Appendix 1-8 Appendix 9-15 Appendix 16-19
Sec. 5.07. Property Tax Forms and Records Systems.
(a) The comptroller shall prescribe the contents of all forms necessary for the administration of the property tax system and on request shall furnish sufficient copies of model forms of each Type to the appropriate local officials. The comptroller may require reimbursement for the costs of printing and distributing the forms.
(b) The comptroller shall make the contents of the forms uniform to the extent practicable but may prescribe or approve additional or substitute forms for special circumstances.
(c) The comptroller shall also prescribe a uniform record system to be used by all appraisal districts for the purpose of submitting data to be used in the annual studies required by Section 5.10 of this code and by Section 403.302, Government Code. The record system shall include a compilation of information concerning sales of real property within the boundaries of the appraisal district. The sales information maintained in the uniform record system shall be submitted annually in a form prescribed by the comptroller.
Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2222, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 6, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1183, Sec. 4, eff. June 20, 2003.
Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice Standards
The USPAP Standards may be obtained from the Appraisal Foundation, 1029 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20005-3517, Phone: 202/347-7722, FAX: 202/347-7727, or they may be viewed on the Internet at the following location: www.appraisalfoundation.org.
International Association of Assessing Officers Standards
International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) Standards of Assessment Practice. The standards can be obtained from the IAAO Office, 130 East Randolph St., Suite 850, Chicago, IL, 60601. Phone 312/819-6100, Fax 312/819-6149, Web site: www.iaao.com.
Appraisal Standards Review Protocol
Determine County Appraisal District's Compliance with Appraisal Standards and State Laws
Review of the Board of Directors.
The quality of the property tax system depends on the appraisal district's Board of Directors. Individuals serving on the Board of Directors bring to the board knowledge, judgment and expertise in establishing policies and procedures for the district's organization and operation.
Activities to be Performed.
A. Examine the current budget for the District for compliance with Texas Tax Code requirements as set forth in Section 6.06 and where deviations are noted, discuss the deviations and suggest possible remedies;
B. Examine the most recent District financial audits and determine how the District has addressed the findings in the management letter or any noted material weaknesses. If material weaknesses are present, make specific recommendations for immediate remediation if the District has not already taken steps to rectify the situation. Discuss any findings that have not been remedied and suggest ways to address these issues; and
C. Examine all contracts entered into by the District for the last year to determine compliance with the Tax Code and Subchapter C, Chapter 271, Local Government Code. Where deviations are noted, discuss the deviations and make recommendations to bring the District into compliance with state laws and regulations.
Review of Appraisal District Policies, Procedures & Operations.
In organizing and administering a county appraisal district, the Chief Appraiser is responsible for hiring, firing, and training personnel, for ensuring compliance with a wide range of legal requirements and for the maintenance of policies and procedures for the effective appraisal district office operations.
Activities to be Performed.
A. Review the District's policies and procedures and note and discuss all efforts aimed at compliance and note any deviations from law, regulations or rules. Make comprehensive, well-reasoned recommendations to remediate any exceptions or non-compliance found to be applicable;
B. Examine the District's application forms to determine whether the forms are in compliance with Comptroller's Rules found at 34 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Sections 9.402, 9.415, 9.417, and 9.419. Where applications do not comply with any of the foregoing rules, the exceptions or non-compliance must be identified, noted and recommendation must be made to outline the necessary changes required to achieve full compliance;
C. Examine a sample of the District's appraisal records to determine whether the records conform to the requirements set forth in Comptroller's Rule found at 34 TAC Section 9.3059, as well as with Section 26.01, Tax Code.
D. Examine the District's documentation for evidence of compliance with certification of the appraisal roll to each taxing unit as required by law. If certifications were not done timely, determine the reason for the delay and determine what actions have been taken to ensure compliance in the future. Additionally, where applicable, make recommendations for improvements that will ensure full compliance.
Evaluation of the Appraisal District's Information Processing System(s).
