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Title 1. Property Tax Code
Subtitle F. Remedies

Chapter 41. Local Review

Subchapter D. Administrative Provisions

Sec. 41.61. Issuance of Subpoena.
Sec. 41.62. Service and Enforcement of Subpoena.
Sec. 41.63. Compensation for Subpoenaed Witness.
Sec. 41.64. Inspection of Tax Records.
Sec. 41.65. Request for State Assistance.
Sec. 41.66. Hearing Procedures.
Sec. 41.67. Evidence.
Sec. 41.68. Record of Proceeding.
Sec. 41.69. Conflict of Interest.
Sec. 41.70. Public Notice of Protest and Appeal Procedures.
Sec. 41.71. Evening and Weekend Hearings.

Sec. 41.61. Issuance of Subpoena.

(a) If reasonably necessary in the course of a protest provided by this chapter, the appraisal review board on its own motion or at the written request of a party to the protest, may subpoena witnesses or books, records, or other documents of the property owner or appraisal district that relate to the protest.

(b) On the written request of a party to a protest provided by this chapter, the appraisal review board shall issue a subpoena if the requesting party:

(1) shows good cause for issuing the subpoena; and

(2) deposits with the board a sum the board determines is reasonably sufficient to insure payment of the costs estimated to accrue for issuance and service of the subpoena and for compensation of the individual to whom it is directed.

(c) An appraisal review board may not issue a subpoena under this section unless the board holds a hearing at which the board determines that good cause exists for the issuance of the subpoena. The appraisal review board before which a good cause hearing is scheduled shall deliver written notice to the party being subpoenaed and parties to the protest of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The board shall deliver the notice not later than the 5th day before the date of the good cause hearing. The party being subpoenaed must have an opportunity to be heard at the good cause hearing.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 172, ch. 13, Sec. 141; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3602, ch. 796, Sec. 38; amended by 1995 Tex. Laws, p. 4211, ch. 828, Sec. 3..

Cross References:

Disclosure of confidential information pursuant to subpoena, see Secs. 22.27, 23.45 & 41.64.
Inspection of appraisal district records, see Sec. 41.64.

Notes:

Appraisal review board may not subpoena records of a property owner unless there is a pending challenge or protest before the board. The appraisal district has no authority to issue a subpoena. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-981 (1988).

Sec. 41.62. Service and Enforcement of Subpoena.

(a) A sheriff or constable shall serve a subpoena issued as provided by this subchapter.

(b) If the person to whom a subpoena is directed fails to comply, the issuing board or the party requesting the subpoena may bring suit in the district court to enforce the subpoena. If the district court determines that good cause exists for issuance of the subpoena, the court shall order compliance. The district court may modify the requirements of a subpoena that the court determines are unreasonable. Failure to obey the order of the district court is punishable as contempt.

(c) The county attorney or, if there is no county attorney, the district attorney shall represent the board in a suit to enforce a subpoena.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 172, ch. 13, Sec. 142.

Cross References:

Issuance of subpoena, see Sec. 41.61.

Sec. 41.63. Compensation for Subpoenaed Witness.

(a) An individual who is not a party to the proceeding and who complies with a subpoena issued as provided by this subchapter is entitled to:

(1) the reasonable costs of producing the documents;

(2) mileage of 15 cents a mile for going to and returning from the place of the proceeding; and

(3) a fee of $10 a day for each whole or partial day that the individual is necessarily present at the proceedings.

(b) The appraisal review board by rule may prescribe greater mileage or fee, but an increase is not effective unless uniformly applicable to all individuals who are entitled to mileage or fee as provided by Subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Compensation authorized as provided by this section is paid by the appraisal office if the subpoena is issued on the motion of the appraisal review board or by the party requesting the subpoena.

(d) Compensation is not payable unless the amount claimed is approved by the appraisal review board that issued the subpoena.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 173, ch. 13, Sec. 143.

Cross References:

Issuance of subpoena, see Sec. 41.61.

Sec. 41.64. Inspection of Tax Records.

The appraisal review board may inspect the records or other materials of the appraisal office that are not made confidential under this code. On demand of the board, the chief appraiser shall produce the materials as soon as practicable.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 173, ch. 13, Sec. 144.

