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Title 1. Property Tax Code
Subtitle F. Remedies

Chapter 42. Judicial Review

Subchapter A. In General

Sec. 42.01. Right of Appeal by Property Owner.
Sec. 42.015. Appeal by Person Leasing Property.
Sec. 42.02. Right of Appeal by Chief Appraiser.
Sec. 42.03. Right of Appeal by County.
Sec. 42.031. Right of Appeal by Taxing Unit.
Sec. 42.04. Intervention by State or Political Subdivision Owning Property Subject to Taxable Leasehold.
Sec. 42.05. Comptroller as Party.
Sec. 42.06. Notice of Appeal.
Sec. 42.07. Costs of Appeal.
Sec. 42.08. Forfeiture of Remedy for Nonpayment of Taxes.
Sec. 42.09. Remedies Exclusive.

[Sections 42.10 to 42.20 reserved for expansion]

Sec. 42.01. Right of Appeal by Property Owner.

A property owner is entitled to appeal:

(1) an order of the appraisal review board determining:

(A) a protest by the property owner as provided by Subchapter C of Chapter 41; or

(B) a determination of an appraisal review board on a motion filed under Section 25.25; or

(2) an order of the comptroller issued as provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 24, apportioning among the counties the appraised value of railroad rolling stock owned by the property owner.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 174, ch. 13, Sec. 148; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 37, ch. 6, Sec. 53; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3916, ch. 1039, Sec. 41.

Cross References:

Property owner's right of protest, see Secs. 41.41 & 41.411.
Person acquiring property after January 1, see Sec. 41.412.
Appraisals of transportation business intangible property, see Sec. 24.01.
Apportionment railroad rolling stock, see Sec. 24.37.
Supplemental appraisal records, see Sec. 25.23.
Payment of taxes pending appeal, see Sec. 42.08.
Exclusivity of remedies, see Sec. 42.09.
Venue dependent on action appealed, see Sec. 42.22.

Notes:

The Tax Injunction Act bars injunctive or declaratory relief for state tax matters in federal court unless the state fails to have a speedy and efficient remedy for a taxpayer's claim. Texas courts have such a remedy, and taxpayers could not seek injunctive remedy for taxes assessed on their homesteads for improperly granted exemptions to previous owners of the homes. Hamilton v. Dallas Central Appraisal District, No. 3:98-CV-2553-L (N. D. Tex. 1999).

Taxpayer sued in state court arguing federal law "civil rights" violations relating to tax assessments. The Oklahoma State Court refused any relief under the Federal Civil Rights Act because adequate rights to contest the tax assessment existed under state law. Those legal rights had to be exercised by the taxpayer. National Private Truck Council, Inc. v. Oklahoma Tax Commission, 115 U.S. 2351, 132 L. Ed 2d 509 (1995).

Coastal was required to register as a foreign limited partnership to appeal appraisal of salt dome storage caverns. Had it at the time of registration paid both the registration fee and the statutorily-mandated additional fees for the years it had transacted business in Texas before registering, then Coastal would have been properly registered and able to maintain the appeals. Coastal Liquids Transportation v. Harris County Appraisal District, 46 S.W.3d 880 (Tex. 2001).

Since taxpayers must exhaust their administrative remedies in their property valuation protests under the Tax Code in each year before they are allowed to pursue court remedies, each appeal to the court represents a separate action. Therefore, Sec. 42.29 authorizes award of attorney's fees for each tax year at issue in a multi-year property tax case. Atascosa County Appraisal District v. Tymrak, 858 S.W.2d 335 (Tex. 1993).

The taxpayer failed to exhaust its administrative remedies by not raising the issue of an application filing extension before the review board and evidence was not presented to establish entitlement to relief under Section 11.439 (now Section 11.4391) because no date of appraisal roll approval was offered. As a result, the Court did not address the retroactive application of the law. The application filed after the April 30 deadline in effect in 1999 barred the granting of the freeport exemption for that year. The taxpayer failed to file timely a freeport exemption application and did not request a filing extension for good cause as required in 1999. At trial, the taxpayer claimed that the appraisal district failed to treat the transmittal letter with the application as a request for extension. The taxpayer further contended that the amendment to the application requirements by Section 11.439 (effective in 2000 and renumbered in 2003 to Section 11.4391), permitting acceptance of late applications if filed before approval of appraisal records by the appraisal review board, should apply. Quorum International v. Tarrant Appraisal District, 114 S.W.3d 568 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2003, pet. denied).

