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 governmental entities, the Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) is expanding its outreach efforts. The following is a summary of some of PTAD’s work in the last three months, as well as its planned activities for the first quarter of 2010.
2009 PVS Released Online
For the first time, the property value study was released electronically, rather than on paper. The Jan. 29 release was achieved successfully due to the efforts of PTAD field appraisers, technical staff and managers. This approach represents an efficient and accurate means of providing information to school superintendents and chief appraisers statewide.
New Information on the PTAD Web site
The 2010 Tax Calendar is available, and the updated delinquent tax calendar will also be online in February.
The pamphlet required by Tax Code §5.06 has been revised to focus on the requirements of law. The new, one-page Property Taxpayers Remedies publication replaces two publications (Taxpayers’ Rights, Remedies and Responsibilities and Texas Property Taxpayers’ Remedies: How to Protest Your Property Value for Property Taxes) for purposes of complying with Tax Code §§5.06(a), 25.19(i) and 41.461(a). The new pamphlet is available to download in PDF.
A number of forms have been created or updated, including–but not limited to–the following:
- Application for Residence Homestead Exemption (Form-114)
- Application of Agent for Property Taxes (Form 162)
- Application for Agent for Single-Family Residential Property Tax Matters (Form 50-241)
- Application for Nonprofit Community Business Organization Providing Economic Development Services to Local Community Property Tax Exemptions (Form 50-776)
- Texas Application for Organizations Engaged Primarily in Performing Charitable Functions and for Corporations That Hold Title to Property for Such Organizations (AP-199); and
- Property Tax – Notice of Protest (Form 50-132).
Visit the PTAD Web site regularly to remain up-to-date on changes to forms, applications and other information important to the administration of local property taxation.
Webinars, MAP and more
PTAD developed and conducted a number of Webinars designed to assist appraisal districts to better perform their work of appraising property uniformly and fairly. More than 300 appraisal district staff participated in the Webinars on these subjects:
- How to Read Your PVS Results
- Tips on Preparing a Reappraisal Plan; and
- MAP: How the Process Works.
The Methods Assistance Program (MAP) is PTAD’s new initiative implementing Tax Code §5.102, which requires the Comptroller to conduct an extensive review of all appraisal districts every two years. In addition to this webinar, the PTAD Director participated at five training sessions sponsored by the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts across the state aimed at acquainting appraisal districts with the requirements of MAP. More than 300 participated in the conferences held in Austin, Brenham, Waco, Midland and Lubbock.
MAP reviews got underway in January. A list of the appraisal districts that will receive a MAP review in 2010 and 2011 is available at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/map/index.html. This link also provides access to other important MAP information, including a slideshow on the MAP review process and MAP review documents.
Steve Atkinson will serve as supervisor for the MAP group. He can be reached at (888) 207-3668.The MAP review team includes Wendy Bennett, Ida Bravo, Elaine Chaney, Lynn Hatter, Liz Lankford, Susan Moon, Bernie Morales, Theresa Nix, Gary Nunez, Alice Peddy and Ron Procter.
PTAD has expanded its outreach by participating in conferences sponsored by appraisal professionals, local government officials and taxpayer groups. In October, presentations were made at the Property Tax Consultants Annual Conference, the South Texas College of Law and the County Judges and Commissioners Annual Conference. In November, PTAD participated in the Texas Rural Chief Appraisers Conference and the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association Conference. In December, presentations were made at meetings of the Texas Association of Counties, the Texas Municipal League and the True Automation Conference.
In addition to formal meetings throughout the state, PTAD staff conducted informal meetings in Austin to seek ways to improve services. Meetings were held with ad-hoc committees to seek input about property tax issues.
In December, the Comptroller’s office published the Annual Property Tax Report. It is available at http://window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/annual08/.
PTAD is also pleased to announce the hiring of staff members who enhance its responsiveness to appraisal districts, local government officials and taxpayers. Clayton Yantis is the new appraiser in the Complex Property Appraisal Team. Clayton specializes in agricultural appraisal and can be reached at (512) 475-5624. Stephan (Steve) Rothstein is the new leader of the Communications Team in charge of Webinars, online videos, publications and other duties. Steve can be reached at (512) 936-8546. The Information Services Team, which answers questions on the Property Tax Code, also has a new member, Devon Donald. He can be reached at (512) 936-8539.
The Property Value Study Field Area has named six team leaders to help with the Property Value Study: Robby Harbuck, (903) 876-3476; Jo Walker, (903) 338-2862; Randy Breckner, (512) 396-1188; Randall Henderson, (281) 537-9735; Lisa Abram, (806) 829-2225; and Holly Carpenter, (512) 263-9880.
PTAD plans to hire an administrative assistant and a research specialist in the next few weeks to support its outreach and analysis efforts.
PTAD will publish a revised comprehensive Appraisal Review Board Members Manual and the new Continuing Education Course for Appraisal Review Board Members in February in time for use in ARB training seminars that begin in March. This year, the ARB training sessions will take place March 2 through May 5 in Tyler, Odessa, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Garland, Lubbock and Brownsville. For more information on dates and locations please go to www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/arbseminar2010/index.html. This year’s seminars will include a second day on which the continuing education course will be offered. Additionally, the sessions held in Austin on March 25-26 and April 12-13 will be telecast to Regional Education Service Centers throughout the state.
In March, PTAD will release online videos on Binding Arbitration for Beginners and How to Protest: Tips for Small Business Owners. Webinars will also be presented in March and April on:
- Basics of Category J Appraisal
- How to Request Course and Continuing Education Program Approval; and
- How to Complete the Appraisal District Operations Survey.
Forms (including the open-space land applications) and publications are being updated and will be released in March. Please watch your e-mail for notifications.
PTAD continues to promote Comptroller Susan Combs’ 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 by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (800) 252-9121, ext. 64251.