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Title 1. Property Tax Code
Subtitle A. General Provisions

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Sec. 1.01. Short Title.
Sec. 1.02. Applicability of Title.
Sec. 1.03. Construction of Title.
Sec. 1.04. Definitions.
Sec. 1.05. City Fiscal Year.
Sec. 1.06. Effect of Weekend or Holiday.
Sec. 1.07. Delivery of Notice.
Sec. 1.08. Timeliness of Action by Mail.
Sec. 1.085. Communication in Electronic Format.
Sec. 1.09. Availability of Forms.
Sec. 1.10. Rolls in Electronic Data-Processing Records.
Sec. 1.11. Communications to Fiduciary.
Sec. 1.111. Representation of Property Owner.
Sec. 1.12. Median Level of Appraisal.
Sec. 1.15. Appraisers for Taxing Units Prohibited.

Sec. 1.01. Short Title.

This title may be cited as the Property Tax Code.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2218, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982.

Sec. 1.02. Applicability of Title.

This title applies to a taxing unit that is created by or pursuant to any general, special, or local law enacted before or after the enactment of this title unless a law enacted after enactment of this title by or pursuant to which the taxing unit is created expressly provides that this title does not apply. This title supersedes any provision of a municipal charter or ordinance relating to property taxation. Nothing in this title invalidates or restricts the right of voters to utilize municipal-level initiative and referendum to set a tax rate, level of spending, or limitation on tax increase for that municipality.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 117, ch. 13, Sec. 1.

Cross References:
Property Tax Code is superior to any municipal charter or ordinance, see art. XI, Sec. 5, Texas Constitution.

Sec. 1.03. Construction of Title.

The Code Construction Act (Chapter 311, Government Code) applies to the construction of each provision of this title except as otherwise expressly provided by this title.

Amended by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 3323, ch. 479, Sec. 72.

Cross References:
Code Construction Act, see ch. 311, Government Code.

Sec. 1.04. Definitions.

In this title:

(1) "Property" means any matter or thing capable of private ownership.

(2) "Real property" means:

(A) land;

(B) an improvement;

(C) a mine or quarry;

(D) a mineral in place;

(E) standing timber; or

(F) an estate or interest, other than a mortgage or deed of trust creating a lien on property or an interest securing payment or performance of an obligation, in a property enumerated in Paragraphs (A) through (E) of this subdivision.

(3) "Improvement" means:

(A) a building, structure, fixture, or fence erected on or affixed to land;

(B) a transportable structure that is designed to be occupied for residential or business purposes, whether or not it is affixed to land, if the owner of the structure owns the land on which it is located, unless the structure is unoccupied and held for sale or normally is located at a particular place only temporarily; or

(C) for purposes of an entity created under Section 52, Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, the:

(i) subdivision of land by plat;

(ii) installation of water, sewer, or drainage lines; or

(iii) paving of undeveloped land.

(3-a) Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, a manufactured home is an improvement to real property only if the owner of the home has elected to treat the manufactured home as real property pursuant to Section 1201.2055, Occupations Code, and a certified copy of the statement of ownership and location has been filed with the real property records of the county in which the home is located as provided in Section 1201.2055(d), Occupations Code.

(4) "Personal property" means property that is not real property.

(5) "Tangible personal property" means personal property that can be seen, weighed, measured, felt, or otherwise perceived by the senses, but does not include a document or other perceptible object that constitutes evidence of a valuable interest, claim, or right and has negligible or no intrinsic value.

(6) "Intangible personal property" means a claim, interest (other than an interest in tangible property), right, or other thing that has value but cannot be seen, felt, weighed, measured, or otherwise perceived by the senses, although its existence may be evidenced by a document. It includes a stock, bond, note or account receivable, franchise, license or permit, demand or time deposit, certificate of deposit, share account, share certificate account, share deposit account, insurance policy, annuity, pension, cause of action, contract, and goodwill.

(7) "Market value" means the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if:

(A) exposed for sale in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser;

(B) both the seller and the purchaser know of all the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable restrictions on its use; and

(C) both the seller and purchaser seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other.

(8) "Appraised value" means the value determined as provided by Chapter 23 of this code.