After the appraisal district and review board moved for summary judgment, two owners amended their pleadings to include a third owner to whom the property had been transferred. The challenged judgment did not dispose of the claims and, therefore, was inerlocutory. No statute authorized an appeal from an interlocutory order, so the appellate court did not have jurisdiction over the appeal. Braeswood Harbor Partners v. Harris County Appraisal District and the Appraisal Review Board of Harris County, 69 S.W.3d 251 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2002).

Tourneau Houston, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Tourneau, Inc.) had no standing to appeal because it was not the owner, was never designated in writing to be the owner's agent, and no such designation was ever filed with the appraisal district. Tourneau Houston, Inc. v. Harris County Appraisal District, 24 S.W.3d 907 (Tex. App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 2000, rehearing denied, opinion substituted).

While suit was pending on the company's personal property valuation, the company filed bankruptcy under Chapter 11, Bankruptcy Code. The trial court did not violate the automatic stay provision under Bankruptcy Code when it dismissed the suit for want of prosecution. Montgomery Ward & Co., Inc. v. Denton County Appraisal District and Denton County Appraisal Review Board, 13 S.W.3d 828 (Tex. App. - Fort Worth [2nd Dist.] 2000).

To determine an unequal appraisal protest in favor of the property owner provided by Tax Code Section 41.43, the appraisal review board's appraised value should be used since that is the only appraised value in existence when a protest is brought before district court. No conflict exists with Section 42.23 because the appraised value is simply the most current one on the tax rolls and admitted into evidence whether or not it was revised by the appraisal review board. Harris County Appraisal District and Harris County Appraisal Review Board v. Michael Duncan, 944 S.W.2d 706 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th District] 1997, writ denied).

For the purposes of chapters of 41 and 42, "property owner" includes the owner of property on January 1 of the year for which taxes are imposed. Thus, HUD, which owned property on January 1, but sold it in August of the same year, was a property owner, and had the right to appeal the ARB decision to district court. HUD v. Nueces County Appraisal Dist., 875 S.W.2d 377 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1994, no writ history).

A property owner who did not protest situs to the ARB, but who did appeal to the district court's tax master, has not exhausted his administrative remedies and is not entitled to a trial de novo in district court. Sierra Stage Coaches, Inc. v. La Porte Independent School District, 832 S.W.2d 191 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1992, no writ).

Taxpayer whose property is being taxed in two counties must exhaust his administrative and legal remedies in each county. Due process rights are not violated by the fact that there is no single forum in which situs issues may be resolved. Taxpayer does not waive constitutional issues where he first exhausts administrative remedies. General Electric Credit Corp. v. Midland Central Appraisal District, 808 S.W.2d 169 (Tex. App.-El Paso 1991).

Taxing unit may not bring suit to collect delinquent taxes while a Chapter 42 action concerning the property is pending. Valero Transmission Company v. San Marcos Independent School District, 770 S.W.2d 648 (Tex. App.-Austin 1989, writ denied).

Where taxpayer was dissatisfied with his property appraisal his exclusive remedies under the Property Tax Code are that of administrative and judicial review within available grounds of protest. When a taxpayer's protest to tax has been determined by the review board, he may then file suit for judicial review of the board's decision, but the board's decision is not a prerequisite to a suit by a taxing unit for delinquent taxes. Valero Transmission Company v. Hays Consolidated Independent School District, 704 S.W.2d 857 (Tex. App.-Austin 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

"Property owner" referred to in Section 42.01 is read and construed according to common usage. "Property owner" is defined as one owning property with a legal or rightful title thereto; a lessee rents property from another. The lease agreement in this case clearly indicates the appellant is a lessee, not a property owner, and has no right of appeal under Section 42.01. Bennett-Barnes Investments Company v. Brown County Appraisal District, 696 S.W.2d 208 (Tex. App.-Eastland 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Sec. 42.015. Appeal by Person Leasing Property.

(a) A person leasing property who is contractually obligated to reimburse the property owner for taxes imposed on the property is entitled to appeal an order of the appraisal review board determining a protest brought by the person under Section 41.413.

(b) A person appealing an order of the appraisal review board under this section is considered the owner of the property for purposes of the appeal. The chief appraiser shall deliver a copy of any notice relating to the appeal to the owner of the property and to the person bringing the appeal.

Added by 1995 Tex. Laws, p. 3379, ch. 581, Sec. 2.

Cross References:

Protest by person leasing property, see Sec. 41.413.
Protest determination, see Sec. 41.47.
Protest right, see Sec. 41.41.

Sec. 42.02. Right of Appeal by Chief Appraiser.

On written approval of the board of directors of the appraisal district, the chief appraiser is entitled to appeal an order of the appraisal review board determining:

(1) a taxpayer protest as provided by Subchapter C, Chapter 41; or

(2) a taxpayer's motion to change the appraisal roll filed under Section 25.25.

Amended by 2001 Tex. Laws, p. 4830, ch. 1430, Sec. 32.

Cross References:

Right of taxpayer protest, see Secs. 41.41 & 41.411.
Notice of intent to appeal, see Sec. 42.06(c).
Filing petition for review, see Sec. 42.21.

Notes:

Failure of prior property owners to assert lack of notice precludes subsequent owners from challenging the validity of past appraisals. Failure to deliver timely notices nullifies changes in appraisal rolls only with regard to the property owner at the time. Although the Tax Code authorizes notices of appeal by a "party other than a property owner," the parties contemplated are the chief appraiser and other governmental entities. The tax payment requirement of Section 42.08 was upheld as a requirement to maintain an appeal. Houston Land & Cattle Co. v. Harris County Appraisal District, 104 S.W.3d 622 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, pet. denied).

Sec. 42.03. Right of Appeal by County.

A county may appeal the order of the comptroller issued as provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 24 of this code apportioning among the counties the appraised value of railroad rolling stock.

Amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 38, ch. 6, Sec. 53.

Cross References:

Intrastate apportionment, see Sec. 24.37.
Apportioned value certified, see Sec. 24.38.
Notice of intent to appeal, see Sec. 42.06.
Filing petition for review, see Sec. 42.21.

Sec. 42.031. Right of Appeal by Taxing Unit.

(a) A taxing unit is entitled to appeal an order of the appraisal review board determining a challenge by the taxing unit.

(b) A taxing unit may not intervene in or in any other manner be made a party, whether as defendant or otherwise, to an appeal of an order of the appraisal review board determining a taxpayer protest under Subchapter C, Chapter 41, if the appeal was brought by the property owner.

Added by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 174, ch. 13, Sec. 149; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3603, ch. 796, Sec. 41; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 5111, ch. 1481, Sec. 34.

Cross References:

Challenges by taxing unit before appraisal review board, see Sec. 41.03.
Challenge determined by appraisal review board, see Sec. 41.07.
Notice of intent to appeal, see Sec. 42.06.
Filing petition for review, see Sec. 42.21.

Sec. 42.04. Intervention by State or Political Subdivision Owning Property Subject to Taxable Leasehold.

If the challenge or protest relates to a taxable leasehold or other possessory interest in real property that is owned by this state or a political subdivision of this state, the attorney general or a representative of the state agency that owns the real property, if the real property is owned by this state, or a person designated by the political subdivision that owns the real property, as applicable, may intervene in an appeal of an order of an appraisal review board determining a challenge by a taxing unit or a taxpayer protest.

Added by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2751, ch. 416, Sec. 5.

Cross References:

Challenges by taxing unit before appraisal review board, see Sec. 41.03.
Challenge determined by appraisal review board, see Sec. 41.07.
Notice of intent to appeal, see Sec. 42.06.
Filing petition for review, see Sec. 42.21.
Protest by person leasing property, see Sec. 41.413.
Protest determination, see Sec. 41.47.
Protest right, see Sec. 41.41.

Sec. 42.05. Comptroller as Party.

The comptroller is an opposing party in an appeal by:

(1) a property owner of an order of the comptroller determining a protest of the appraisal, interstate allocation, or intrastate apportionment of transportation business intangibles; or

(2) a county or a property owner of an order of the comptroller apportioning among the counties the appraised value of railroad rolling stock.

Added by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 38, ch. 6, Sec. 53.

Cross References:

Appraisal by comptroller, see Sec. 24.01.
Protest of appraisals, see Sec. 24.37.

Sec. 42.06. Notice of Appeal.

(a) To exercise the party's right to appeal an order of an appraisal review board, a party other than a property owner must file written notice of appeal within 15 days after the date the party receives the notice required by Section 41.47 or, in the case of a taxing unit, by Section 41.07 that the order appealed has been issued. To exercise the right to appeal an order of the comptroller, a party other than a property owner must file written notice of appeal within 15 days after the date the party receives the comptroller's order. A property owner is not required to file a notice of appeal under this section.

(b) A party required to file a notice of appeal under this section other than a chief appraiser who appeals an order of an appraisal review board shall file the notice with the chief appraiser of the appraisal district for which the appraisal review board is established. A chief appraiser who appeals an order of an appraisal review board shall file the notice with the appraisal review board. A party who appeals an order of the comptroller shall file the notice with the comptroller.

(c) If the chief appraiser, a taxing unit, or a county appeals, the chief appraiser, if the appeal is of an order of the appraisal review board, or the comptroller, if the appeal is of an order of the comptroller, shall deliver a copy of the notice to the property owner whose property is involved in the appeal within 10 days after the date the notice is filed.

(d) On the filing of a notice of appeal, the chief appraiser shall indicate where appropriate those entries on the appraisal records that are subject to the appeal.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 174, ch. 13, Sec. 150; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 898, Sec. 1; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3603, ch. 796, Sec. 42; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 38, ch. 6, Sec. 53; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3916, ch. 1039, Sec. 41.

Cross References:

Timeliness of action by mail, see Sec. 1.08.
Appraisal review board must deliver notice determining a taxing unit challenge, see Sec. 41.07(d).
Appraisal review board must deliver notice determining taxpayer's protest, see Sec. 41.47(d).
Appraisal review board record requirement, see Rule Sec. 9.803.
Appeal by chief appraiser, see Sec. 42.02.
Appeal by county, see Sec. 42.03.
Appeal by taxing unit, see Sec. 42.031.

Notes:

The 45-day limitation period for appeal of an appraisal review board decision only begins to run when proper notice is delivered to the appropriate party. Section 1.07(b) requires the tax official or agency to address the notice to the property owner, the person designated under Section 1.111(f) to receive the notice for the property owner (if that section applies) or, if appropriate, the property owner's agent at his address according to the most recent record in the possession of the official or agency. If a property owner files a written request for notices to be sent to a particular address, the official or agency shall send the notice to the address stated in the request. The erroneous delivery of a notice and order does not serve to trigger the 45-day period for appeal. A specific statutory scheme sets forth the manner in which property tax representatives may be designated and the effect that designation has on a taxing authority's obligation to deliver notice. The Texas Administrative Code provides that when an agent is an employee of a subsidiary of the owner, the owner is not required to provide documents supporting that agent's authority. The agent designation form itself states only that the person naming a tax agent should attach documentation - a suggestion that is not mandatory. Harris County Appraisal District and Harris County Appraisal Review Board v. Drever Partners, Inc., 938 S.W.2d 196 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th District] 1997).

Taxpayer appealed appraisal review board order. Notice of appeal was filed with the appraisal district within the deadline to file notice of protest. The appraisal district and appraisal review board shared staff and files, and the notice found its way to the appraisal review board within the required time period. Court found this actual notice met the requirements of Sec. 42.06. Harris County Appraisal District v. Texas National Bank of Baytown, 775 W.W. 2d 66 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1989, no writ). (Note: Statute was amended in 1989 to require that notice of appeal be filed with the chief appraiser.)