Cross References:

Records made confidential, see Sec. 22.27.
Subpoena on motion of ARB, see Sec. 41.61.

Sec. 41.65. Request for State Assistance.

The appraisal review board may request the comptroller to assist in determining the accuracy of appraisals by the appraisal office or to provide other professional assistance. The appraisal office shall reimburse the costs of providing assistance if the comptroller requests reimbursement.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 173, ch. 13, Sec. 144; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 37, ch. 6, Sec. 51.

Cross References:

Professional and technical assistance by State Comptroller, see Sec. 5.08.
Prohibition from advising on protested matter, see Sec. 5.041.

Sec. 41.66. Hearing Procedures.

(a) The appraisal review board shall establish by rule the procedures for hearings it conducts as provided by Subchapters A and C of this chapter. On request made by a property owner in the owner's notice of protest or in a separate writing delivered to the appraisal review board on or before the date the notice of protest is filed, the property owner is entitled to a copy of the hearing procedures. The copy of the hearing procedures shall be delivered to the property owner not later than the 10th day before the date the hearing on the protest begins and may be delivered with the notice of the protest hearing required under Section 41.46(a). The notice of protest form prescribed by the State Property Tax Board under Section 41.44(d) or any other notice of protest form made available to a property owner by the appraisal review board or the appraisal office shall provide the property owner an opportunity to make or decline to make a request under this subsection. The appraisal review board shall post a copy of the hearing procedures in a prominent place in the room in which the hearing is held.

(b) Hearing procedures to the greatest extent practicable shall be informal. Each party to a hearing is entitled to offer evidence, examine or cross-examine witnesses or other parties, and present argument on the matters subject to the hearing.

(c) A property owner who is entitled as provided by this chapter to appear at a hearing may appear by himself or by his agent. A taxing unit may appear by a designated agent.

(d) Hearings conducted as provided by this chapter are open to the public.

(e) The appraisal review board may not consider any appraisal district information on a protest that was not presented to the appraisal review board during the protest hearing.

(f) A member of the appraisal review board may not communicate with another person concerning:

(1) the evidence, argument, facts, merits, or any other matters related to an owner's protest, except during the hearing on the protest; or

(2) a property that is the subject of the protest, except during a hearing on another protest or other proceeding before the board at which the property is compared to other property or used in a sample of properties.

(g) At the beginning of a hearing on a protest, each member of the appraisal review board hearing the protest must sign an affidavit stating that the board member has not communicated with another person in violation of Subsection (f). If a board member has communicated with another person in violation of Subsection (f), the member must be recused from the proceeding and may not hear, deliberate on, or vote on the determination of the protest. The board of directors of the appraisal district shall adopt and implement a policy concerning the temporary replacement of an appraisal review board member who has communicated with another person in violation of Subsection (f).

(h) The appraisal review board shall postpone a hearing on a protest if the property owner requests additional time to prepare for the hearing and establishes to the board that the chief appraiser failed to comply with Section 41.461. The board is not required to postpone a hearing more than one time under this subsection.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 173, ch. 13, Sec. 145; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3602, ch. 796, Sec. 39; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 2892, ch. 836, Sec. 3.2; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 1414, ch. 364, Sec. 2.

Cross References:

Appraisal review board organization, see Secs. 6.41, 6.42 & 6.43.
Appraisal review board record requirement, see Rule Sec. 9.803.
Affidavit for protest hearing, see Rule Sec. 9.802.

Notes:

The State Comptroller of Public Accounts now produces the above referenced form of the State Property Tax Board.

Appearance at appraisal review board hearing in person or by affidavit is mandatory condition precedent to filing suit. Webb County Appraisal District v. New Laredo Hotel, Inc., 792 S.W.2d 952 (Tex. 1990).

An appraisal review board exceeds its authority by having a written procedure that a taxpayer's fiduciary authorization must be filed prior to the filing of a protest or motion. Tarrant Appraisal Review Board v. Martinez Brothers Investments, Inc., 946 S.W.2d 914 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1997, no writ).

Where taxpayer did not check box on appointment of agent form authorizing the sending of notices to the agent, the appraisal review board was required to deliver any notices to the property owner. Mailing a notice without authorization did not trigger the 15- and 45-day appeal time periods. First Union Real Estate Investments v. Taylor CAD, 758 S.W.2d 380 (Tex. App.-Eastland 1988, writ denied).

