In 2009, the 81st Texas Legislature, Regular Session, adopted a number of proposals aimed at reforming the way property is appraised and property values are reviewed. As part of the reform, the Legislature directed the Comptroller's office to approve curricula and provide materials for use in providing additional training and education for appraisal review board (ARB) members. This continuing education manual has been developed as part of the Comptroller's response to that directive.
The Comptroller's office publishes the Appraisal Review Board Manual that serves as a reference guide for ARB members. The Comptroller's Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) has, for many years, used the Appraisal Review Board Manual to provide training to new ARB members. The Legislature's desire, however, was that training and education of ARB members continue through a member's service on the ARB and include continuing education in the following areas:
- the cost, income, and market data comparison methods of appraising property;
- the appraisal of business personal property;
- the determination of capitalization rates for property appraisal purposes;
- the duties of an ARB;
- the requirements regarding the independence of an ARB from the board of directors and the chief appraiser and other employees of the appraisal district;
- the prohibitions against ex parte communications applicable to ARB members;
- the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP);
- the duty of the appraisal district to substantiate the district's determination of the value of property;
- the requirements regarding the equal and uniform appraisal of property;
- the right of a property owner to protest the appraisal of the property as provided by Property Tax Code Chapter 41; and
- a detailed explanation of each of the actions described by Property Tax Code §§41.41(a), 41.411, 41.412, 41.413, 41.42, and 41.43 so that ARB members are fully aware of each of the grounds on which a property appraisal can be appealed.
This more focused treatment of the material included in the Appraisal Review Board Manual is intended as a continuing education course for ARB members to take at the start of their second year of service. ARB members reappointed to additional terms must successfully complete the course in each year they continue to serve.
The material in this manual, though comprehensive, is not exhaustive. Property tax law is complex and constantly changing, whether by actions of the Legislature or by interpretation by the courts or the attorney general. ARB members should consult legal counsel in matters that are beyond the scope of this manual or subject to legal interpretation.