Texas Register

TITLE 34 PUBLIC FINANCE
PART 1COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
CHAPTER 9PROPERTY TAX ADMINISTRATION
SUBCHAPTER KARBITRATION OF APPRAISAL REVIEW BOARD DETERMINATIONS
RULE §9.4253Agent Representation in Arbitration
ISSUE 05/25/2018
ACTION Final/Adopted
Preamble Texas Admin Code Rule

(a)Property owners may represent themselves or, at their own cost, may be represented in binding arbitration by the following agents, each of whom is required to hold a current and active license, certification, or registration:

  (1)an attorney who is licensed in Texas;

  (2)a person who is licensed as a real estate broker or sales agent under Occupations Code, Chapter 1101;

  (3)a person who is licensed or certified as a real estate appraiser under Occupations Code, Chapter 1103;

  (4)a property tax consultant registered under Occupations Code, Chapter 1152; or

  (5)an individual who is licensed as a certified public accountant under Occupations Code, Chapter 901.

(b)An owner may authorize a specific individual, qualified under subsection (a) of this section, to act as an agent on his or her behalf in binding arbitration under Tax Code, Chapter 41A. The terms and conditions of subsections (c)-(i) of this section apply to agents qualified under subsection (a) of this section and to the manner in which these agents are appointed for binding arbitration.

(c)For a valid appointment of an arbitration agent to represent an owner in binding arbitration, the owner or authorized individual is required to complete and sign the comptroller-prescribed Appointment of Agent(s) for Binding Arbitration (Form 50-791). No other agent appointment or authorization form or document is acceptable. No signature other than the property owner's or an authorized individual's on Form 50-791 is valid, and the signature must be a hand-made signature (also known as a wet ink or manual signature), created when a person physically marks a paper document on a specific date. Neither an individual being designated as the property owner's agent under this section nor an agent appointed under Tax Code, §1.111, may sign the Appointment of Agent(s) for Binding Arbitration (Form 50-791) on behalf of the property owner. