Selecting Appraisal District DirectorsDeadlines Change for 2003 Action on Directors
Each fall of odd-numbered years, taxing units appoint appraisal district directors. For the fall 2003 selection process, amendments to current laws change some deadline dates. These new dates apply if the appraisal district follows the normal selection process. Taxing units may have changed the selection process for a different procedure, and if so, these new deadlines may not apply to those districts.
The normal procedures, set out in Tax Code Section 6.03, are for a board of five directors, plus the county TAC as a nonvoting director (if not regularly appointed). Directors serve two-year terms.
The county, cities, and school districts participating in the appraisal district nominate and select directors. Conservation and reclamation districts (municipal utility districts, water districts, etc.) are entitled to vote under certain circumstances.
Other taxing units such as junior colleges, hospital districts, and other special purpose districts participating in the appraisal district may not vote for directors.
Tax Code Section 6.031 permits appraisal districts to change the procedures or number of directors, or both.
More information about the normal and changed procedures for selecting appraisal district directors are in Appendix A of the Comptroller’s Appraisal District Director’s Manual. Copies are available from the Comptroller’s Property Tax Division by calling 1-800-252-9121.
The Property Tax Division will update this manual (to be released in 2004) to include changes discussed below as well as other law changes affecting the duties of appraisal district directors.Deadline changes
The chief appraiser calculates the number of votes for each voting taxing unit, receives nominations for directors, prepares the ballot, counts the votes, and announces the winners.
Throughout the selection process, the Property Tax Code specifies dates for action by the chief appraiser and the voting units. House Bill (H. B.) 2043 changes some of those deadlines dates, effective September 1, 2003, and applicable for the 2003 selection process.
Before October 1, the chief appraiser must notify each voting taxing unit of the number of votes it may cast.
Each voting unit may nominate one candidate for each position to be filled. Thus, the unit may nominate from one to five candidates, provided the board of directors consists of five members. The unit may nominate more candidates if the size of the board has been increased.
The presiding officer of the unit submits the names of the nominees by written resolution to the chief appraiser before October 15.
Before October 30, the chief appraiser must prepare a ballot listing the nominees alphabetically by each candidate's last name. The chief appraiser must deliver a copy of this ballot to the presiding officer of the governing body of each voting unit.
H. B. 2043 adds a provision that this ballot shall include those names that were timely submitted. This new provision applies to the names timely submitted by the voting taxing units before October 15. It also applies to names submitted by conservation and reclamation districts before their July 15 and September 15 deadlines, if these districts have followed the voting procedures.
Each voting unit must cast its vote by written resolution and submit it to the chief appraiser before December 15. In prior selection years, this deadline was November 15, but H. B. 2043 changed that deadline to give voting taxing units additional time.
The chief appraiser must count the votes and declare the candidates who received the largest vote totals before December 31. Prior law had the chief appraiser’s deadline as December 1.Director vacancy
H. B. 2043 also changes a provision in filling a vacancy on the board of directors. A taxing unit has 45 days, rather than 10 days, to submit the name of a nominee to the chief appraiser when the board notifies taxing units of a vacancy. The current board members then select by majority vote for one of the nominees to fill the vacancy.