(9) "Assessed value" means, for the purposes of assessment of property for taxation, the amount determined by multiplying the appraised value by the applicable assessment ratio, but, for the purposes of determining the debt limitation imposed by Article III, Section 52, of the Texas Constitution, shall mean the market value of the property recorded by the chief appraiser.

(10) "Taxable value" means the amount determined by deducting from assessed value the amount of any applicable partial exemption.

(11) "Partial exemption" means an exemption of part of the value of taxable property.

(12) "Taxing unit" means a county, an incorporated city or town (including a home-rule city), a school district, a special district or authority (including a junior college district, a hospital district, a district created by or pursuant to the Water Code, a mosquito control district, a fire prevention district, or a noxious weed control district), or any other political unit of this state, whether created by or pursuant to the constitution or a local, special, or general law, that is authorized to impose and is imposing ad valorem taxes on property even if the governing body of another political unit determines the tax rate for the unit or otherwise governs its affairs.

(13) "Tax year" means the calendar year.

(14) "Assessor" means the officer or employee responsible for assessing property taxes as provided by Chapter 26 of this code for a taxing unit by whatever title he is designated.

(15) "Collector" means the officer or employee responsible for collecting property taxes for a taxing unit by whatever title he is designated.

(16) "Possessory interest" means an interest that exists as a result of possession or exclusive use or a right to possession or exclusive use of a property and that is unaccompanied by ownership of a fee simple or life estate in the property. However, "possessory interest" does not include an interest, whether of limited or indeterminate duration, that involves a right to exhaust a portion of a real property.

(17) "Conservation and reclamation district" means a district created under Article III, Section 52, or Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution, or under a statute enacted under Article III, Section 52, or Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution.

(18) "Clerical error" means an error:

(A) that is or results from a mistake or failure in writing, copying, transcribing, entering or retrieving computer data, computing, or calculating; or

(B) that prevents an appraisal roll or a tax roll from accurately reflecting a finding or determination made by the chief appraiser, the appraisal review board, or the assessor; however, "clerical error" does not include an error that is or results from a mistake in judgment or reasoning in the making of the finding or determination.

(19) "Comptroller" means the Comptroller of Public Accounts of the State of Texas.

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2218, ch. 841, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 118, ch. 13, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 984, 25, eff. June 19, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1123, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 20, 13, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 393, 1, eff. June 10, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 843, 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 14, 8.01(22), eff. Nov. 12, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 347, 4.04, eff. May 31, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1070, 52, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1284, 30, eff. June 18, 2005.

Cross References:
Correction of clerical error, see Sec. 25.25.
Participation of taxing unit in an appraisal district, see Sec. 6.02(b) & (c).
Jurisdiction to tax real and tangible personal property, see Sec. 11.01.
Jurisdiction to tax intangible personal property, see Sec. 11.02.
Manufactured home tax lien, see Sec. 32.014.
New property value, see Sec. 26.012(17).
Situs of property, see Secs. 21.01, 21.02, 21.021 & 21.21 - 21.25.
Requirement to appraise property at its market value, see Sec. 23.01.

Notes:
Salt dome caverns created to store liquid hydrocarbons may be appraised and taxed separately as an improvement to the surface land above them. Although the property tax code contains a definition for real property, there is no express requirement that real property be listed in one of the six distinct categories referenced therein. Instead, what the code primarily requires is for property to be described in the appraisal records with sufficient certainty to identify it. The categories defining real property are not mutually exclusive and may clearly overlap. A cavern consequently might be appraised as land or an improvement depending upon relevant facts. Matagorda County Appraisal Dist. v. Coastal Liquids Ptnrs., L.P., 165 S.W.3d 329 (Tex. 2005), overruling 118 S.W.3d 464 (Tex.App.-Corpus Christi 2003).

Limestone is not a mineral as the term is used in the Tax Code, but land containing limestone rock may be considered as part of a quarry when extraction of the limestone occurs. Gifford-Hill & Company, Inc. v. Wise County Appraisal District and Wise County Appraisal Review Board, 827 S.W.2d 811 (Tex. 1991), overruling 797 S.W.2d 576 (Tex. App.-Ft. Worth 1990).

