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Title 1. Property Tax Code
Subtitle B. Property Tax Administration

Chapter 6. Local Administration

Subchapter A. Appraisal Districts

Sec. 6.01. Appraisal Districts Established.
Sec. 6.02. District Boundaries.
Sec. 6.025. Overlapping Appraisal Districts; Joint Procedures.
Sec. 6.03. Board of Directors.
Sec. 6.031. Changes in Board Membership or Selection.
Sec. 6.033. Recall of Director.
Sec. 6.034. Optional Staggered Terms for Board of Directors.
Sec. 6.035. Restrictions on Eligibility and Conduct of Board Members
                  and Chief Appraisers and Their Relatives.

Sec. 6.036. Interest in Certain Contracts Prohibited.
Sec. 6.037. Participation of Conservation and Reclamation Districts in Appraisal District Matters.
Sec. 6.04. Organization, Meetings, and Compensation.
Sec. 6.05. Appraisal Office.
Sec. 6.051. Ownership or Lease of Real Property.
Sec. 6.052. Taxpayer Liaison Officer.
Sec. 6.06. Appraisal District Budget and Financing.
Sec. 6.061. Changes in Method of Financing.
Sec. 6.062. Publication of Budget.
Sec. 6.063. Financial Audit.
Sec. 6.07. Taxing Unit Boundaries.
Sec. 6.08. Notice of Optional Exemptions.
Sec. 6.09. Designation of District Depository.
Sec. 6.10. Disapproval of Board Actions.
Sec. 6.11. Purchasing and Contracting Authority.
Sec. 6.12. Agricultural Appraisal Advisory Board.
Sec. 6.13. District Records.
Sec. 6.14. Information Provided to Texas Legislative Council.

[Sections 6.15 to 6.20 reserved for expansion]

Sec. 6.01. Appraisal Districts Established

(a) An appraisal district is established in each county.

(b) The district is responsible for appraising property in the district for ad valorem tax purposes of each taxing unit that imposes ad valorem taxes on property in the district.

(c) An appraisal district is a political subdivision of the state.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 119, ch. 13, Secs. 12 & 13; amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 4819, ch. 851, Sec. 1.

Cross References:
Changes in membership of board in a district, see Sec. 6.031.

Notes:
The elected county tax assessor-collector is not constitutionally required to appraise property within an appraisal district. Article VIII, Sec. 18, Tex. Const., separates appraisal from the assessing function of the county tax assessor-collector, and directs the legislature to provide for a single appraisal within each county. The appraisal districts are charged with responsibility for appraising taxable property. Wilson v. Galveston County Appraisal District, 713 S.W.2d 98 (Tex. 1986).

A central appraisal district is a "public agency" empowered by Health and Safety Code Chapter 771 to maintain information needed for the provisions of 9-1-1 emergency service in rural areas. This is an implied authorization because the appraisal district must cooperate with other local agencies that are maintaining this type of information. The appraisal district directors are immune from personal liability for information so retained. Letter Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-95-035 (1995).

Appraisal districts begin appraisal of property with the 1982 tax year. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. MW-126 (1980).

Sec. 6.02. District Boundaries.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, the appraisal district's boundaries are the same as the county's boundaries.

(b) A taxing unit that has boundaries extending into two or more counties may choose to participate in only one of the appraisal districts. In that event, the boundaries of the district chosen extend outside the county to the extent of the unit's boundaries. To be effective, the choice must be approved by resolution of the board of directors of the district chosen. The choice of a school district to participate in a single appraisal district does not apply to property annexed to the school district under Subchapter C or G, Chapter 41, Education Code, unless:

(1) the school district taxes property other than property annexed to the district under Subchapter C or G, Chapter 41, Education Code, in the same county as the annexed property; or

(2) the annexed property is contiguous to property in the school district other than property annexed to the district under Subchapter C or G, Chapter 41, Education Code.

(c) A taxing unit that has chosen to participate in a single appraisal district under Subsection (b) of this section may revoke that choice and, if permitted to do so by Subsection (b), choose to participate in a single appraisal district other than the one previously chosen. A taxing unit that has withdrawn from an appraisal district under this subsection and chosen to participate in another single appraisal district may not under this subsection withdraw from that district.

(d) A taxing unit that makes a choice under this section must do so by an official action of its governing body in the manner required by law for official action by the body. A choice made by a taxing unit under this section takes effect beginning on the next January 1 that is at least 90 days from the date on which the choice is made.

(e) If a taxing unit ceases to have territory in the county for which the appraisal district in which the unit participates is established, but still has territory in two or more counties, the unit may choose to participate in only one district in the manner prescribed by this section.

(f) All costs of operating an appraisal district in territory outside the county for which the appraisal district is established are allocated to the taxing unit for which the appraisal district appraises property in that territory. If the appraisal district appraises property in the same territory for two or more taxing units, costs of operating the district in that territory are allocated to the units in the proportion the total dollar amount of taxes each unit imposes in that territory bears to the total dollar amount of taxes all taxing units participating in the appraisal district impose in that territory.

(g) If property is annexed to a school district under Subchapter C or G, Chapter 41, Education Code, the appraisal district established for the county in which the property is located shall appraise the property for the school district, and the school district participates in that appraisal district for purposes of the appraisal of that property, except as otherwise permitted by Subsection (b).

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), pp. 120 & 182, ch. 13, Secs. 14 & 167(a); amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 573, ch. 117, Sec. 1; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 411, ch. 20, Sec. 14, and p. 1481, ch. 391, Sec. 13; amended by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 1524, ch. 347, Sec. 4.05; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 372, ch. 165, Sec. 6.72.

Cross References:
Changes in board by units participating in appraisal district, see Sec. 6.031.
Optional staggered terms for units participating in appraisal district, see Sec. 6.032.
Taxing unit boundaries newly formed or altered, see Sec. 6.07.
Taxing unit defined, see Sec. 1.04(12).

Sec. 6.025. Overlapping Appraisal Districts; Joint Procedures.

(a) The chief appraisers of two or more appraisal districts that have boundaries that include any part of the same territory shall enter into a written understanding that, with respect to the property located in the territory in which each of the districts has appraisal jurisdiction:

(1) permits each appraiser to have access to and use information appropriate to appraisals, including a record of an exemption application, rendition, or other property owner report;

(2) eliminates differences in the information in appraisal records of the districts, including information relating to ownership of property, the description of property, and the physical characteristics of property; and

(3) contains the form of a written advisory prescribed by the comptroller informing the owners of property that reports and other documents required of the owners must be filed with or sent to each appraisal district and that the owners should consider sending any other document relating to the property to each appraisal district.

(b) The advisory described by Subsection (a)(3) may be sent to a property owner having property appraised by each district when the notice of appraised value required by Section 25.19(a) is sent.

(c) The chief appraisers of appraisal districts described by Subsection (a) shall to the extent practicable coordinate their appraisal activities so as to encourage and facilitate the appraisal of the same property appraised by each district at the same value.

(d) If on May 1 all the chief appraisers of the appraisal districts described by Subsection (a) in which a parcel or item of property is located are not in agreement as to the appraised or market value of the property, on that date each of the chief appraisers shall enter as the appraised or market value of the property on the appraisal records of the appropriate appraisal district the lowest appraised or market value of the property as determined by any of the chief appraisers. If as a result of a protest, appeal, or other action the appraised or market value of the property is subsequently reduced in any of the appraisal districts, the chief appraiser shall notify each of the appraisal districts of the reduced appraised or market value. The chief appraiser of each appraisal district shall enter that reduced appraised or market value on the appraisal records as the appraised or market value of the property. If the appraised or market value is reduced in more than one appraisal district, each chief appraiser shall enter the lowest of those values on the appraisal records.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 186, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1357, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 250, 1, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 455, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1041, 1(a), eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Cross References:
Appraisals generally, see Sec. 23.01.
Appraisal card requirements, see Rule Sec. 9.3001.
Appraisal records of all property, see Rule Sec. 9.3004.
Appraisal records form and content, see Sec. 25.02.
Confidential information on renditions, see Sec. 22.27.
Exemption application requirements, see Sec. 11.43.
Homestead exemptions, see Sec. 11.13.
Notice of appraised value, see Sec. 25.19.
Property description, see Sec. 25.03.
Property identification system, see Rule Sec. 9.3014.
Property protest, see Sec. 41.41.
Protest to district court, see Sec. 42.01.
Uniform tax records system, see Rule Sec. 9.3002.

Notes:
Section 6.025(d) of the Texas Tax Code does not as a matter of law violate article VIII, section1(a) or (b) of the Texas Constitution nor does it violate article VIII, section 18(c) which provides that the legislature is to establish a single appraisal review board for an appraisal district and that the appraisal review board members reside in the appraisal district. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen.-GA 0317 (2005).

Section 6.025(d) is to be construed to require chief appraisers in overlapping appraisal districts to enter in the tax records both the lowest market value and the lowest appraised value. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. GA-0283 (2004).

An appraisal district board may not contract with another board to designate a single appraisal review board to hear taxpayer protests about the appraisal of property located in areas common to both districts. Owners of "overlapping properties" may choose which of two or more review boards will hear their protest. A contract cannot impair the validity or force of any law, nor control the provisions of a statute. Letter Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-98-022 (1998).

Sec. 6.03. Board of Directors.

(a) The appraisal district is governed by a board of directors. Five directors are appointed by the taxing units that participate in the district as provided by this section. If the county assessor-collector is not appointed to the board, the county assessor-collector serves as a nonvoting director. The county assessor-collector is ineligible to serve if the board enters into a contract under Section 6.05(b) or if the commissioners court of the county enters into a contract under Section 6.24(b). To be eligible to serve on the board of directors, an individual other than a county assessor-collector serving as a nonvoting director must be a resident of the district and must have resided in the district for at least two years immediately preceding the date the individual takes office. An individual who is otherwise eligible to serve on the board is not ineligible because of membership on the governing body of a taxing unit. An employee of a taxing unit that participates in the district is not eligible to serve on the board unless the individual is also a member of the governing body or an elected official of a taxing unit that participates in the district.

(b) Members of the board of directors other than a county assessor-collector serving as a nonvoting director serve two-year terms beginning on January 1 of even-numbered years.

(c) Members of the board of directors other than a county assessor-collector serving as a nonvoting director are appointed by vote of the governing bodies of the incorporated cities and towns, the school districts, and, if entitled to vote, the conservation and reclamation districts that participate in the district and of the county. A governing body may cast all its votes for one candidate or distribute them among candidates for any number of directorships. Conservation and reclamation districts are not entitled to vote unless at least one conservation and reclamation district in the district delivers to the chief appraiser a written request to nominate and vote on the board of directors by June 1 of each odd-numbered year. On receipt of a request, the chief appraiser shall certify a list by June 15 of all eligible conservation and reclamation districts that are imposing taxes and that participate in the district.

(d) The voting entitlement of a taxing unit that is entitled to vote for directors is determined by dividing the total dollar amount of property taxes imposed in the district by the taxing unit for the preceding tax year by the sum of the total dollar amount of property taxes imposed in the district for that year by each taxing unit that is entitled to vote, by multiplying the quotient by 1,000, and by rounding the product to the nearest whole number. That number is multiplied by the number of directorships to be filled. A taxing unit participating in two or more districts is entitled to vote in each district in which it participates, but only the taxes imposed in a district are used to calculate voting entitlement in that district.

(e) The chief appraiser shall calculate the number of votes to which each taxing unit other than a conservation and reclamation district is entitled and shall deliver written notice to each of those units of its voting entitlement before October 1 of each odd-numbered year. The chief appraiser shall deliver the notice:

(1) to the county judge and each commissioner of the county served by the appraisal district the county judge and each commissioner of the county served by the appraisal district;

(2) to the presiding officer of the governing body of each city or town participating in the appraisal district, to the city manager of each city or town having a city manager, and to the city secretary or clerk, if there is one, of each city or town that does not have a city manager; and

(3) to the presiding officer of the governing body of each school district participating in the district and to the superintendent of those school districts.

(f) The chief appraiser shall calculate the number of votes to which each conservation and reclamation district entitled to vote for district directors is entitled and shall deliver written notice to the presiding officer of each conservation and reclamation district of its voting entitlement and right to nominate a person to serve as a director of the district before July 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(g) Each taxing unit other than a conservation and reclamation district that is entitled to vote may nominate by resolution adopted by its governing body one candidate for each position to be filled on the board of directors. The presiding officer of the governing body of the unit shall submit the names of the unit's nominees to the chief appraiser before October 15.

(h) Each conservation and reclamation district entitled to vote may nominate by resolution adopted by its governing body one candidate for the district's board of directors. The presiding officer of the conservation and reclamation district's governing body shall submit the name of the district's nominee to the chief appraiser before July 15 of each odd-numbered year. Before August 1, the chief appraiser shall prepare a nominating ballot, listing all the nominees of conservation and reclamation districts alphabetically by surname, and shall deliver a copy of the nominating ballot to the presiding officer of the board of directors of each district. The board of directors of each district shall determine its vote by resolution and submit it to the chief appraiser before August 15. The nominee on the ballot with the most votes is the nominee of the conservation and reclamation districts in the appraisal district if the nominee received more than 10 percent of the votes entitled to be cast by all of the conservation and reclamation districts in the appraisal district, and shall be named on the ballot with the candidates nominated by the other taxing units. The chief appraiser shall resolve a tie vote by any method of chance.

(i) If no nominee of the conservation and reclamation districts receives more than 10 percent of the votes entitled to be cast under Subsection (h), the chief appraiser, before September 1, shall notify the presiding officer of the board of directors of each conservation and reclamation district of the failure to select a nominee. Each conservation and reclamation district may submit a nominee by September 15 to the chief appraiser as provided by Subsection (h). The chief appraiser shall submit a second nominating ballot by October 1 to the conservation and reclamation districts as provided by Subsection (h). The conservation and reclamation districts shall submit their votes for nomination before October 15 as provided by Subsection (h). The nominee on the second nominating ballot with the most votes is the nominee of the conservation and reclamation districts in the appraisal district and shall be named on the ballot with the candidates nominated by the other taxing units. The chief appraiser shall resolve a tie vote by any method of chance.

(j) Before October 30, the chief appraiser shall prepare a ballot, listing the candidates whose names were timely submitted under Subsections (g) and, if applicable, (h) or (i) alphabetically according to the first letter in each candidate's surname, and shall deliver a copy of the ballot to the presiding officer of the governing body of each taxing unit that is entitled to vote.

(k) The governing body of each taxing unit entitled to vote shall determine its vote by resolution and submit it to the chief appraiser before December 15. The chief appraiser shall count the votes, declare the five candidates who receive the largest cumulative vote totals elected, and submit the results before December 31 to the governing body of each taxing unit in the district and to the candidates. For purposes of determining the number of votes received by the candidates, the candidate receiving the most votes of the conservation and reclamation districts is considered to have received all of the votes cast by conservation and reclamation districts and the other candidates are considered not to have received any votes of the conservation and reclamation districts. The chief appraiser shall resolve a tie vote by any method of chance.

(l) If a vacancy occurs on the board of directors other than a vacancy in the position held by a county assessor-collector serving as a nonvoting director, each taxing unit that is entitled to vote by this section may nominate by resolution adopted by its governing body a candidate to fill the vacancy. The unit shall submit the name of its nominee to the chief appraiser within 45 days after notification from the board of directors of the existence of the vacancy, and the chief appraiser shall prepare and deliver to the board of directors within the next five days a list of the nominees. The board of directors shall elect by majority vote of its members one of the nominees to fill the vacancy.

