I. The ARB's Role in the Property Tax System
An appraisal district board of directors appoints the ARB members by selecting citizens from the community. The appraisal district board also hires the chief appraiser and sets the budget. The directors, however, have no authority to set values or appraisal methods. The chief appraiser carries out the appraisal district's legal duties, hires the staff, appraises property and operates the appraisal office.
The ARB is the administrative review arm of the property tax system, and the ARB is a quasi-judicial entity with responsibility to resolve disputes between property owners and appraisal districts. The ARB is a separate entity from the appraisal office and serves a different function.
Appearance before the ARB is often the first time that a taxpayer has faced a decision-making body of government. The ARB should attempt to make the experience a positive one by its demeanor and willingness to listen. Fairness and courtesy in conducting hearings should be maintained by the ARB as it considers the evidence presented by all parties to the protests.
The ARB must interpret the meaning of statutes in some protests. For example, the legal requirements for exemption qualifications may require interpretation. When such interpretation is needed, the ARB should seek legal advice from its attorney so that proper statutory construction can be understood and a correct protest determination can be made.
The ARB only has authority over protests submitted to it. The ARB has no role in the day-to-day operations of the appraisal office or in appraising property. It cannot order the reappraisal of a category of property or otherwise instruct the appraisal staff about how to perform its job.
Except where it is deciding a taxpayer protest, taxing unit challenge or a correction motion, the ARB has no authority to change a value or correct the appraisal records directly. In a challenge, it must order the chief appraiser to reappraise or correct the records related to the challenge. Only in resolving taxpayer protests can the ARB make changes or set a value on its own. Such a change only affects the property in question.