Introduction to Appraisal Review Boards
As a member of an appraisal review board (ARB), what legal guidelines and precedents do you face? Who schedules protests and challenges? How do you decide what is a fair ruling on a protest or challenge? What is the limit of your authority? How do you let taxpayers and taxing units know your decisions? How do you stay out of court? You will routinely face these questions and many more.
This manual will help you to answer these questions and to perform your duties as an ARB member. The manual provides general information about policy, procedures and legal guidelines. It outlines your official responsibilities, the resources available to you and the chronology of the review process. The manual also serves as the official course text for training you must complete before participating in ARB hearings.
Most of this manual addresses required and recommended procedures, property appraisal, exemptions, types of protests and standards of evidence. The first pages detail administrative aspects important throughout the ARB process. The manual tells you how to avoid conflicts of interest. It suggests ways to be sure people get fair hearings. It tells you how to follow the laws on open meetings and open records. Appendices contain examples of notices and orders used at various points of the ARB’s work.
This manual will not address every situation you may face as an ARB member. You should not rely solely on this manual for answers to the many questions that arise. The manual is only a guide to train new ARB members as they begin their work. Please consult with your attorney about legal issues in protest hearings, the development of ARB hearing procedures, and any other matter requiring interpretation of law. Technical questions can be answered by the staff of the Comptroller of Public Accounts and the appraisal district. While technical assistance is permitted, the law forbids the Comptroller from advising an ARB member, property owner, owner’s agent, appraisal district employee or public official on any matter that the Comptroller knows is subject to a protest to the ARB.
You may e-mail general questions to:
More information about local property taxes is available at the Local Property Taxes Web page at the Comptroller’s Web site at:
Address general questions to the agency’s Property Tax Division (PTD) by writing to:
P.O. Box 13528
Austin, TX 78711-3528
or by calling the toll-free number, 1-800-252-9121.
In Austin, call (512) 305-9999.