(m) If a school district participates in an appraisal district in which the only property of the school district located in the appraisal district is property annexed to the school district under Subchapter C or G, Chapter 41, Education Code, an individual who does not meet the residency requirements of Subsection (a) is eligible to be appointed to the board of directors of the appraisal district if:

(1) the individual is a resident of the school district; and

(2) the individual is nominated as a candidate for the board of directors by the school district or, if the taxing units have adopted a change in the method of appointing board members that does not require a nomination, the school district appoints or participates in the appointment of the individual.

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2224, ch. 841, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 120, ch. 13, 15, 167(a), eff. Aug. 14, 1981; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 59, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 270, 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1123, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 20, 15, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 371, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 347, 4.06, eff. May 31, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, 6.73, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1039, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 705, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 629, 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

Cross References:
Changes in board membership or selection, see Sec. 6.031.
County tax assessor-collector, see Sec. 6.21.
Recall of members of board of directors, see Sec. 6.033.
Optional staggered terms for board of directors, see Sec. 6.034.
Meetings, organization, and compensation for board of directors, see Sec. 6.04.
Oath of office, see art. XVI, Sec. 1, Tex. Const.

Notes:
A municipal utility district may not challenge the constitutionality of Sec. 6.03(c), (d), (f), (h), and (i) on equal protection and due process grounds as those rights vest in persons only. Even if individuals joined in a suit with a MUD are considered persons, not district directors, the personal rights of equal protection and due process are not infringed by the Property Tax Code. Colony Municipal Utility District No. 1 of Denton County v. Appraisal District of Denton County, 626 S.W.2d 930 (Tex. App.-Denton 1982, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

Under the provisions of Tax Code Sections 6.03(a) and 6.04(a), an assessor-collector who is a nonvoting member of an appraisal district board is counted in determining the presence of a quorum. Such individual may in turn serve as chairman or secretary of the board. An appraisal district board may determine by rule whether to permit the assessor-collector to make and second motions. Attorney General Opinion DM-160 (1992) is overruled to the extent that it conflicts with this conclusion. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-0580 (2002).

The common law doctrine of incompatibility does not bar a director of an appraisal district from contracting under Sec. 6.30 of the tax code with a local political subdivision to collect its delinquent taxes. An attorney who has contracted with a taxing unit to collect its delinquent taxes is not an "employee" under Sec. 6.03. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-1060 (1989). Section 6.036, however, would bar an attorney who collects delinquent taxes for a taxing unit from serving on the board of directors.

The procedure for selecting members of appraisal district boards of directors is not governed by the Texas Election Code. Dates set out in Sec. 6.03(f) and (g) are directory and not mandatory. A written communication concerning votes of the taxing unit must be submitted to the county clerk. The county clerk has neither duty nor authority to determine nominees' qualifications. A unit may not cast its voting entitlement for a person other than one nominated and named on the ballot, and the county clerk lacks authority to include any such vote in declaring election results. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-166 (1984).

The first election for board of directors of a property tax appraisal district should be held in Fall 1979, and incorporated villages may participate in the election. A county clerk has no authority to require taxing units to provide information on their tax collection and related matters to determine voting entitlement. The State Property Tax Board lacks authority to make rules clarifying the procedure for electing the appraisal district board of directors. The Harris County Board of School Trustees is not eligible to vote for directors of the appraisal district nor are community junior colleges eligible Tex. Att'y Gen. No. MW-126 (1980).

Sec. 6.031. Changes in Board Membership or Selection.

(a) The board of directors of an appraisal district, by resolution adopted and delivered to each taxing unit participating in the district before August 15, may increase the number of members on the board of directors of the district to not more than 13, change the method or procedure for appointing the members, or both, unless the governing body of a taxing unit that is entitled to vote on the appointment of board members adopts a resolution opposing the change, and files it with the board of directors before September 1. If a change is rejected, the board shall notify, in writing, each taxing unit participating in the district before September 15.

(b) The taxing units participating in an appraisal district may increase the number of members on the board of directors of the district to not more than 13, change the method or procedure for appointing the members, or both, if the governing bodies of three-fourths of the taxing units that are entitled to vote on the appointment of board members adopt resolutions providing for the change. However, a change under this subsection is not valid if it reduces the voting entitlement of one or more taxing units that do not adopt a resolution proposing it to less than a majority of the voting entitlement under Section 6.03 of this code or if it reduces the voting entitlement of any taxing unit that does not adopt a resolution proposing it to less than 50 percent of its voting entitlement under Section 6.03 of this code and if that taxing unit's allocation of the budget is not reduced to the same proportional percentage amount, or if it expands the types of taxing units that are entitled to vote on appointment of board members.

(c) An official copy of a resolution under this section must be filed with the chief appraiser of the appraisal district after June 30 and before October 1 of a year in which board members are appointed or the resolution is ineffective.

(d) Before October 5 of each year in which board members are appointed, the chief appraiser shall determine whether a sufficient number of eligible taxing units have filed valid resolutions proposing a change for the change to take effect. The chief appraiser shall notify each taxing unit participating in the district of each change that is adopted before October 10.

(e) A change in membership or selection made as provided by this section remains in effect until changed in a manner provided by this section or rescinded by resolution of a majority of the governing bodies that are entitled to vote on appointment of board members under Section 6.03 of this code.

(f) A provision of Section 6.03 of this code that is subject to change under this section but is not expressly changed by resolution of a sufficient number of eligible taxing units remains in effect.

(g) For purposes of this section, the conservation and reclamation districts in an appraisal district are considered to be entitled to vote on the appointment of appraisal district directors if:

(1) a conservation and reclamation district has filed a request to the chief appraiser to nominate and vote on directors in the current year as provided by Section 6.03(c); or

(2) conservation and reclamation districts were entitled to vote on the appointment of directors in the appraisal district in the most recent year in which directors were appointed under Section 6.03.

Added by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 121, ch. 13, Sec. 16; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 59, Sec. 2; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 4630, ch. 1123, Sec. 3.

Cross References:
Selection of appraisal district by taxing unit, see Sec. 6.02.
Determination of voting entitlement, see Sec. 6.03(d).
Optional staggered terms for board members, see Sec. 6.034.
Recall of board members, see Sec. 6.033.

Notes:
Where city's petition alleged that the "three-fourths rule" (which authorizes the appropriate governing bodies to increase the number of appraisal board directors and to change the method of computing the voting entitlement of the taxing units) was unconstitutional, city was entitled to have the trial court consider such issues and was not required to prove that there was a substantial basis for its contentions at the dismissal hearing. Houston v. Rodehever, 615 S.W.2d 837 (Tex. App.-Houston 1981, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

City sought declaratory judgment against the chief appraiser and all taxing units to void plan adopted by three-fourths of the taxing units that would change the method of selecting members of the board of directors. The change of method exceeded statutory authority because no right exists to change the method from cumulative voting as already authorized by statute. Huffman v. Arlington, 619 S.W.2d 425 (Tex. App.-Ft. Worth 1981, writ ref'd n.r.e.)

Sec. 6.033. Recall of Director.

(a) The governing body of a taxing unit may call for the recall of a member of the board of directors of an appraisal district appointed under Section 6.03 of this code for whom the unit cast any of its votes in the appointment of the board. The call must be in the form of a resolution, be filed with the chief appraiser of the appraisal district, and state that the unit is calling for the recall of the member. If a resolution calling for the recall of a board member is filed under this subsection, the chief appraiser, not later than the 10th day after the date of filing, shall deliver a written notice of the filing of the resolution and the date of its filing to the presiding officer of the governing body of each taxing unit entitled to vote in the appointment of board members.

(b) On or before the 30th day after the date on which a resolution calling for the recall of a member of the board is filed, the governing body of a taxing unit that cast any of its votes in the appointment of the board for that member may vote to recall the member by resolution submitted to the chief appraiser. Each taxing unit is entitled to the same number of votes in the recall as it cast for that member in the appointment of the board. The governing body of the taxing unit calling for the recall may cast its votes in favor of the recall in the same resolution in which it called for the recall.

(c) Not later than the 10th day after the last day provided by this section for voting in favor of the recall, the chief appraiser shall count the votes cast in favor of the recall. If the number of votes in favor of the recall equals or exceeds a majority of the votes cast for the member in the appointment of the board, the member is recalled and ceases to be a member of the board. The chief appraiser shall immediately notify in writing the presiding officer of the appraisal district board of directors and of the governing body of each taxing unit that voted in the recall election of the outcome of the recall election. If the presiding officer of the appraisal district board of directors is the member whose recall was voted on, the chief appraiser shall also notify the secretary of the appraisal district board of directors of the outcome of the recall election.

(d) If a vacancy occurs on the board of directors after the recall of a member of the board under this section, the taxing units that were entitled to vote in the recall election shall appoint a new board member. Each taxing unit is entitled to the same number of votes as it originally cast to appoint the recalled board member. Each taxing unit entitled to vote may nominate one candidate by resolution adopted by its governing body. The presiding officer of the governing body of the unit shall submit the name of the unit's nominee to the chief appraiser on or before the 30th day after the date it receives notification from the chief appraiser of the result of the recall election. On or before the 15th day after the last day provided for a nomination to be submitted, the chief appraiser shall prepare a ballot, listing the candidates nominated alphabetically according to each candidate's surname, and shall deliver a copy of the ballot to the presiding officer of the governing body of each taxing unit that is entitled to vote. On or before the 15th day after the date on which a taxing unit's ballot is delivered, the governing body of the taxing unit shall determine its vote by resolution and submit it to the chief appraiser. On or before the 15th day after the last day on which a taxing unit may vote, the chief appraiser shall count the votes, declare the candidate who received the largest vote total appointed, and submit the results to the presiding officer of the governing body of the appraisal district and of each taxing unit in the district and to the candidates. The chief appraiser shall resolve a tie vote by any method of chance.

(e) If the board of directors of an appraisal district is appointed by a method or procedure adopted under Section 6.031 of this code, the governing bodies of the taxing units that voted for or otherwise participated in the appointment of a member of the board may recall that member and appoint a new member to the vacancy by any method adopted by resolution of a majority of those governing bodies. If the appointment was by election, the method of recall and of appointing a new member to the vacancy is not valid unless it provides that each taxing unit is entitled to the same number of votes in the recall and in the appointment to fill the vacancy as it originally cast for the member being recalled.

Added as Section 6.032 by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 2356, ch. 273, Sec. 1; renumbered as Section 6.033 and amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 59, Sec. 5.

Cross References:
Governing bodies entitled to vote on board selection, see Sec. 6.03(c).
Voting entitlement of taxing unit, see Sec. 6.03(d).

Sec. 6.034. Optional Staggered Terms for Board of Directors.

(a) The taxing units participating in an appraisal district may provide that the terms of the appointed members of the board of directors be staggered if the governing bodies of at least three-fourths of the taxing units that are entitled to vote on the appointment of board members adopt resolutions providing for the staggered terms. A change to staggered terms may be adopted only if the method or procedure for appointing board members is changed under Section 6.031 of this code to eliminate or have the effect of eliminating cumulative voting for board members as provided by Section 6.03 of this code. A change to staggered terms may be proposed concurrently with a change that eliminates or has the effect of eliminating cumulative voting.

(b) An official copy of a resolution providing for staggered terms adopted by the governing body of a taxing unit must be filed with the chief appraiser of the appraisal district after June 30 and before October 1 of a year in which board members are to be appointed, or the resolution is ineffective.

(c) Before October 5 of each year in which board members are to be appointed, the chief appraiser shall determine whether a sufficient number of taxing units have filed valid resolutions proposing a change to staggered terms for the change to take effect. Before October 10 the chief appraiser shall notify each taxing unit participating in the district of a change that is adopted under this section.

(d) A change to staggered terms made under this section becomes effective beginning on January 1 of the next even-numbered year after the chief appraiser determines that the change has been adopted. The entire board of directors shall be appointed for that year without regard to the staggered terms. At the earliest practical date after January 1 of that year, the board shall determine by lot which of its members shall serve one-year terms and which shall serve two-year terms in order to implement the staggered terms. If the board consists of an even number of board members, one-half of the members must be designated to serve one-year terms and one-half shall be designated to serve two-year terms. If the board consists of an odd number of board members, the number of members designated to serve two-year terms must exceed by one the number of members designated to serve one-year terms.

(e) After the staggered terms have been implemented as provided by Subsection (d) of this section, the appraisal district shall appoint annually for terms to begin on January 1 of each year a number of board members equal to the number of board members whose terms expire on that January 1, unless a change in the total number of board members is adopted under Section 6.031 of this code to take effect on that January 1.

(f) If a change in the number of directors is adopted under Section 6.031 of this code in an appraisal district that has adopted staggered terms for board members, the change must specify how many members' terms are to begin in even-numbered years and how many members' terms are to begin in odd-numbered years. The change may not provide that the number of members whose terms are to begin in even-numbered years differs by more than one from the number of members whose terms are to begin in odd-numbered years.

(g) A change to staggered terms made as provided by this section may be rescinded by resolution of a majority of the governing bodies that are entitled to vote on appointment of board members under Section 6.03 of this code. To be effective, a resolution providing for the rescission must be adopted by the governing body and filed with the chief appraiser after June 30 and before October 1 of an odd-numbered year. If the required number of resolutions are filed during that period, the chief appraiser shall notify each taxing unit participating in the district that the rescission is adopted. If the rescission is adopted, the terms of all members of the board serving at the time of the adoption expire on January 1 of the even-numbered year following the adoption, including terms of members who will have served only one year of a two-year term on that date. The entire board of directors shall be appointed for two-year terms beginning on that date.

(h) If an appraisal district that has adopted staggered terms adopts or rescinds a change in the method or procedure for appointing board members and the change or rescission results in a method of appointing board members by cumulative voting, the change or rescission has the same effect as a rescission of the change to staggered terms made under Subsection (g) of this section.

(i) If a vacancy occurs on the board of directors of an appraisal district that has adopted staggered terms for board members, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by resolution of the governing body of the taxing unit that nominated the person whose departure from the board caused the vacancy, and the procedure for filling a vacancy provided by Section 6.03 of this code does not apply in that event.

Added by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 4576, ch. 601, Sec. 1; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 59, Sec. 4 and ch. 167, Sec. 5.01(a)(51); amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3898, ch. 1039, Sec. 3.

Cross References:
Governing bodies entitled to vote on board selection, see Sec. 6.03(c).
Voting entitlement of taxing unit, see Sec. 6.03(d).
Largest cumulative vote totals determine candidates, see Sec. 6.03(g).
Changes in board membership or selection, see Sec 6.031.

Sec. 6.035. Restrictions on Eligibility and Conduct of Board Members and Chief Appraisers and Their Relatives.

(a) An individual is ineligible to serve on an appraisal district board of directors and is disqualified from employment as chief appraiser if the individual:

(1) is related within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, to an individual who is engaged in the business of appraising property for compensation for use in proceedings under this title or of representing property owners for compensation in proceedings under this title in the appraisal district; or

(2) owns property on which delinquent taxes have been owed to a taxing unit for more than 60 days after the date the individual knew or should have known of the delinquency unless:

(A) the delinquent taxes and any penalties and interest are being paid under an installment payment agreement under Section 33.02; or

(B) a suit to collect the delinquent taxes is deferred or abated under Section 33.06 or 33.065.

(b) A member of an appraisal district board of directors or a chief appraiser commits an offense if the board member continues to hold office or the chief appraiser remains employed knowing that an individual related within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, to the board member or chief appraiser is engaged in the business of appraising property for compensation for use in proceedings under this title or of representing property owners for compensation in proceedings under this title in the appraisal district in which the member serves or the chief appraiser is employed. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c) A chief appraiser commits an offense if the chief appraiser refers a person, whether gratuitously or for compensation, to another person for the purpose of obtaining an appraisal of property, whether or not the appraisal is for ad valorem tax purposes. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.

(d) An appraisal performed by a chief appraiser in a private capacity or by an individual related within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, to the chief appraiser may not be used as evidence in a protest or challenge under Chapter 41 or an appeal under Chapter 42 concerning property that is taxable in the appraisal district in which the chief appraiser is employed.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3592, ch. 796, Sec. 4; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 1987, ch. 561, Sec. 43; amended by 1995 Tex. Laws, p. 546, ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(27); amended by 2001 Tex. Laws, p. 4819, ch. 1430, Sec. 1.

Sec. 6.036. Interest in Certain Contracts Prohibited.

(a) An individual is not eligible to be appointed to or to serve on the board of directors of an appraisal district if the individual or a business entity in which the individual has a substantial interest is a party to a contract with:

(1) the appraisal district; or

(2) a taxing unit that participates in the appraisal district, if the contract relates to the performance of an activity governed by this title.

(b) An appraisal district may not enter into a contract with a member of the board of directors of the appraisal district or with a business entity in which a member of the board has a substantial interest.

(c) A taxing unit may not enter into a contract relating to the performance of an activity governed by this title with a member of the board of directors of an appraisal district in which the taxing unit participates or with a business entity in which a member of the board has a substantial interest.

(d) For purposes of this section, an individual has a substantial interest in a business entity if:

(1) the combined ownership of the individual and the individual's spouse is at least 10 percent of the voting stock or shares of the business entity; or

(2) the individual or the individual's spouse is a partner, limited partner, or officer of the business entity.

(e) In this section, "business entity" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, firm, corporation, holding company, joint-stock company, receivership, trust, or other entity recognized by law.

(f) This section does not limit the application of any other law, including the common law relating to conflicts of interest, to an appraisal district director.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3592, ch. 79b, Sec. 5.

Notes:
The trustees of an independent school district may enter into a tax collection contract with the county commissioners court. This ruling applies even when the county assessor-collector is a member of the board of directors of the appraisal district in which the school district participates. It is not a violation of the constitutional prohibition contained in art. XVI, Sec. 40 against holding two office of emolument for the same person to simultaneously be both county assessor-collector and a member of an appraisal district's board of directors. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-1157 (1990).

The common law doctrine of incompatibility does not bar a director of an appraisal district from contracting under Sec. 6.30 of the tax code with a local political subdivision to collect its delinquent taxes. An attorney who has contracted with a taxing unit to collect its delinquent taxes is not an "employee" under Sec. 6.03. Section 6.036, however, would bar an attorney who collects delinquent taxes for a taxing unit from serving on the board of directors. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-1060 (1989).

Sec. 6.037. Participation of Conservation and Reclamation Districts in Appraisal District Matters.

In this title, a reference to the taxing units entitled to vote on the appointment of appraisal district board members includes the conservation and reclamation districts participating in the appraisal district, without regard to whether the conservation and reclamation districts are currently entitled to do so under Section 6.03(c). In a provision of this title other than Section 6.03 or 6.031 that grants authority to a majority or other number of the taxing units entitled to vote on the appointment of appraisal district directors, including the disapproval of the appraisal district budget under Section 6.06 and the disapproval of appraisal district board actions under Section 6.10, the conservation and reclamation districts participating in the appraisal district are given the vote or authority of one taxing unit. That vote or authority is considered exercised only if a majority of the conservation and reclamation districts take the same action to exercise that vote or authority. Otherwise, the conservation and reclamation districts are treated in the same manner as a single taxing unit that is entitled to act but does not take any action on the matter.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 4630, ch. 1123, Sec. 4; 1989 Tex. Laws (6th C.S.), p. 90, ch. 12, Sec. 2.

Sec. 6.04. Organization, Meetings, and Compensation.

(a) A majority of the appraisal district board of directors constitutes a quorum. At its first meeting each calendar year, the board shall elect from its members a chairman and a secretary.

(b) The board may meet at any time at the call of the chairman or as provided by board rule, but may not meet less often than once each calendar quarter.

(c) Members of the board may not receive compensation for service on the board but are entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided by the budget adopted by the board.

(d) The board shall develop and implement policies that provide the public with reasonable opportunity to appear before the board to speak on any issue under the jurisdiction of the board. Reasonable time shall be provided during each board meeting for public comment on appraisal district and appraisal review board policies and procedures, and a report from the taxpayer liaison officer if one is required by Section 6.052.

(e) The board shall prepare and maintain a written plan that describes how a person who does not speak English or who has a physical, mental, or developmental disability may be provided reasonable access to the board.

(f) The board shall prepare information of public interest describing the functions of the board and the board's procedures by which complaints are filed with and resolved by the board. The board shall make the information available to the public and the appropriate taxing jurisdictions.

(g) If a written complaint is filed with the board that the board has authority to resolve, the board, at least quarterly and until final disposition of the complaint, shall notify the parties to the complaint of the status of the complaint unless notice would jeopardize an undercover investigation.

Amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 1160, ch. 262, Sec. 1; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3593, ch. 796, Sec. 6.

Notes:
Under the provisions of Tax Code Sections 6.03(a) and 6.04(a), an assessor-collector who is a nonvoting member of an appraisal district board is counted in determining the presence of a quorum. Such individual may in turn serve as chairman or secretary of the board. An appraisal district board may determine by rule whether to permit the assessor-collector to make and second motions. Attorney General Opinion DM-160 (1992) is overruled to the extent that it conflicts with this conclusion. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-0580 (2002).

Sec. 6.05. Appraisal Office.

(a) Except as authorized by Subsection (b) of this section, each appraisal district shall establish an appraisal office. The appraisal office must be located in the county for which the district is established. An appraisal district may establish branch appraisal offices outside the county for which the district is established.

(b) The board of directors of an appraisal district may contract with an appraisal office in another district or with a taxing unit in the district to perform the duties of the appraisal office for the district.

(c) The chief appraiser is the chief administrator of the appraisal office. The chief appraiser is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the appraisal district board of directors. If a taxing unit performs the duties of the appraisal office pursuant to a contract, the assessor for the unit is the chief appraiser.

(d) The chief appraiser is entitled to compensation as provided by the budget adopted by the board of directors. He may employ and compensate professional, clerical, and other personnel as provided by the budget.

(e) The chief appraiser may delegate authority to his employees.

(f) The chief appraiser may not employ any individual related to a member of the board of directors within the second degree by affinity or within the third degree by consanguinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code. A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly violates this subsection. An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000.

(g) The chief appraiser is an officer of the appraisal district for purposes of the nepotism law, Chapter 573, Government Code. An appraisal district may not employ or contract with an individual or the spouse of an individual who is related to the chief appraiser within the first degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code.

(h) The board of directors of an appraisal district by resolution may prescribe that specified actions of the chief appraiser relating to the finances or administration of the appraisal district are subject to the approval of the board.

(i) To ensure adherence with generally accepted appraisal practices, the board of directors of an appraisal district shall develop biennially a written plan for the periodic reappraisal of all property within the boundaries of the district according to the requirements of Section 25.18 and shall hold a public hearing to consider the proposed plan. Not later than the 10th day before the date of the hearing, the secretary of the board shall deliver to the presiding officer of the governing body of each taxing unit participating in the district a written notice of the date, time, and place for the hearing. Not later than September 15 of each even-numbered year, the board shall complete its hearings, make any amendments, and by resolution finally approve the plan. Copies of the approved plan shall be distributed to the presiding officer of the governing body of each taxing unit participating in the district and to the comptroller within 60 days of the approval date.

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2224, ch. 841, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 55, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 384, 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 796, 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1990, 71st Leg., 6th C.S., ch. 12, 2(29), eff. Sept. 6, 1990; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 561, 44, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, 5.95(25), (27), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 412, 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Cross References:
Appraisal district budget, see Sec. 6.06(a).
Appraisal district boundaries, see Sec. 6.02.
Contracts made by appraisal district board of directors, see Sec. 6.11.

