Property Tax Assistance Division Director's Quarterly Update
to Property Tax Professionals
As part of Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ commitment to assist property owners and local governments, the Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) provides updates on its activities. The following information summarizes our work for the past few months, as well as planned activities for the first quarter of 2012.
PTAD made changes to agency rules on topics including rendition forms, conduct of the property value study, appraisal district reviews, posting tax rates on a county’s internet website, and the manual for discounting oil and gas income. Courtesy copies of the rules are available on PTAD’s Proposed and Adopted Rule Amendments and Repeals webpage.
For the most updated rules on property tax administration, visit the Secretary of State’s website.
Pending Attorney General Opinions
There have been questions regarding the eligibility of a surviving spouse to receive an exemption under Tax Code Section 11.131 if a disabled veteran died prior to Jan. 1, 2012, the effective date of the law. State Representative Joe Pickett requested an Attorney General’s opinion on Oct. 18, 2011.
New applications for a residence homestead exemption require a copy of the applicant’s driver’s license or state-issued personal identification certificate and a copy of the applicant’s vehicle registration or an affidavit stating the applicant does not own a vehicle and a copy of a utility bill in the applicant’s name for the property subject to the exemption. Questions have arisen relating to the implementation of these requirements. State Representative Harvey Hilderbran requested an Attorney General’s opinion on how the requirements impact military personnel stationed in Texas, citizens who do not own a vehicle and do not have utility bills in their names, or persons who have expired driver’s licenses.
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)
TDLR rules governing property tax professionals were updated effective March 1, 2012, to allow:
- registration to be placed on inactive status;
- breaks in service up to five years;
- one-year extension of a certification deadline; and
- reapplication for an applicant who does not meet any the requirements for an extension.
Each of these actions is allowed under certain circumstances and fees are associated with each. For further information, please review these rules on TDLR’s website.
Heavy Equipment Dealers Special Inventory
Legislative changes were made to the calculation of market value of dealers’ heavy equipment inventory. PTAD modified the Heavy Equipment Dealer's Special Inventory manual, the Declaration Form and the Tax Statement Form in response to these changes.
Property Value Study
The 2011 preliminary taxable value findings were released and certified to the Texas Education Agency on Jan. 31, 2012. PTAD field appraisers, staff and managers worked diligently to meet the deadline so that school superintendents and chief appraisers statewide had the most accurate information available to them.
Calendars and Events
To keep track of important property tax dates and events, PTAD put the 2012 Property Tax Calendar and the 2012 Events Calendar online.
Additionally, training has started for all appraisal review board members. The schedule is set and classes will be held in Conroe, San Antonio, Arlington, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Amarillo, Midland, and Mt. Pleasant. The new member training classes began on March 6 and end on May 1 and the continuing education training classes began March 7 and end on May 2.
There is also a two-part webinar for continuing education being offered on May 9, 2012, which is the equivalent of attending the live or telecast ARB 2012 Continuing Education Seminar.
PTAD continues to promote the Comptroller’s vision of efficiency and transparency in government by providing information and assistance to taxpayers, appraisal districts, appraisal review boards, tax assessor-collectors and elected officials in the most accessible manner possible.
If you have comments or questions, please contact PTAD Director Debbie Cartwright at firstname.lastname@example.org.