This manual was developed as a continuing education program for ARB members. The Comptroller has provided a comprehensive introductory course to new ARB members for many years. This course augments the introductory course by discussing legal and appraisal issues in greater detail. It is designed for ARB members who are serving beyond one year.
The manual addresses the Legislature's concerns that ARBs remain independent and impartial in their deliberations. It attempts to increase ARB members' ability to consider and weigh evidence at protest hearings with the skill necessary to ensure fairness to both the property owner and the appraisal district.
While this course presents legal issues in greater detail, discussing court cases and attorney general opinions that have interpreted the Property Tax Code, it is not a law book and ARB members should not treat it as one. The law regarding property taxation, like the law in other areas of life, is constantly changing and evolving. ARB members should therefore use this manual as a guide, but should consult their attorneys when legal questions arise.
By the same token, this course discusses appraisal methods in much greater detail than the introductory course, but it is not an appraisal manual. Like the law, appraisal work is complex. This manual provides the methods appraisers use as a means for ARB members to weigh the validity and relevance of evidence.
Most ARB members are neither property tax attorneys nor trained appraisers and this manual is neither a law book nor an appraisal manual. ARB members should consider the manual a guide and an important resource in weighing evidence presented at a protest hearing, but should consult their attorney when an issue is not clear or questions arise.