Square footage errors are correctable as clerical errors, and the appraisal review board under Section 25.25(c)(1) may review to determine whether a clerical error was made. Handy Hardware Wholesale, Inc. v. Harris County Appraisal District, 985 S.W.2d 618 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st District] 1999, no pet.).

Computer application software consisting of imperceivable binary pulses that need not be packaged in a tangible form met the definition of intangible personal property. Dallas Central Appraisal District v. Tech Data Corporation, 930 S.W.2d 119 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1996, writ denied).

Property Tax Code Section 1.04(18) definition of clerical error should be read that subsections (A) and (B) are independent of each other. Subsection (A) is not limited to errors by the appraisal district or taxing units, but may include errors by the taxpayer. Comdisco, Inc. v. Tarrant County Appraisal District, 927 S.W.2d 325 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1996, rehearing overruled).

To prove that notice of appraised value was delivered as required by the Tax Code, the appraisal district must show that: the correct amount of postage was placed on the envelope; how the notice itself was put into the mail as a first-class letter; whether the taxpayer's most recent address was used; and that the notice was not returned. A mere stipulation of valid notice was insufficient. Harris County Appraisal District v. Dincans, 882 S.W.2d 75 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1994, rehearing denied, error denied).

Section 1.04(18), Tax Code, refers to two types of clerical errors that a chief appraiser, ARB or an assessor may make. Subsection (A) applies to errors of commission, while Subsection (B) applies to errors of omission. A clerical error under Section 1.04(18) does not include a mistake made by a property owner Collin County Appraisal Dist. v. Northeast Dallas Assoc., 855 S.W.2d 843 (Tex.App.-Dallas 1993, no writ).

The court refused to interpret Sec. 23.01(b) to abolish the long line of precedent in Texas on market value, nor abolish the definition of "market value" as set forth in Art. VIII, Sec. 20, Tex. Const., and Sec. 1.04(7), Tax Code. Consequently, the testimony of buyer and seller regarding sales price and terms fulfilled the Sec. 23.01 requirement of proof of market value despite the lack of evidence as to the use of generally accepted appraisal techniques in determining market value. Bailey County Appraisal District v. Smallwood, 848 S.W.2d 822 (Tex. App.-Amarillo 1993, no writ).

Where contract provided for removal of buried pipeline, pipeline remained personal property. Lingleville Independent School District v. Valero Transportation Company, 763 S.W.2d 616 (Tex. App.-Eastland 1989, writ denied).

Under Tax Code Section 1.04(3), subsection (A), a travel trailer that has been permanently affixed to land is an improvement and is taxable as real property. Under subsection (B), a travel trailer is also an improvement and taxable as real property if the owner of the trailer owns the land on which it is located. It is not relevant under subsection (B) whether or not the travel trailer has been affixed to land. Subsection (B) is intended to expand rather than restrict the universe of structures taxable as improvements. Whether a travel trailer may be taxed as personal property will depend not only on whether the governmental body has complied with the procedural requirements of Section 11.14, but also whether the constitution permits its exemption from taxation. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-282 (2000). (Amendment eff. January 1, 2002, changed Tax Code Section 32.014 tax lien for manufactured housing.)

Travel trailers that have been affixed to rented land are personal property, but are not exempt as personal property not used to produce income. Imposing property taxes on these travel trailers that have paid sales taxes and motor vehicle registration does not constitute double taxation. Determining if a particular piece of personal property has become an improvement depends on the intent of the owner as evidenced by the mode and sufficiency of annexation. The appraisal district must determine if the attachment is permanent, subject to the property owner's right to protest to the appraisal review board. Long-term placement of travel trailers on lots of land owned by another person results in separate taxable interests, but not two separate interests in real property. A trailer attached to a leased lot, while an improvement to real property, generally will remain the property of the person leasing the lot from the trailer park. Such a trailer is taxable to the lessee of the lot, but as personal property rather than real property. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-150 (1999). (Amendment eff. January 1, 2002, changed Tax Code Section 32.014 tax lien for manufactured housing.)