Notes:
The elected county tax assessor-collector is not constitutionally required to appraise property within an appraisal district. Article VIII, Sec. 18, Tex. Const., separates appraisal from the assessing function of the county tax assessor-collector, and directs the legislature to provide for a single appraisal within each county. The appraisal districts are charged with responsibility for appraising taxable property. Wilson v. Galveston County Appraisal District, 713 S.W.2d 98 (Tex. 1986).

An appraisal district board may reimburse legal fees if it is authorized to do so by statute or under common law. No statute expressly authorizes an appraisal district to reimburse its chief appraiser's legal fees if the chief appraiser is indicted for official misconduct for an alleged failure to carry out a duty of his or her office. However, no statute expressly prohibits the reimbursement of the legal fees in a case where the chief appraiser failed to notify the taxpayer of the determination of a change in use for agricultural land. Under common law, an appraisal district may reimburse the legal expenses if (1) the board determines that paying for the legal representation serves a public interest, not just the interest of the employee or officer, and (2) the board determines that the employee or officer committed the alleged act or omission that was the basis of the suit in good faith and within the scope of his or her official duties. The fact that an employee or officer is no longer serving the appraisal district is irrelevant to the decision to pay the legal fees. The board of directors need not adopt a policy on paying officers' and employees' legal expenses before it may agree to pay accrued expenses. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-488 (1998).

A lease-purchase agreement between a county and an appraisal district is governed by Local Government Code Chapter 263 and Section 272.001 procedures. Chapter 263 would preclude a county from merely accepting an offer to lease or purchase a building for the appraisal district. If the transaction is a sale, a county must follow Section 272.001 on notice and bidding requirements. Local Government Code Section 292.001 would not apply because it authorizes a county to lease excess office space in a building for county purposes and not for appraisal district purposes. Tex. Att'y Gen. LO-96-053 (1996).

The chief appraiser may not serve as chairman of the appraisal district board of directors. LO-90-45 (1990).

An appraisal district is not authorized to enter into a contract with a private association under which the district would, for the benefit of its employees, adopt and contribute district funds to a private retirement plan offered by the association. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-1068 (1989).

The chief appraiser of a county appraisal district and the tax assessor-collector of an independent school district or a water control and improvement district are public employees and not "officers" within art. XVI, Sec. 40, Tex. Const. The functions assigned to these positions by the Property Tax Code do not confer upon them any sovereign function of the government to be exercised largely independent of the control of others. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-499 (1986).

Appraisal district lacks authority to contract with an independent contractor to perform the duties of the chief appraiser. Nepotism statutes (art. 5996, V.T.C.S.) apply to a chief appraiser. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-72 (1983).

Sec. 6.051. Ownership or Lease of Real Property.

(a) The board of directors of an appraisal district may purchase or lease real property and may construct improvements as necessary to establish and operate the appraisal office or a branch appraisal office.

(b) The acquisition or conveyance of real property or the construction or renovation of a building or other improvement by an appraisal district must be approved by the governing bodies of three-fourths of the taxing units entitled to vote on the appointment of board members. The board of directors by resolution may propose a property transaction or other action for which this subsection requires approval of the taxing units. The chief appraiser shall notify the presiding officer of each governing body entitled to vote on the approval of the proposal by delivering a copy of the board's resolution, together with information showing the costs of other available alternatives to the proposal. On or before the 30th day after the date the presiding officer receives notice of the proposal, the governing body of a taxing unit by resolution may approve or disapprove the proposal. If a governing body fails to act on or before that 30th day or fails to file its resolution with the chief appraiser on or before the 10th day after that 30th day, the proposal is treated as if it were disapproved by the governing body.

(c) The board of directors may convey real property owned by the district, and the proceeds shall be credited to each taxing unit that participates in the district in proportion to the unit's allocation of the appraisal district budget in the year in which the transaction occurs. A conveyance must be approved as provided by Subsection (b) of this section, and any proceeds shall be apportioned by an amendment to the annual budget made as provided by Subsection (c) of Section 6.06 of this code.

(d) An acquisition of real property by an appraisal district before January 1, 1988, may be validated before March 1, 1988, in the manner provided by Subsection (b) of this section for the acquisition of real property.

Added by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 55, Sec. 2.

Cross References:
Governing bodies entitled to vote on board selection, see Sec. 6.03(c).

Notes:
A lease-purchase agreement between a county and an appraisal district is governed by Local Government Code Chapter 263 and Section 272.001 procedures. Chapter 263 would preclude a county from merely accepting an offer to lease or purchase a building for the appraisal district. If the transaction is a sale, a county must follow Section 272.001 on notice and bidding requirements. Local Government Code Section 292.001 would not apply because it authorizes a county to lease excess office space in a building for county purposes and not for appraisal district purposes. Tex. Att'y Gen. LO-96-053 (1996).

The three-fourths approval requirement of Sec. 6.051 does not apply to contracts to perform appraisal services nor to leases of real property. This section does apply to the purchase of or construction of improvements on real property. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-1197 (1990).

Sec. 6.052. Taxpayer Liaison Officer.

(a) The board of directors for an appraisal district created for a county with a population of more than 125,000 shall appoint a taxpayer liaison officer who shall serve at the pleasure of the board. The taxpayer liaison officer shall administer the public access functions required by Sections 6.04(d), (e), and (f), and is responsible for resolving disputes not involving matters that may be protested under Section 41.41.

(b) The taxpayer liaison officer may provide information and materials designed to assist property owners in understanding the appraisal process, protest procedures, and related matters.

(c) The taxpayer liaison officer shall report to the board at each meeting on the status of all complaints filed with the board under Section 6.04(g).

(d) The taxpayer liaison officer is entitled to compensation as provided by the budget adopted by the board of directors.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3593, ch. 796, Sec. 8; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 1425, ch. 372, Sec. 2.

Sec. 6.06. Appraisal District Budget and Financing.

(a) Each year the chief appraiser shall prepare a proposed budget for the operations of the district for the following tax year and shall submit copies to each taxing unit participating in the district and to the district board of directors before June 15. He shall include in the budget a list showing each proposed position, the proposed salary for the position, all benefits proposed for the position, each proposed capital expenditure, and an estimate of the amount of the budget that will be allocated to each taxing unit. Each taxing unit entitled to vote on the appointment of board members shall maintain a copy of the proposed budget for public inspection at its principal administrative office.

(b) The board of directors shall hold a public hearing to consider the budget. The secretary of the board shall deliver to the presiding officer of the governing body of each taxing unit participating in the district not later than the 10th day before the date of the hearing a written notice of the date, time, and place fixed for the hearing. The board shall complete its hearings, make any amendments to the proposed budget it desires, and finally approve a budget before September 15. If governing bodies of a majority of the taxing units entitled to vote on the appointment of board members adopt resolutions disapproving a budget and file them with the secretary of the board within 30 days after its adoption, the budget does not take effect, and the board shall adopt a new budget within 30 days of the disapproval.

(c) The board may amend the approved budget at any time, but the secretary of the board must deliver a written copy of a proposed amendment to the presiding officer of the governing body of each taxing unit participating in the district not later than the 30th day before the date the board acts on it.

(d) Each taxing unit participating in the district is allocated a portion of the amount of the budget equal to the proportion that the total dollar amount of property taxes imposed in the district by the unit for the tax year in which the budget proposal is prepared bears to the sum of the total dollar amount of property taxes imposed in the district by each participating unit for that year. If a taxing unit participates in two or more districts, only the taxes imposed in a district are used to calculate the unit's cost allocations in that district. If the number of real property parcels in a taxing unit is less than 5 percent of the total number of real property parcels in the district and the taxing unit imposes in excess of 25 percent of the total amount of the property taxes imposed in the district by all of the participating taxing units for a year, the unit's allocation may not exceed a percentage of the appraisal district's budget equal to three times the unit's percentage of the total number of real property parcels appraised by the district.

