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Transmittal Letter


September 2004


Fellow Texans:

It is my pleasure to present the School and Appraisal Districts Property Value Study 2003 Final Report, as required by Section 5.10 of the Property Tax Code.

This report contains important and useful information concerning the effectiveness of the state’s appraisal districts and the resulting impact on our school districts’ local tax bases.

On July 1, 2004, I certified the results of the 2003 Property Value Study (Study) to the Commissioner of Education. These results are extremely important to the welfare of our state’s schools since the Commissioner uses the results to allocate state funds to the districts. The first part of the report gives information on how we conduct the Study. The report also contains information on how schools or appraisal districts may appeal the Study findings.

During the 78th Regular Session, the Legislature passed Senate Bill (S.B.) 671 by Senator Todd Staples. It has significant changes to Study methodology. I believe these changes will create a school funding system that is more equitable.

The major component of S.B. 671 creates a “grace period” for eligible school districts. The Legislature is allowing schools negatively impacted by the study findings the opportunity to fix the problem before they suffer a loss of state funding. These schools have two years to work with their appraisal districts to get back on track. My office will also work with the schools and appraisal districts to assist in identifying problems and recommending solutions.

If you have any questions concerning the Study results or implementation of S.B. 671, please contact my Property Tax Division Manager, Buddy Breivogel. You can reach Buddy by e-mail at buddy.breivogel@cpa.state.tx.us, by phone at 1-800-252-9121, extension 5-8681, or direct in Austin at 512/305-8681.

Thanks for all that you do for Texas.

Sincerely,

[signed]
Carole Keeton Strayhorn
Texas Comptroller