Mineral production equipment must be appraised separately from the mineral leasehold interest. Land, improvements to land, and interests in land must be appraised separately, even though they are all included within the code's definition of "real property." The appraisals may be in one taxpayer account, but the account must reflect separate appraisals for each property. No authority supports a view that mineral production equipment to be indispensable to the production of oil and gas on the leasehold estate, and therefore taxable as an improvement, fixture, or appurtenance to the realty. Three factors determine whether a property is affixed as an improvement and considered real property: (1) the intention of the person making the annexation (the preeminent factor), (2) the mode and sufficiency of the annexation to the real estate, and (3) the adoption of the property to the real estate's uses or purposes. Determining if mineral production equipment is real or personal property for tax collection purposes must be made on a case-by-case basis. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-438 (1997).

Sec. 1.05. City Fiscal Year.

The governing body of a home-rule city may establish by ordinance a fiscal year different from that fixed in its charter if a different fiscal year is desirable to adapt budgeting and other fiscal activities to the tax cycle required by this title.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2220, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982.

Sec. 1.06. Effect of Weekend or Holiday.

If the last day for the performance of an act is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal state or national holiday, the act is timely if performed on the next regular business day.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2220, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982.

Cross References:
Timeliness of action by mail, see Sec. 1.08.
Delinquency date generally, see Sec. 31.02.
Postponement of delinquency date, see Sec. 31.04.

Sec. 1.07. Delivery of Notice.

(a) An official or agency required by this title to deliver a notice to a property owner may deliver the notice by regular first-class mail, with postage prepaid, unless this section or another provision of this title requires a different method of delivery or the parties agree that the notice must be delivered as provided by Section 1.085.

(b) The official or agency shall 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 the agent's address according to the most recent record in the possession of the official or agency. However, if a property owner files a written request with the appraisal district that notices be sent to a particular address, the official or agency shall send the notice to the address stated in the request.

(c) A notice permitted to be delivered by first-class mail by this section is presumed delivered when it is deposited in the mail. This presumption is rebuttable when evidence of failure to receive notice is provided.

(d) A notice required by Section 11.45(d), 23.44(d), 23.57(d), 23.79(d), or 23.85(d) must be sent by certified mail.

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2220, ch. 841, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4947, ch. 885, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 796, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1039, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 441, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1126, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Cross References:
Electronic communication, see Sec. 1.085.
Notice of new application for exemption, see Sec. 11.43(c).
Notice cancelling exemption, see Sec. 11.43(h).
Notice of annual exemption application, see Sec. 11.44(a).
Notice of modification or denial of exemption, see Sec. 11.45(d).
Notice of decision on report of decreased value, see Sec. 22.03(c).
Notice of annual application for agricultural land, see Sec. 23.43(e).
Notice of denial of agricultural land, see Sec. 23.44(d).
Notice of new application for open-space land, see Sec. 23.54(e).
Notice of denial of open-space land, see Sec. 23.57(d).
Notice of penalty for failure of property owner to notify chief appraiser that open-space land no longer qualifies for special appraisal, see Sec. 23.54(i).
Notice to file a new application for timber land, see Sec. 23.75(e).
Notice of penalty for failure of property owner to notify chief appraiser that timber land no longer qualifies for special appraisal, see Sec. 23.75(i).
Notice of denial of timber land appraisal, see Sec. 23.79(d).
Notice of penalty for late application for timber land, see Sec. 23.751(c).
Notice of new application for recreation, park, and scenic land, see Sec. 23.84(c).
Notice of denial of recreation, park, and scenic land appraisal, see Sec. 23.85(d).
Notice of penalty for violating deed restriction of recreational, park, and scenic land, see Sec. 23.87(b).
Notice of new application for public access airport property, see Sec. 23.94(c).
Notice of denial of application for public access airport property appraisal, see Sec. 23.95(d).
Notice of penalty for violating deed restriction for public access airport property, see Sec. 23.97(b).
Notice of transportation business intangible value appraisal, see Sec. 24.09.
Notice of the qualification or cancellation of separate taxation of improvements, see Sec. 25.08(d).
Notice of qualification of standing timber for separate taxation, see Sec. 25.10(d).
Notice of qualification or cancellation of separate taxation for undivided interests, see Sec. 25.11(c).
Notice of appraised value, see Sec. 25.19.
Notice to property owner of a change in appraisal records, see Sec. 41.11(a).
Protest of failure to give notice, see Sec. 41.411.
Notice of protest hearing, see Sec. 41.46.
Notice of additional penalty for delinquent taxes, see Sec. 33.07(d).

