Legislative Priorities for the 87th Legislative Session

The TAAD Legislative Committee is committed to working with our members and the members of the Legislature for the betterment of the property tax appraisal process across the State of Texas. Below is a short list of the issues the committee has identified as being important to all CADs and to the appraisal process in general. These are the specific items on which TAAD will actively pursue legislative changes during the 87th session.

Senate Bill 2 Transparency Implementation – SB2 of the 86th Legislature made great progress in transparency by creating the property tax database and ultimately removing the estimate of taxes from the 25.19 appraisal notice. TAAD will work with the 87th Legislature to improve the transparency portion of SB2 by looking for alternative means of notifying the public of the property tax database outside of the costly additional August 7th notice that is currently required. Recommendations will be made to improve the timing of the notifications to allow the greatest impact of the database for those property owners who visit the website. An effort will be made to standardize the naming convention of the website and have one centralized location to serve as a “landing page” where property owners will find links to each individual county websites. TAAD’s goal is to ensure the successful onboarding of the property tax database in the most effective and efficient manner.

Continuation of Alternatives to In-Person ARB hearings – ARB’s were faced with many logistical challenges in 2020 due to COVID-19 safety concerns. ARB’s across the state adjusted their hearing processes to include remote hearings via videoconferencing or telephone conferencing. The Dallas ARB implemented a single member ARB panel to allow a property owner who agreed to this process to have a hearing before one member of the ARB. TAAD feels these practices were extremely beneficial in providing a timely appraisal roll and will seek legislation to allow these practices to continue outside of a disaster declaration with owner/agent consent. We will also ask the legislature to pass legislation allowing for mandatory remote hearings in the event of a disaster.

Employment Status of ARB Members – There has been an increase of ARB members filing for unemployment status during the “off-season” and a recent case at the Texas Supreme Court ruled that ARB members are indeed employees of the appraisal district. TAAD will work on legislation that will clarify that the ARB is an independent board and not employed by the appraisal district.

Oppose Legislation that Politicizes the Appraisal Process – Many legislators have made it part of their campaign to introduce legislation to make chief appraisers, board of directors, or appraisal review board members elected positions. TAAD will oppose any legislation that has the potential of interjecting politics into the appraisal process and will work to educate members of the legislature on the negative effects this would cause.

The TAAD Legislative Committee will monitor all property tax related bills during the session and focus efforts not only on the items on this list, but will also work with other stakeholders to ensure any new legislation filed is in the best interest of fairness in the property tax system, specifically the appraisal of property.         

Adopted November 2020