(e) Unless the governing body of a unit and the chief appraiser agree to a different method of payment, each taxing unit shall pay its allocation in four equal payments to be made at the end of each calendar quarter, and the first payment shall be made before January 1 of the year in which the budget takes effect. A payment is delinquent if not paid on the date it is due. A delinquent payment incurs a penalty of 5 percent of the amount of the payment and accrues interest at an annual rate of 10 percent. If the budget is amended, any change in the amount of a unit's allocation is apportioned among the payments remaining.

(f) Payments shall be made to a depository designated by the district board of directors. The district's funds may be disbursed only by a written check, draft, or order signed by the chairman and secretary of the board or, if authorized by resolution of the board, by the chief appraiser.

(g) If a taxing unit decides not to impose taxes for any tax year, the unit is not liable for any of the costs of operating the district in that year, and those costs are allocated among the other taxing units as if that unit had not imposed taxes in the year used to calculate allocations. However, if that unit has made any payments, it is not entitled to a refund.

(h) If a newly formed taxing unit or a taxing unit that did not impose taxes in the preceding year imposes taxes in any tax year, that unit is allocated a portion of the amount budgeted to operate the district as if it had imposed taxes in the preceding year, except that the amount of taxes the unit imposes in the current year is used to calculate its allocation. Before the amount of taxes to be imposed for the current year is known, the allocation may be based on an estimate to which the district board of directors and the governing body of the unit agree, and the payments made after that amount is known shall be adjusted to reflect the amount imposed. The payments of a newly formed taxing unit that has no source of funds are postponed until the unit has received adequate tax or other revenues.

(i) The fiscal year of an appraisal district is the calendar year unless the governing bodies of three-fourths of the taxing units entitled to vote on the appointment of board members adopt resolutions proposing a different fiscal year and file them with the secretary of the board not more than 12 and not less than eight months before the first day of the fiscal year proposed by the resolutions. If the fiscal year of an appraisal district is changed under this subsection, the chief appraiser shall prepare a proposed budget for the fiscal year as provided by Subsection (a) of this section before the 15th day of the seventh month preceding the first day of the fiscal year established by the change, and the board of directors shall adopt a budget for the fiscal year as provided by Subsection (b) of this section before the 15th day of the fourth month preceding the first day of the fiscal year established by the change. Unless the appraisal district adopts a different method of allocation under Section 6.061 of this code, the allocation of the budget to each taxing unit shall be calculated as provided by Subsection (d) of this section using the amount of property taxes imposed by each participating taxing unit in the most recent tax year preceding the fiscal year established by the change for which the necessary information is available. Each taxing unit shall pay its allocation as provided by Subsection (e) of this section, except that the first payment shall be made before the first day of the fiscal year established by the change and subsequent payments shall be made quarterly. In the year in which a change in the fiscal year occurs, the budget that takes effect on January 1 of that year may be amended as necessary as provided by Subsection (c) of this section in order to accomplish the change in fiscal years.

(j) If the total amount of the payments made or due to be made by the taxing units participating in an appraisal district exceeds the amount actually spent or obligated to be spent during the fiscal year for which the payments were made, the chief appraiser shall credit the excess amount against each taxing unit's allocated payments for the following year in proportion to the amount of each unit's budget allocation for the fiscal year for which the payments were made. If a taxing unit that paid its allocated amount is not allocated a portion of the district's budget for the following fiscal year, the chief appraiser shall refund to the taxing unit its proportionate share of the excess funds not later than the 150th day after the end of the fiscal year for which the payments were made.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 122, ch. 13, Secs. 17 & 18; Subsection (i) added by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 2495, ch. 311, Sec. 1; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3594, ch. 796, Sec. 9; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 412, ch. 20, Sec. 16; amended by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 1526, ch. 347, Sec. 4.07.

Cross References:
Credit to school state funding for appraisal costs, see Sec. 41.097, Education Code.
Governing bodies entitled to vote on board selection, see Sec. 6.03(c).
Changes in method of financing, see Sec. 6.061.
Designation of district depository, see Sec. 6.09.
Disapproval of board actions, other than budget, see Sec. 6.10.

Notes:
An appraisal district, collecting taxes for some of its taxing units, may not include the collection costs in its appraisal budget for all taxing units it serves. The district must allocate collection costs to those taxing units receiving collection services. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. GA-0030 (2003).

An appraisal district board may reimburse legal fees if it is authorized to do so by statute or under common law. No statute expressly authorizes an appraisal district to reimburse its chief appraiser's legal fees if the chief appraiser is indicted for official misconduct for an alleged failure to carry out a duty of his or her office. However, no statute expressly prohibits the reimbursement of the legal fees in a case where the chief appraiser failed to notify the taxpayer of the determination of a change in use for agricultural land. Under common law, an appraisal district may reimburse the legal expenses if (1) the board determines that paying for the legal representation serves a public interest, not just the interest of the employee or officer, and (2) the board determines that the employee or officer committed the alleged act or omission that was the basis of the suit in good faith and within the scope of his or her official duties. The fact that an employee or officer is no longer serving the appraisal district is irrelevant to the decision to pay the legal fees. The board of directors need not adopt a policy on paying officers' and employees' legal expenses before it may agree to pay accrued expenses. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-488 (1998).

A central appraisal district board cannot award bonuses to district employees for work that the employees have already rendered. Article III, Section 53, of the Texas Constitution expressly forbids such actions. Therefore, bonus payments are allowable only for a board-approved compensation plan before employees rendered their services. The appraisal district cannot carry forward funds not expended for a contract into its next budget year but must instead follow the statutory scheme in Tax Code Section 6.06(j), requiring that excess funds be used to proportionally reduce the future year's allocations owed by the taxing units using the district's services. Letter Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-94-067 (1994).

The Junior College District of Washington County is required to contribute moneys in accordance with the Sec. 6.06 allocation formula to defray costs incurred by the appraisal district becoming operational on Jan. 1, 1982. The college district was empowered to compel the county to assess and collect its taxes for it and was obligated to pay for such services in 1980 and 1981. The county was required to provide such services even though it contracted with the appraisal district for such services. The college district is required to compensate the appraisal district for appraisal district services performed after Jan. 1, 1982 in accordance with Sec. 6.06 unless an alternative allocation formula is adopted pursuant to Sec. 6.061. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-35 (1983).

An appraisal district lacks authority to rescind or waive the penalty and interest imposed by Sec. 6.06(e) upon taxing units delinquent in paying their allocation of the appraisal districts' expenditures. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-74 (1983).

Sec. 6.061. Changes in Method of Financing.

(a) The board of directors of an appraisal district, by resolution adopted and delivered to each taxing unit participating in the district after June 15 and before August 15, may prescribe a different method of allocating the costs of operating the district unless the governing body of any taxing unit that participates in the district adopts a resolution opposing the different method, and files it with the board of directors before September 1. If a board proposal is rejected, the board shall notify, in writing, each taxing unit participating in the district before September 15.

(b) The taxing units participating in an appraisal district may adopt a different method of allocating the costs of operating the district if the governing bodies of three-fourths of the taxing units that are entitled to vote on the appointment of board members adopt resolutions providing for the other method. However, a change under this subsection is not valid if it requires any taxing unit to pay a greater proportion of the appraisal district's costs than the unit would pay under Section 6.06 of this code without the consent of the governing body of that unit.

(c) An official copy of a resolution under this section must be filed with the chief appraiser of the appraisal district after April 30 and before May 15 or the resolution is ineffective.

(d) Before May 20, the chief appraiser shall determine whether a sufficient number of eligible taxing units have filed valid resolutions proposing a change in the allocation of district costs for the change to take effect. Before May 25, the chief appraiser shall notify each taxing unit participating in the district of each change that is adopted.

(e) A change in allocation of district costs made as provided by this section remains in effect until changed in a manner provided by this section or rescinded by resolution of a majority of the governing bodies that are entitled to vote on appointment of board members under Section 6.03 of this code.

(f) Repealed by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 347, Sec. 4.13(2), eff. May 31, 1993.