Notes:
The failure of the taxing unit to give the required five-year notice of delinquent taxes (now repealed) resulted in the cancellation of penalties and interest on taxes when the taxpayer was able to prove that the notice was not delivered. The introduction of tax records establishes a prima facie case to establish every material fact, and a rebuttable presumption arises that all required notices likewise have been delivered. The presumption disappears, however, if the taxpayer produces competent evidence to justify a finding against the presumed fact. Tax notices must be addressed according to the most recent records in the possession of the taxing unit; if no address exists for a taxpayer, statutory notice requirements do not apply. In this case, evidence was sufficient to support the trial court's finding that the school district did not deliver notice, thereby canceling penalties and interest for certain tax years. However, the owner did not overcome the presumption of delivery regarding other taxing units for certain years and therefore cancellation of the penalties and interest was not mandated. The case was remanded for trial court determination of the amounts of penalties, interest, attorney fees, court costs and other fees to be assessed. Aldine Independent School District, et.al. v. Ogg, 122 S.W.3d 257 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.], 2003, no pet..).

Taxing units were required to provide evidence of mailing the five-year delinquent tax notice (now repealed) before the presumption of delivery to an individual taxpayer arises. Taxing units must also claim avoidance through waiver as an affirmative defense to a taxpayer's plea in intervention. By failing to do so, the issue was waived by the taxing units. Further, taxing units must raise a taxpayer's corporate capacity to sue defense by verified pleadings or waive the issue. WHM Properties, Inc. v. Dallas County, 119 S.W.3d 325 (Tex. App.-Waco, 2003, pet. filed).

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).

To prove that notice of appraised value was delivered as required by the Tax Code, the appraisal district must show: the correct amount of postage was placed on the envelope; how the notice itself was put into the mail as a first-class letter; whether the taxpayer's most recent address was used; and that the notice was not returned. A mere stipulation of valid notice was insufficient. Harris County Appraisal District v. Dincans, 882 S.W.2d 75 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1994, rehearing denied, error denied).

Requesting a new application for open-space land appraisal provides a mechanism by which the chief appraiser can obtain needed information; the chief appraiser does not have to make individual determinations before requiring a new application. A new application mailed to the taxpayer's correct address and not returned by the postal service gives the taxpayer sufficient notice. Peil v. Waller County Appraisal District, 737 S.W.2d 33 (Tex. App.-Houston 1987, no writ).

Where taxpayer testified he did not receive an appraisal notice, presumption of delivery under Sec. 1.07 was rebutted and burden shifted to appraisal district to show notice was properly delivered (i.e. deposited in the mail, correctly addressed.). Thus, where appraisal district addressed notice to previous owner of property, the fact that the previous owner was still listed as owner in the district's records did not make the notice valid. Sec. 1.07 requires delivery to the current owner, at the most recent address listed in the appraisal records. New v. Dallas Appraisal Review Board, 734 S.W.2d 712 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1987, writ denied).

A county that imposes the 15% collection penalty cannot seek attorney's fees in a delinquent tax suit. Taxpayer's testimony that he didn't receive a notice of imposition of the Sec. 33.07 penalty combined with evidence that the district had an incorrect address listed for taxpayer was enough to support trial court's finding that notice was not delivered. Uvalde CAD v. Parker, 733 S.W.2d 609 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1987, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

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. MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. Tarrant Appraisal District, 723 S.W.2d 350 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1987, no writ).

Compliance with predecessor to this section required county to mail a notice; county was not required to show taxpayer received the notice. Fisher v. Kerr County, 739 S.W.2d 434 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1987).

