest office markets in the U.S. face heightened risk of shock to municipal finances due to greater reliance on property taxes...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 12/1/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Dec 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

CALIFORNIASan Francisco Has Voted to Tax Corporate Landlords for Leaving Housing VacantTruth OutWith nearly 60,000 unoccupied units, San Francisco has a significant vacancy problem, in addition to an acute affordable housing shortage. This creates something of an irony: The city simultaneously ha...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 11/30/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Nov 30, 2022 | 0 Comments

CANADAMontreal hikes residential taxes 4.1 per cent, highest in a decadeCTV NewsValerie Plante's administration at the City of Montreal released its 2023 budget Tuesday, and it includes the largest tax increase since 2010. Residential property taxes collected by the city centre will go up an aver...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 11/29/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Nov 29, 2022 | 0 Comments

CANADACentral Alberta property taxes on the rise after years of near-zero increasesRed Deer AdvocateThe days of near-zero per cent tax increases in central Alberta communities appear to be over. Blackfalds was the most recent municipality to pass its operating and capital budgets, which will be p...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 11/28/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Nov 28, 2022 | 0 Comments

GEORGIAGeorgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker getting tax break in 2022 on Texas home intended for primary residenceCNN PoliticsPublicly available tax records reviewed by CNN's KFile show Walker is listed to get a homestead tax exemption in Texas in 2022, saving the Senate candidate approximate...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 11/23/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Nov 23, 2022 | 0 Comments

FLORIDAHurricane Ian: Collier, Lee property tax breaks must wait a yearNews PressLee and Collier county property owners will receive their property tax bills starting this this week, ripping off a bandage against the background of monumental damage to property lying in Southwest Florida after Hur...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 11/22/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Nov 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

FLORIDAAmazon Effect: Huge Boost in Tax RevenueFlorida RealtorsFor local tax collectors, Amazon is the gift that keeps on giving. Nowhere is that more evident in Florida than in Daytona Beach, where the taxable value on a 211-acre parcel soared from $49,168 to $11,599,157 once Amazon took possess...

Continue Reading

Brusniak Turner Fine Updates 11/21/2022

Posted by John Brusniak | Nov 21, 2022 | 0 Comments

INTERNATIONALPublic buildings in England and Wales likely to get 15%-20% tax rises next yearThe GuardianThe government on Thursday released details of a revaluation of properties across England and Wales for the calculation of business rates, with many public buildings expected to be among the lo...

Continue Reading

  • 2 of 38