The Successful Respondent must conduct a comprehensive examination and evaluation of the information processing system, including the systems and information technology operations, in each county appraisal district reviewed under the Review Contract.
Activities to be Performed.
Successful Respondent(s) must perform all of the following deliverables and include findings, commendations, and relevant written recommendations in the written draft and final reports:A. Examine documentation on the real property discovery methods utilized by the District to determine whether the District is in compliance with Section 23.12, Tax Code, as well as IAAO and IAAO on Personal Property. Where deviations are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
B. Examine the internal control mechanisms within the District's information management system(s) to determine whether sufficient controls exist to ensure uniformity and accuracy of appraisals. Evidence that additional controls may be needed may be found by examining measures for uniformity, such as a ratio study, as outlined in the Uniform Standards of Appraisal Practice (USAP). Where control weaknesses are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
C. Examine the District's method of obtaining and entering sales information to determine if the methods used are in compliance with USAP. Where system or procedural weaknesses are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
D. Examine the District's method for verifying and confirming sales data gathered to determine whether the methods used are in compliance with the USAP. Where system or procedural weaknesses are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
E. Examine the District's method of maintaining its sales files, including the written procedures for maintaining the District's sales file. In this regard, check the District's procedures for adequacy. Where system or procedural weaknesses are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
F. Examine all documentation and output to determine whether the current District information system adequately ensures compliance with applicable Comptroller rules; and
G. Determine whether the District is in compliance with Tax Code on granting, verifying, and denying exemptions, and or special appraisals, as shown in Subchapters A, B, and C of the Tax Code. Where system or procedural weaknesses are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement.
Review District Staffing, Personnel Qualifications & Positions.
The Successful Respondent must conduct a comprehensive examination and evaluation of the District's Staffing, Personnel Qualifications, and the system of positions, as well as assess the human resources in the District available to perform District functions in each county appraisal district reviewed under the Review Contract.
Activities to be Performed.
Successful Respondent(s) must perform all of the following deliverables and include findings, commendations, and relevant written recommendations in the written draft and final reports:A. Examine the qualifications of District staff to determine compliance with certifications and other legal requirements. Note any areas of deviation from the law and recommend improvements; and
B. Examine the District's policies on staff conflicts of interest and note any deviations from law, as well as make recommendations and commendations for achieving full compliance.
Compliance with Generally Accepted Appraisal Practices; Equality & Uniformity of Appraisal Standards.
In general, in appraisal circles there are three approaches to value - cost, income, and market - that a Chief Appraiser must consider in determining the market value of property. The Chief Appraiser must consider all three and use the method most appropriate in appraising a particular property. These three approaches are outlined below.
Additional information about the approaches to determining or appraising value may be found in appraisal textbooks. Appraisers usually determine the value of producing mineral deposits-such as oil, gas, and coal-by using the income approach to value. Most appraisal districts contract with consultants to appraise mineral properties. The Chief Appraiser can provide information concerning the method used to appraise certain mineral properties.
When using the cost method of appraisal, the appraiser will:
- use cost data obtained from generally accepted sources;
- adjust appropriately for physical, functional, or economic obsolescence;
- make available to the public on request, for a reasonable charge, cost data developed and used by the chief appraiser on properties within a property category;
- state clearly the reason for any variation between generally accepted cost data and locally produced cost data, if the data vary by more than 10 percent; and
- make available to a property owner on request all applicable market data that demonstrates the difference between an improvement's replacement cost and the improvement's depreciated value.
When using the income method of appraisal, the appraiser will:
- analyze comparable rental data available to the chief appraiser or the potential earnings capacity of the property, or both, to estimate the gross income potential of the property;
- analyze comparable operating expense data available to the chief appraiser to estimate the operating expenses of the property;
- analyze comparable data available to the chief appraiser to estimate rates of capitalization or rates of discount; and
- base projections of future rent or income potential and expenses on reasonably clear and appropriate evidence.
