- CADs Handle 15 Million Properties for About 3,600 Taxing Units
- Rylander Reports
- Annual Property Tax Conference Program
- Joint Conference Pre-Registration Form
- PTD Staff Clarifies Fencing Cost Method and Adjustments
- Penalty and Interest Charges for Delinquent Tax Collections
- Penalty and Interest Rate Schedule - 1999/2000
- Insert: 1999 Texas Property Tax Law Changes
Texans must expect consistent, reliable service and cooperation from the Texas Comptroller's office. And that's why I am putting teeth into this agency's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights - to reshape how the Comptroller's office deals with taxpayers. Some key parts of this bill of rights for fairness and accessibility include:
Prompt and accurate responses to requests for information. We will return phone calls from taxpayers within 48 hours. Taxpayers can expect a response to letters, faxes, and emails within a maximum of 10 days. If the information is not available, my staff will notify the taxpayer, give a reason for the delay, and set a deadline for the material or information to be available. Comptroller staff will keep track of these requests and timeliness of responses.
Rules and regulations that are readily available and easy to understand. Our rules and tax forms will be written in simple, clear English without jargon and with judicious use of acronyms. I will create a taxpayers' liaison committee to critique these materials and ensure they meet these requirements. Rules will be readily available at our field offices throughout the state and at other agencies. They also will be made available through our Internet site.
A complaint system that is fair and timely. I will appoint an ombudsman to handle complaints by taxpayers, excluding issues being considered in the hearings process. The ombudsman will have the power to determine if the complaint is valid and whether it stems from dissatisfaction with the law, rather than the way the rules are being enforced. The name, address, email, and phone number of the ombudsman will be prominently displayed on comptroller materials and in telephone directories statewide.
A tax process that is fair, timely, and confidential. Taxpayers will be allowed to challenge estimates of tax liabilities and request a review of assessments and penalties. Information provided by taxpayers will be kept confidential, to the extent allowed by law. Confidential information will be removed from private taxpayer rulings, which should become available to the public within 60 days after they are issued.
A tax system that is equitable. Treating Texas taxpayers as second-class citizens has come to a screeching halt. Now if you overpay your taxes, you will be paid back with interest, just like you have to pay when you underpay your taxes. Before this legislation, Texas was one of only two states that did not pay interest on tax overpayments. Wyoming is now alone in that category. In addition, the new measure levels the playing field by lowering the interest rate charged delinquent taxpayers from 12 percent interest to prime plus 1 percent to reflect market rates. The state will pay interest at that same rate to taxpayers who overpay their taxes. Refund requests that include all necessary information and do not require audit review are refunded within 30 days of receipt. Taxpayers may request administrative tax hearings at locations in Texas close to their primary place of business.
A closer working relationship with the business community. We will continue to encourage business owners and entrepreneurs to speak up and speak out so we can understand their needs and problems related to Texas tax law. The results should be more efficient and equitable service to taxpayers, delivered at a lower cost. We encourage you to write with your suggestions for ways of improving existing and proposed rules, particularly as we implement new legislation passed by the 76th Texas Legislature.
My vision for Texas is limited government and unlimited opportunity. I will continue to do everything I can to continue to reduce the burden on honest taxpayers while improving the performance of the Comptroller's office.
CAROLE KEETON RYLANDER
Comptroller of Public Accounts
"Please write with your suggestions for ways
of improving existing and proposed rules."