Organization did not satisfy the jurisdictional requirements of the Tax Code when it filed the written notice of intent to appeal within the 15-day period with the appraisal district and not with the appraisal review board. In filing for judicial review within the 45-day period, the property owner must name and serve both groups. Program Centers of Grace Union Presbytery, Inc. v. Earle, 726 S.W.2d 628 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1987, no writ).

Property owner admitted the receipt of both notice of issuance of order of the appraisal review board determination and a copy of the order signed by current appraisal review board chairman. Sending the notice of appeal to former chairman of review board was insufficient to perfect appeal for judicial review. R. J. Underhill v. Jefferson County Appraisal District, 725 S.W.2d 301 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1987, no writ).

If an employee of the property owner, but not the appointed fiduciary, receives the appraisal review board order and signs for the receipt of the notice as the property owner's agent, the notice is presumed delivered. Personal, in-hand delivery to the appointed fiduciary is not necessary. Property owner must file written notice of appeal within 15 days of receiving notice. Copy of order determining protest met requirements sufficiently for sending order and notice of issuance of order, and two documents were not required to be sent. MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. Tarrant Appraisal District, 723 S.W.2d 350 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1987, no writ).

Taxpayers who failed to comply with the Tax Code provisions for protesting property valuation were preempted from a right to judicial review because of the exclusiveness of the remedies provided by the Tax Code. Adams v. Kendall County Appraisal District, 724 S.W.2d 871 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1986, no writ).

A taxpayer's notice of intent to file an appeal is proper if the chief appraiser forwards the notice of appeal to the review board during the 15-day filing period; although the taxpayer's appeal was accomplished through an indirect means, it met the legislative intent of notice to the review board. Texas Conference Association of Seventh-Day Adventists v. Central Appraisal Review Board of Johnson County, 719 S.W.2d 255 (Tex. App.-Waco 1986, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Taxpayer was barred from judicial review of appraisal review board determination for failure in filing the required written notice of appeal within the 15-day period with the review board. Towne Square Associates v. Angelina County Appraisal District, 709 S.W.2d 776 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1986, no writ).

The requirement that a property owner deliver notice of his intent to appeal the decision of an appraisal review board to district court is jurisdictional. Where the property owner delivered a notice to the appraisal district, but not the appraisal review board, the district court acquires no jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Corchine Partnership v. Dallas County Appraisal District, 695 S.W.2d 734 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Taxpayers were not required to comply with Sec. 42.06(a) because the tax assessors had not complied with Sec. 41.47 notice requirements, specifically, issuance of a written order, and delivery of notice of issuance and a copy of the order to the property owner and chief appraiser. Taxpayers' failure to timely file notice of appeal under Sec. 42.06 under the circumstances did not deprive the court of jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Section 42.09 does preclude appellants from challenging the review board's determination by any procedure other than the one prescribed by the code, ch. 42. Herndon Marine Products, Inc. v. San Patricio County Appraisal Review Board, 695 S.W.2d 29 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Sections 42.06, 42.09, and 42.21 are presumed constitutional, and appellant was bound by them. Sections 42.01-42.29, which govern administrative and judicial review of assessments made by taxing authorities, supersede common law principles whereby equitable relief could be obtained in a lawsuit. The appellant's contention in this case was not considered an attack on the constitutionality of code provisions because the appellant had affirmatively availed himself of the administrative review proceedings to challenge the assessment. Texas Architectural Aggregate, Inc. v. Adams, 690 S.W.2d 640 (Tex. App.-Austin 1985, no writ).

A taxing unit must strictly adhere to the requirement of filing a written notice of appeal within 15 days after the date of receipt of the notice of the appraisal review board's determination. Thorndale Independent School District v. Rockdale Independent School District, 681 S.W.2d 225 (Tex. App.-Austin 1984, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Sec. 42.07. Costs of Appeal.

The reviewing court in its discretion may charge all or part of the costs of an appeal taken as provided by this chapter against any of the parties.

Notes:

A taxpayer cannot be reimbursed for an appraisal paid for by the taxpayer as "costs" of suit under this section. Estepp v. Miller, 731 S.W.2d 677 (Tex. App.-Austin 1987, writ ref'd n.r.e.).