Where the appraisal district denies a taxpayer's assertion that a notice of appraised value was never delivered if required by the code, a material issue of fact exists that prevents the trial court from granting summary judgment for the taxpayer. Uvalde County Appraisal District v. F.T. Kincaid, 720 S.W.2d 678 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1986, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Where property owner or his agent received notice of appraised value at property owner's listed address and appraisal district complied with required procedures, notice is presumed delivered when it is placed in the mail and the validity of the appraisal and the existence of a tax lien remain unaffected. Dallas County Appraisal District v. Lal, 701 S.W.2d 44 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Sec. 1.08. Timeliness of Action by Mail.

When a property owner is required by this title to make a payment or to file or deliver a report, application, statement, or other document or paper by a specified due date, his action is timely if:

(1) it is sent by regular first-class mail, properly addressed with postage prepaid; and

(2) it bears a post office cancellation mark of a date earlier than or on the specified due date and within the specified period or the property owner furnishes satisfactory proof that it was deposited in the mail on or before the specified due date and within the specified period.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2220, ch. 841, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 412, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Cross References:
Exemption application deadline, see Secs. 11.43(d), 11.431 & 11.45(b).
Report of movement of mobile home, see Sec. 21.23(a).
Property renditions, see Sec. 22.23.
Application for special appraisal as agricultural land, see Secs. 23.43(b) & 23.44(b).
Application for special appraisal as open-space land, see Secs. 23.54(d) & 23.57(b).
Application for special appraisal as timber land, see Secs. 23.75(d) & 23.79(b).
Application for appraisal of recreational, park, and scenic land, see Secs. 23.84(b) & 23.85(b).
Application for appraisal of public access airport property, see Secs. 23.94(b) & 23.95(b).
Property information report for transportation business, see Secs. 24.02(d) & 24.03(b).
Railroad rolling stock information reports, see Sec. 24.32(e).
Request for separate taxation of improvements, see Sec. 25.08(c).
Request for separate taxation of standing timber, see Sec. 25.10(c).
Request for separate taxation of individual interests, see Sec. 25.11(b).
Request for separate taxation of minerals in place, see Sec. 25.12(b).
Payment of taxes, see Sec. 31.06.
Notice of protest, see Sec. 41.44.

Sec. 1.085. Communication in Electronic Format.

(a) Except as provided by Section 1.07(d), any notice, rendition, application form, or completed application that is required or permitted by this title to be delivered between a chief appraiser and a property owner or between a chief appraiser and a person designated by a property owner under Section 1.111(f) may be delivered in an electronic format if the chief appraiser and the property owner agree under this section.

(b) An agreement between a chief appraiser and a property owner must:

(1) be in writing;

(2) be signed by the chief appraiser and the property owner; and

(3) specify:

(A) the medium of communication;

(B) the type of communication covered;

(C) the means for protecting the security of a communication;

(D) the means for confirming delivery of a communication; and

(E) the electronic mail address of the property owner or person designated to represent the property owner under Section 1.111, as applicable.

(c) An agreement may address other matters.

(d) Unless otherwise provided by an agreement, the delivery of any information in an electronic format is effective on receipt by a chief appraiser, property owner, or person designated by a property owner.

(e) The comptroller by rule:

(1) shall prescribe acceptable media, formats, content, and methods for the electronic transmission of notices required by Section 25.19; and

(2) may prescribe acceptable media, formats, content, and methods for the electronic transmission of other notices, renditions, and applications

(f) In an agreement entered into under this section, a chief appraiser may select the medium, format, content, and method to be used by the appraisal district from among those prescribed by the comptroller under Subsection (e).

(g) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), if a property owner whose property is included in 25 or more accounts in the appraisal records of the appraisal district requests the chief appraiser to enter into an agreement for the delivery of the notice required by Section 25.19 in an electronic format, the chief appraiser must enter into an agreement under this section for that purpose and shall deliver the notice in accordance with an electronic medium, format, content, and method prescribed by the comptroller under Subsection (e).

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 441, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 984, 1; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1173, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2005.

Cross References:
Delivery of notices, see Sec. 1.07.
Notices of appraised value, Sec. 25.19
Representation by agent, see Sec. 1.111.

Sec. 1.09. Availability of Forms.

When a property owner is required by this title to use a form, the office or agency with which the form is filed shall make printed and electronic versions of the forms readily and timely available and shall furnish a property owner a form without charge.