Added by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 123, ch. 13, Sec. 19; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 59, Sec. 3; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 413, ch. 20, Sec. 17; amended by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 1528, ch. 347, Sec. 4.13.

Cross References:
Governing bodies entitled to vote on board selection, see Sec. 6.03(c).
Appraisal district budget and financing, see Sec. 6.06.

Sec. 6.062. Publication of Budget.

(a) Not later than the 10th day before the date of the public hearing at which the board of directors considers the appraisal district budget, the chief appraiser shall give notice of the public hearing by publishing 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.

(b) The notice must set out the time, date, and place of the public hearing and must set out a summary of the proposed budget. The summary must set out as separate items:

(1) the total amount of the proposed budget;

(2) the amount of increase proposed from the budget adopted for the current year; and

(3) the number of employees compensated under the current budget and the number of employees to be compensated under the proposed budget.

(c) The notice must state that the appraisal district is supported solely by payments from the local taxing units served by the appraisal district. The notice must also contain the following statement: "If approved by the appraisal district board of directors at the public hearing, this proposed budget will take effect automatically unless disapproved by the governing bodies of the county, school districts, cities, and towns served by the appraisal district. A copy of the proposed budget is available for public inspection in the office of each of those governing bodies."

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 3594, ch. 796, Sec. 10.

Cross References:
Publication of appraisal district budget, see Rule Sec. 9.3048.

Notes:
To be a newspaper of general circulation for the purpose of publishing legal notices, a newspaper must have more than a de minimis number of subscribers within a particular geographic region; must have a diverse subscribership; and must contain some news, editorials, and advertisements of a general character and interest to the community. Government Code Section 2051.044 lists four criteria of a newspaper in which a notice may be published. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-223 (2000).

Sec. 6.063. Financial Audit.

(a) At least once each year, the board of directors of an appraisal district shall have prepared an audit of its affairs by an independent certified public accountant or a firm of independent certified public accountants.

(b) The report of the audit is a public record. A copy of the report shall be delivered to the presiding officer of the governing body of each taxing unit eligible to vote on the appointment of district directors, and a reasonable number of copies shall be available for inspection at the appraisal office.

Added by 1987 Tex. Laws, p. 2928, ch. 860, Sec. 2.

Cross References:
Publication of appraisal district budget, see Rule Sec. 9.3048.

Sec. 6.07. Taxing Unit Boundaries.

If a new taxing unit is formed or an existing taxing unit's boundaries are altered, the unit shall notify the appraisal office of the new boundaries within 30 days after the date the unit is formed or its boundaries are altered.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2227, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980.

Cross References:
Boundaries extending into two or more counties, see Sec. 6.02(b).

Sec. 6.08. Notice of Optional Exemptions.

If a taxing unit adopts, amends, or repeals an exemption that the unit by law has the option to adopt or not, the taxing unit shall notify the appraisal office of its action and of the terms of the exemption within 30 days after the date of its action.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2227, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980.

Cross References:
Local option residence homestead exemptions, see Sec. 11.13(d) & (n).
Exemption of historic sites, see Sec. 11.24.
Exemption under Tax Abatement Act, see Sec. 11.28 & chap. 312, Tax Code.

Sec. 6.09. Designation of District Depository.

(a) The appraisal district depository must be a banking corporation incorporated under the laws of this state or the United States or a savings and loan association in this state whose deposits are insured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation.

(b) The appraisal district board of directors shall designate as the district depository the financial institution or institutions that offer the most favorable terms and conditions for the handling of the district's funds.

(c) The board shall solicit bids to be designated as depository for the district. The depository when designated shall serve for a term of two years and until its successor is designated and has qualified. The board and the depository may agree to extend a depository contract for one additional two-year period.

(d) To the extent that funds in the depository are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, they shall be secured in the manner provided by law for the security of funds of counties.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 124, ch. 13, 20, eff. Aug. 14, 1981. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 906, 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

Cross References:
Payments made to depository, see Sec. 6.06(f).

Notes:
A political subdivision may not designate a credit union as its depository, since a credit union does not meet the definition of bank in the Texas Banking Code of 1943. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-604 (1986).

Sec. 6.10. Disapproval of Board Actions.

If the governing bodies of a majority of the taxing units entitled to vote on the appointment of board members adopt resolutions disapproving an action, other than adoption of the budget, by the appraisal district board of directors and file them with the secretary of the board within 15 days after the action is taken, the action is revoked effective the day after the day on which the required number of resolutions is filed.

Added by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 124, ch. 13, Sec. 21.

Cross References:
Governing bodies entitled to vote on board selection, see Sec. 6.03(d).
Disapproving budget, see Sec. 6.06(b).
Changes in board membership or selection, see Sec. 6.031(b).
Changes in the method of financing, see Sec. 6.061(e).

Sec. 6.11. Purchasing and Contracting Authority.

(a) An appraisal district is subject to the same requirements and has the same purchasing and contracting authority as a municipality under Chapter 252, Local Government Code.

(b) For purposes of this section, all the provisions of Chapter 252, Local Government Code, applicable to a municipality or to purchases and contracts by a municipality apply to an appraisal district and to purchases and contracts by an appraisal district to the extent they can be made applicable, and all references to the municipality in that chapter mean the appraisal district. For purposes of applying Section 252.061, Local Government Code, to an appraisal district, any resident of the appraisal district may seek an injunction under that section. Sections 252.062 and 252.063, Local Government Code, apply to an officer or employee of an appraisal district in the same manner those sections apply to a municipal officer or employee.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 124, ch. 13, 21, eff. Aug. 14, 1981. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, 42, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 757, 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 152, 1, eff. July 1, 2003.

Notes:
A corporation that locates property omitted from the appraisal rolls may be organized, but no taxing unit may enter a contingent fee contract with the corporation. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-290 (2000).

A county must seek competitive bids on a contract for microfilm services since such services are not personal or professional services. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-890 (1988).

An appraisal district does not have the authority to enter into a contractual relationship with an independent contractor to perform the duties of chief appraiser. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-72 (1983).

Sec. 6.12. Agricultural Appraisal Advisory Board.

(a) The chief appraiser of each appraisal district shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the board of directors, an agricultural advisory board composed of three or more members as determined by the board.

(b) One of the agricultural advisory board members must be a representative of the county agricultural stabilization and conservation service, and the remainder of the members must be landowners of the district whose land qualifies for appraisal under Subchapter C, D, E, or H, Chapter 23, and who have been residents of the district for at least five years.

(c) Members of the board serve for staggered terms of two years. In making the initial appointments of members of the agricultural advisory board the chief appraiser shall appoint for a term of one year one-half of the members, or if the number of members is an odd number, one fewer than a majority of the membership.

(d) The board shall meet at the call of the chief appraiser at least three times a year.

(e) An employee or officer of an appraisal district may not be appointed and may not serve as a member of the agricultural advisory board.

(f) A member of the agricultural advisory board is not entitled to compensation.

(g) The board shall advise the chief appraiser on the valuation and use of land that may be designated for agricultural use or that may be open space agricultural or timber land within the district.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 1224, ch. 274, Sec. 1; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 3191, ch. 6.31, Sec. 1.

Sec. 6.13. District Records.

The preservation, microfilming, destruction, or other disposition of the records of each appraisal district is subject to the requirements of Subtitle C, Title 6, Local Government Code, and rules adopted under that subtitle.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 5041, ch. 1248, Sec. 67; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws (6th C.S.) p. 90, ch. 12, Sec. 20.

Sec. 6.14. Information Provided to Texas Legislative Council.

(a) On the written request of the Texas Legislative Council, an appraisal district that maintains its appraisal records in electronic format shall provide a copy of the information or data maintained in the district's appraisal records to the council without charge.

(b) The appraisal district shall provide the requested information or data to the council as soon as practicable but not later than the 30th day after the date the request is received by the district.

(c) The information or data shall be provided in a form approved by the council.

Added by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 5436, ch. 1585, Sec. 4.

[Sections 6.15 to 6.20 reserved for expansion]