Sec. 41.67. Evidence.

(a) A member of the appraisal review board may swear witnesses who testify in proceedings under this chapter. All testimony must be given under oath.

(b) Documentary evidence may be admitted in the form of a copy if the appraisal review board conducting the proceeding determines that the original document is not readily available. A party is entitled to an opportunity to compare a copy with the original document on request.

(c) Official notice may be taken of any fact judicially cognizable. A party is entitled to an opportunity to contest facts officially noticed.

(d) Information that was previously requested under Section 41.461 by the protesting party that was not made available to the protesting party at least 14 days before the scheduled or postponed hearing may not be used as evidence in the hearing.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 173, ch. 13, Sec. 146; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 1414, ch. 364, Sec. 3; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2891, ch. 463, Sec. 3.

Sec. 41.68. Record of Proceeding.

The appraisal review board shall keep a record of its proceedings in the form and manner prescribed by the comptroller.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 173, ch. 13, Sec. 147; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 37, ch. 6, Sec. 51.

Cross References:

Form of record of ARB proceeding, see Rule Sec. 9.803.

Sec. 41.69. Conflict of Interest.

A member of the appraisal review board may not participate in the determination of a taxpayer protest in which he is interested or in which he is related to a party by affinity within the second degree or by consanguinity within the third degree, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 173, ch. 13, Sec. 147; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 1988, ch. 561, Sec. 46; amended by 1995 Tex. Laws, p. 546, ch. 76, Sec. 5.75(27).

Cross References:

General conflict of interest statute, see now ch. 171, Local Government Code.

Notes:

Section 41.69 provides that an appraisal review board (ARB) member may not participate in the determination of a taxpayer protest if the member is interested or related to the taxpayer within the second degree of affinity or the third degree of consanguinity. The AG examined legislative history and statutes for the word "interested" and determined that "interest" means "a direct personal or pecuniary interest." As a result, the AG concluded that an ARB member while acting as a paid, court-appointed receiver, represents a taxpayer in an ARB protest, has a direct personal or pecuniary interest in the result, as a matter of law. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-259 (1993).

The AG compared the provisions of Sec. 41.69, Tax Code, with Sec. 171.004(a), Local Govt. Code. He set forth several differences. Section 41.69 applies to an ARB member regardless of the quantity of interest the person holds; while, Sec. 171.004(a) requires a "substantial interest." With an "interest," but without a "substantial interest," an official under Sec. 171.004(a) may participate in a protest determination. Section 41.69 prohibits an ARB member's participation in the protest determination. Even if the member has a substantial interest, under Sec. 171.004(a), a member may still be able to participate after disclosing the nature and extent of the interest. Section 41.69 prohibits participation of the member. The AG concluded that any conflict between the two sections involving ARB members would be resolved in favor of Sec. 41.69 because it specifically applies to such members. Id.

If a member of the ARB performs property tax consulting services in a taxpayer protest before the board, the member, as a matter of law, has a direct personal or pecuniary interest in the matter's outcome. Thus, Sec. 41.69 prevents the member's participation in the protest determination. Id.

Sec. 41.70. Public Notice of Protest and Appeal Procedures.

(a) On or after May 1 but not later than May 15, the chief appraiser shall publish notice of the manner in which a protest under this chapter may be brought by a property owner. The notice must describe how to initiate a protest and must describe the deadlines for filing a protest. The notice must also describe the manner in which an order of the appraisal review board may be appealed. The comptroller by rule shall adopt minimum standards for the form and content of the notice required by this section.

(b) The chief appraiser shall publish the notice in a newspaper having general circulation in the county for which the appraisal district is established. The notice may not be smaller than one-quarter page of a standard-size or tabloid-size newspaper, and may not be published in the part of the paper in which legal notices and classified advertisements appear.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3603, ch. 796, Sec. 40; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 37, ch. 6, Sec. 52.

Cross References:

Notice of protest procedures, see Rule Sec. 9.3064.

Sec. 41.71. Evening and Weekend Hearings.

An appraisal review board by rule shall provide for hearings on protests in the evening or on a Saturday or Sunday.

Added by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3916, ch. 1039, Sec. 40.