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2220, ch. 841, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 984, 2; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1173, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2005.

Sec. 1.10. Rolls in Electronic Data-Processing Records.

The appraisal roll for an appraisal district and the appraisal roll or the tax roll for the unit may be retained in electronic data-processing equipment. However, a physical document for each must be prepared and made readily available to the public.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 118, ch. 13, Sec. 3.

Cross References:
Appraisal roll for appraisal district, see Sec. 25.24.
Appraisal roll for taxing unit, see Sec. 26.01(a).
Tax roll for taxing unit, see Sec. 26.09(e).

Sec. 1.11. Communications to Fiduciary.

(a) On the written request of a property owner, an appraisal office or an assessor or collector shall deliver all notices, tax bills, and other communications relating to the owner's property or taxes to the owner's fiduciary.

(b) To be effective, a request made under this section must be filed with the appraisal district. A request remains in effect until revoked by a written revocation filed with the appraisal district by the owner.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 118, ch. 13, 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1126, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Cross References:
Model form for designation of agent, see Rule Sec. 9.3044.

Notes:
Where a fiduciary has been appointed by a taxpayer under 1.11 notices and tax bills need to be sent to the fiduciary. Aldine ISD v. Ogg, 122 S.W. 3d 257 (Tex. App. -Houston 2003, no pet.).

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).

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. MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. Tarrant Appraisal District, 723 S.W.2d 350 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1987, no writ).

Sec. 1.111. Representation of Property Owner.

(a) A property owner may designate a lessee or other person to act as the agent of the owner for any purpose under this title in connection with the property or the property owner.

(b) The designation of an agent must be made by written authorization signed by the owner, a property manager authorized to designate agents for the owner, or other person authorized to act on behalf of the owner, and must clearly indicate that the person is authorized to act on behalf of the property owner in property tax matters relating to the property or the property owner. The designation may authorize the agent to represent the owner in all property tax matters or in specific property tax matters as identified in the designation.

(c) The designation of an agent under this section remains in effect until revoked in a written revocation filed with the appraisal district by the property owner. A designation may be made to expire according to its own terms but is still subject to prior revocation by the property owner.

(d) A property owner may not designate more than one agent to represent the property owner in connection with an item of property. The designation of an agent in connection with an item of property revokes any previous designation of an agent in connection with that item of property.

(e) An agreement between a property owner or the owner's agent and the chief appraiser is final if the agreement relates to a matter:

(1) which may be protested to the appraisal review board or on which a protest has been filed but not determined by the board; or

(2) which may be corrected under Section 25.25 or on which a motion for correction under that section has been filed but not determined by the board.

(f) A property owner in writing filed with the appraisal district may direct the appraisal district, appraisal review board, and each taxing unit participating in the appraisal district to deliver all notices, tax bills, orders, and other communications relating to one or more specified items of the owner's property to a specified person instead of to the property owner. The instrument must clearly identify the person by name and give the person's address to which all notices, tax bills, orders, and other communications are to be delivered. The property owner may but is not required to designate the person's agent for other tax matters designated under Subsection (a) as the person to receive all notices, tax bills, orders, and other communications. The designation of an agent for other tax matters under Subsection (a) may also provide that the agent is the person to whom notices, tax bills, orders, and other communications are to be delivered under this subsection.

(g) An appraisal district, appraisal review board, or taxing unit may not require a person to designate an agent to represent the person in a property tax matter other than as provided by this section.

(h) The comptroller shall prescribe forms and adopt rules to facilitate compliance with this section. The comptroller shall include on any form used for designation of an agent for a single-family residential property in which the property owner resides the following statement in boldfaced type:

"In some cases, you may want to contact your appraisal district or other local taxing units for free information and/or forms concerning your case before designating an agent."

(i) An appraisal review board shall accept and consider a motion or protest filed by an agent of a property owner if an agency authorization is filed at or before the hearing on the motion or protest.

Added by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 435, Sec. 1; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3591, ch. 796, Sec. 2; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 26, ch. 6, Sec. 1; amended by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 4443, ch. 1031, Sec. 1 and p.4258, ch. 981, Sec. 1; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 1482, ch. 349, Sec. 1.