When using the market data comparison method of appraisal, the appraiser will use comparable sales data and adjust the comparable sales data to the subject property.
Special Use Property Appraisals.
The Tax Code also requires appraisers to use special methods or principles for the following Type of property: Land qualifying for agricultural or timber appraisal (Chapter 23, subchapters C, D, E and H); (See Appraisal Standards for Uniformity and Equality as well as Tax Code, Sections 23.01, 1.43, and 42.26).A. Examine use of special methods by district. Report any findings.
International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) Standards on Ratio Studies and Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices Standard 6.
Activities to be Performed.
- Examine the district's re-appraisal plan for the last two years to see if it complies with Section 25.18, Tax Code, and the guidelines set out in the Comptroller's Board of Directors Manual. Where deviations are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
- Examine appraisal manuals for each category of property to determine compliance with the Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Procedures and International Association Assessing Officers (IAAO) Standard on Appraisal. Where deviations are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
- Examine the District's cost approach system for compliance with the Uniform Standard on Professional Appraisal Practice, IAAO, and Tax Code. Where deviations are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
- Examine the District's income approach system for compliance with the Uniform Standards on Professional Appraisal Practice, IAAO Standard on Appraisal, and Tax Code. Where deviations are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
- Examine the District's sales comparison system for compliance with the Uniform Standards on Professional Appraisal Practice, IAAO, and Tax Code. Where deviations are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
- Examine the District's agricultural use appraisal system and procedure's for granting and verifying qualified lands for compliance with the Tax Code, Comptrollers Agricultural Manual, and Wildlife Management Guidelines. Where deviations are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
- Examine the District's timber appraisal system and procedures for granting and verifying qualified lands for compliance with the Tax Code and the Comptroller's Timber Manual. Where deviations are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
- Examine the District's personal property appraisal system and procedures for discovery and verification of personal property for compliance with the Tax Code, IAAO Standard on Personal Property, and Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Where deviations are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
- Assess the District's compliance with Uniform Standard of Appraisal Practice and standards promulgated by the IAAO. Where deviations are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement;
- Evaluate the District's consistency in appraisal practices by reviewing ratios for uniformity and equality among the following categories of property: single family residential real property; multi-family residential real property; vacant lots and tracts; real property acreage; farm and ranch improvements; commercial real property; industrial real property; oil, gas, and other mineral property; non-business vehicle; utility real and personal property; commercial business personal property; industrial business personal property; non-business tangible personal property; intangible personal property; and residential real property inventory;
- Examine the District's procedures for using sales in the appraisal process and confirm that procedures are written and updated. Determine whether these procedures and the corresponding computer system used to maintain that data is adequate and in compliance with generally accepted standards. Where system or procedural weaknesses are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement; and
- By examining ratio studies conducted by the District and methods, procedures and output measures produced determine what output measures are produced and how they are used in the process to ensure compliance with Uniform Standards on Appraisal Practice and IAAO Standards. Where system or procedural weaknesses are noted, discuss and make recommendations for improvement.
Mason School District Summary Worksheet.
Mason School District Confidence Interval Detail.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Property Tax Division
International Association of Assessing Officers
Self Evaluation Questionnaire
Mason County Appraisal District
Chapter 1: Setting, Legal Framework, Value Standard and Assessment Cycle
- What does the assessment office do to keep current with legislative proposal, laws, and court decisions?We attend update seminars, conventions and workshops as time permits. We read TAAD and TAAO monthly publications and receive their e-mails. We also read the publication sent out by the Comptroller's Office as well as regional news papers.
- Does the law require general uniformity in property taxation?Yes
- What measures in the law support a current market value standard, and what matters undercut such a standard?The latest rendition law was a step in the right direction. I'm hopeful that mandatory price reporting will move forward. I think the recent interpretations of the overlap law have only served to complicate matters. It needs to be revisited in 2005.
- Does the assessment district have the size, resources and fiscal capacity to perform the assessment function effectively and efficiently?No, but we are trying.
Chapter 2: Resources and Management
- Does the assessment office engage in formal planning?No
- Has the assessment office prepared a formal estimate of resources it requires?No. Our problem is largely one of inexperience. We also did not inherit a finely tuned machine that was current in its duties. We are, by necessity, learning as we go.
- Is office space sufficient, and are other facilities adequate?Yes
- Are performance- or program-based budgeting methods used?No
- Is the office's funding adequate?No. This under-funding is a product of my inexperience coupled with my desire to cut excess spending from the prior year budget. Everyone else was going to tighten their belts and I tried to follow suit. Now it looks like there will need to be some budget amendments to accomplish some of the tasks at hand.
- Does the staff have the right skills?We are growing in that direction.
- Is the assessment office well organized?????
- Is the staff well managed?Needs improvement.
- Are skills in procurement and contract management sufficient?Yes
- Is the staff quality-conscious?Very
Chapter 3: Computerization
- Do you have at least one computer workstation (terminal or personal computer) for each appropriate staff member?Yes
- Does the infrastructure provide for the following services?(See page 23 of the self assessment guide)
- Is the system based on a database management system (DBMS)-preferably a relational DBMS-that provides integration possibilities with other applications not provided by the base system?Yes
- Does the assessment office maintain data security and integrity including an audit trail of changes in records that affect assessments?Yes
- Does the computer system adequately address issues of security and privacy?Yes
- Does the system provide query/reporting tolls to allow advanced users to work independently of programming personnel in addressing needs that had not been anticipated at the time the system was first installed?Yes
- Does the computer system support multiyear processing?Yes
- Does the office provide public web access to information and services?No
- Does the system provide geographic information services (GIS) capabilities?Yes
- Does the system provide advanced workflow processing and management?No. Supplementary comment: We now have "future year" processing ability.
- Does the system offer the ability to manage document images or photo imagery?Yes. Supplementary comment: We do include photo images in our appraisal records.
Chapter 4: Mapping
- Does the assessment office maintain a complete set of cadastral maps showing the size, shape, and location of each parcel in the jurisdiction?We are working on it now and for the foreseeable future
- Are maps maintained using professionally accepted standards for size, scale, payout, lines, symbols and the like?Yes
- Are parcel splits and combinations noted on maps within one month of a deed's recordation?No. Supplementary comment: We are trying to get caught up.
- Are all parcels assigned a parcel identified that uniquely identifies the parcel?Yes
- Are geographic coordinates displayed on cadastral maps?No
- Does the assessment office maintain map representations of spatial assessment areas and the valuation influence?No. Supplementary comment: We do show drawings of improvements if that's what the question means.
- Does the assessment office have computerized maps?Yes
- Are the assessment office's maps and records part of a multipurpose GIS or LIS?I don't know. Supplementary comment: Our parcel numbers are a part of the GIS.
Chapter 5: Data Collection
- Do computer records contain information on current property use, highest and best (most probable) use, and indicators of legal uses, such as zoning?Yes
- Does the assessment office maintain computerized data on land attributes important in the local market?Yes
- Does the assessment office physically inspect properties at least every four to six years?Not in the past. Supplementary comment; We will in the future.
- Does your assessment office regularly obtain copies of building permits, occupancy permits, or both, and does it conduct physical inspections of affected properties?Yes
- Does the assessment office maintain only data necessary in valuation or the support of values?No. Supplementary comment: We also house the 911 system for Mason county.
- Is the residential property record card well designed and supported by a data-coding manual and training program?Yes
- Does your office use a hand held computer for field data collection?No. Supplementary comment: We do have a laptop and scanner that we use in deed research and recording.
- Does the assessment office have a computerized edit program that includes both range and consistency checks?I don't know.
- Are data for commercial properties collected by experienced appraisers?We have no experienced appraisers.