Cross References:
Hearing on protest, see Sec. 41.45.
Model form for designation of agent, see Rule Sec. 9.3044.
Model form for designation of agent for residence homestead, see Rule Sec. 9.3044.
Motion for correction, see Sec. 25.25.

Notes:
Pursuant to the provisions of section 1.111(e), an agreement between the property owner's agent and appraisal district representative regarding an issue under protest before the appraisal review board is final and therefore cannot be appealed to district court. This applies even in instances where the agreement is entered into during the course of a hearing before a panel of the appraisal review board, which is then ratified by order of the full board. The fact the matter cannot be appealed does not violate the property owner's statutory due process rights. Established law clearly provides due process is satisfied as long as a person has the right to be heard at some stage of the proceedings. In this case such due process was afforded by being able to present and argue the grounds for protest before the appraisal review board panel. BPAC Tex., LP v. Harris County Appraisal Dist., 2004 Tex. App. LEXIS 9592 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] October 28, 2004, no pet. history).

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, no pet.).

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).

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).

A property tax lawsuit filed in the name of a related, but erroneously designated, taxpayer does not grant jurisdiction to the court to hear a tax protest even if the party who filed the case is claiming to be a "de facto" agent for the original taxpayer. This alleged agent must comply with reasonable fiduciary responsibilities to prove its status as an agent. Evidence of past tax appraisals could be considered by the jury if the contested appraisal showed a large increase in value and the past appraisals had been established based on an agreement between the property owner and the appraisal district. Gregg County Appraisal District v. Laidlaw Waste Systems, Inc., 907 S.W. 2d 12 (Tex. App.-Tyler 1995, writ denied).

A taxpayer whose exemption applications were rejected based upon defective fiduciary forms must challenge this decision of the chief appraiser to the appraisal review board. If there is a factual dispute, a court issued writ of mandamus cannot be requested. Dallas County Appraisal District v. Funds Recovery, Inc., 887 S.W. 2d 465 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1994, writ denied).

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. 1.12. Median Level of Appraisal.

(a) For purposes of this title, the median level of appraisal is the median appraisal ratio of a reasonable and representative sample of properties in an appraisal district or, for purposes of Section 41.43 or 42.26, of a sample of properties specified by that section.

(b) An appraisal ratio is the ratio of a property's appraised value as determined by the appraisal office or appraisal review board, as applicable, to:

(1) the appraised value of the property according to law if the property qualifies for appraisal for tax purposes according to a standard other than market value; or

(2) the market value of the property if Subdivision (1) of this subsection does not apply.

(c) The median appraisal ratio for a sample of properties is, in a numerically ordered list of the appraisal ratios for the properties:

(1) if the sample contains an odd number of properties, the appraisal ratio above and below which there is an equal number of appraisal ratios in the list; or

(2) if the sample contains an even number of properties, the average of the two consecutive appraisal ratios above and below which there is an equal number of appraisal ratios in the list.

(d) For purposes of this section, the appraisal ratio of a homestead to which Section 23.23 applies is the ratio of the property's market value as determined by the appraisal district or appraisal review board, as applicable, to the market value of the property according to law. The appraisal ratio is not calculated according to the appraised value of the property as limited by Section 23.23.

Added by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 118, ch. 13, Sec. 5; amended by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 6148, ch. 823, Sec. 1; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3592, ch. 796, Sec. 3; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3918, ch. 1039, Sec. 46.

Cross References:
Determination of median level of appraisal, see Sec. 5.10.
Protest of unequal appraisal, see Secs. 41.41(2) & 41.43.
Judicial remedy for unequal appraisal, see Sec. 42.26.
Limitation on the appraised value of residence homestead, see Sec. 23.23.

Notes:
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).

Sec. 1.15. Appraisers for Taxing Units Prohibited.

A taxing unit may not employ any person for the purpose of appraising property for taxation purposes except to the extent necessary to perform a contract under Section 6.05(b) of this code.

Added by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 5463, ch. 1028, Sec. 1.

Cross References:
Taxing unit performance as appraisal office, see Sec. 6.05(b).