- Does the assessment office have a program of routinely collecting income data for apartment buildings, retail stores, office buildings, and other commonly leased or rented properties?No
Chapter 6: Land Evaluation
- Are land sales reviewed, confirmed, and maintained in a sales file?Yes
- Do you stratify land by zoning or use and by location?Yes
- Are land sales analyzed in terms of value per unit, and are the per unit values plotted on maps?Yes/No
- In downtown and other high density commercial areas, are standard unit values assigned to each block face?No. Supplementary comment: We have no high density areas of any kind.
- Does the assessment office use market-derived tables to make size or depth adjustments?No. Supplementary comment: We will be plotting market sales to adjust lots in town and rural acreage tracts this year.
- Does the assessment office have a standard procedure for adjusting land values for shape or corner location, and are the adjustments based on market analysts?No
- Are adjustments made for positive location (situs) factors, such as golf course frontage, other premium frontage, premium view, or negative situs factors, such as excess traffic, limited access, adverse topography?No. Supplementary comments: We do have neighborhood adjustments based on sales data.
- Does the assessment office use spreadsheets or statistical software to help develop land values?Yes
- Does the assessment office use a geographic information system to assist in data quality control and fine-tuning valuation models?No
- In built-up areas with few vacant land sales, does the assessment office use the abstraction, allocation, or land residual capitalization methods to derive standard unit values?Allocation
- Does the assessment office use the cost-of-development method in the appraisal of large tracts of land awaiting development?No. Supplementary comments: We have none.
Chapter 7: Residential Property Valuation
- Does the assessment office place primary emphasis on the sales comparison approach in the appraisal of subdivision homes, condominiums, and town homes?Yes
- Are sales ratios analyzed by neighborhood, size, age, and other key features during the appraisal process?No. Supplementary comment: They are now.
- Are value estimates reviewed by appraisers and reconciled before generation of final values?Yes
- Are comparable sales readily available and used for residential property valuation, analysis, and value support?Not for all classes of property. Supplementary comment: We use what we have.
- Are statistical models technically sound and the coefficients reasonable?Yes
- Are cost schedules checked against local buildings of known cost and adjusted as necessary?Yes
- Are cost schedules fully computerized?Yes
- Are depreciation schedules based on sales analysis?No. Supplementary comment: Depreciation is applied as property is inspected.
Chapter 8: Commercial Property Valuation
- Does the assessment office employ the three approaches to value in appraising business properties?We have not addressed business property since I arrived. I doubt that much was done for several years prior to that. Supplementary comment: We have reviewed businesses now and adjustments were made primarily on sales data and cost data.
- Has the assessment office defined separate market areas or neighborhoods for business properties?No. Supplementary comment: Type construction has more influence on price in our area. Old rock buildings bring a premium.
- Does the assessment office make a comprehensive effort to collect local income and expense data?No
- Does the assessment office use commercial publications to help in the development of rental rates, vacancy ratios, expenses and expense ratios, and capitalization rates?No
- In the income approach, does the office maintain automated income data to analyze reported sales, revenue, and expense data to develop the following: typical market rents and other income, vacancy ratios, expense ratios, capitalization rates and/or gross rent multipliers?No
- Are available sales used to: Help derive capitalization rates and income multipliers? Help calibrate depreciation schedules? Development benchmark per-unit values or build market models?Yes. Supplementary comment: no/no/yes
- In the cost approach, have base rates and cost factors been developed from local cost data or adjusted to the local market?Yes
- Are observed physical condition, economic obsolescence, and functional obsolescence considered in estimating total depreciation?Yes
- Are automated value estimates reviewed and reconciled by senior appraisers?No. Supplementary comment: We have no senior appraisers.
- Does your assessment office employ software tools in analyzing commercial properties?No
Chapter 9: Sales Data, Ratio Studies, and Stratification
- Are real estate sales properly screened?Yes
- Does the assessment office's computer system maintain a "snapshot" of properties at time of sale?No
- Are sales used in valuation analyses and ratio studies adjusted to the valuation date?Yes
- Has the assessment office stratified residential properties by market area and sub-area (neighborhood)?No
- Are ratio studies conducted in a timely manner?We try.
- Does the assessment office use ratio studies in planning and determining reappraisal priorities?No
- Does the assessment office conduct ratio studies by property groups and subgroups?No
- Does the assessment office have the capability of running ratio studies by user-selected combinations of property characteristics?I think so.
- Does the ratio study program compute standard measures of level and uniformity and confidence intervals?Don't know.
- Does the ratio study software have graphics capabilities?Don't know.
- Does the assessment office supplement ratio study analyses with tests to ensure that unsold properties have been appraised similarly to properties that have been sold?We try to.
Chapter 10: Personal Property Assessment
- Does the assessment office systematically employ several methods to discover taxable personal property?Yes
- Does the assessment office deliver personal property declaration forms to owners of taxable personal property?Yes
- Does the assessment office follow up on nonreturns by making supplemental mailings, filed inspections, and estimated assessments?Yes
- Are personal property reporting forms tailored to the needs of different businesses and industries, and do they collect the appropriate data including information on fully depreciated items?Yes
- Does the assessment office coordinate real and personal property field inspections to ensure the fixtures, trade fixtures, and leasehold improvement are identified and properly classified?When necessary.
- Does the assessment office audit returns and inspect businesses to ensure complete and accurate reporting?When necessary.
- Does the assessment office employ all appropriate approaches to appraisal in valuing personal property?No. Supplementary comment: Only the most appropriate approach.
- In the cost approach, does the assessment office maintain separate cost trend and depreciation indexes for each class of personal property?No
- Does the assessment office use price guides to value items that are frequently sold as used items?Yes
- Does the assessment office use the income approach to value leased equipment?No
Chapter 11: Assessment Administration
- Does the assessment office update ownership and legal description information within thirty days of a transfer being recorded?Yes
- Do computer records contain the source of all appraised or assessed values?Yes
- Does the assessment office verify eligibility for exemptions or other relief?Yes
- Do you ensure that properties are assigned to the correct tax rate area?As best we can.
- Do you notify property owners by mail of the amount and reason for changes in appraised and assessed values, as well as of their right to appeal?No. I do publish articles in the local paper if any broad based changes are made and try to explain the reasons for making necessary adjustments. Supplementary comment: We do notify taxpayers if their exemption status changes, roll backs or back assessments are made.
- Does your jurisdiction produce computerized assessment rolls or listings, recapitulations of the rolls, and indexes to all of the properties on the assessments rolls or listings?No. Supplementary comment: Does this mean appraisal rolls and statements are computer generated. If so, the answer is yes.
Chapter 12: Defense of Values
- Does a supervisory agency or review body have the power to review values and valuation methods on its initiative, or is the assessment office required to submit valuations to a regulatory body for approval before taxes can be levied?Yes
- Are owners and taxpayers encouraged to discuss concerns and complaints with the assessment office before lodging a formal appeal?Always. Supplementary comment: and most are resolved informally.
- Do you track the status of each formal appeal to ensure that it is appropriately disposed of and that records are properly updated?Yes
- Does your office have a documented process for handling formal appeals?Yes
- When the valuation is difficult and considerable value is at issue, does the assessment office obtain an independent review from another appraiser as part of the defense in a formal appeal?Yes
Chapter 13: Public Relations
- Are you required to submit information to a regulatory body for approval?Yes
- Does your office have an active public relations program that reaches out to the public?Yes
- Does the assessment office have an active program of public appearances to keep the public informed of actions that may affect them?Yes
- Can property records be accessed by parcel identified, situs address, and owner?Yes
- Does your office take advantage of automated mapping or GIS to facilitate public access to information?Yes
- Does the assessment office have available for public distribution a nontechnical description of how property is assessed, of appeal rights and procedures, of exemptions and other forms of tax relief, and of how property tax bills are calculated?Yes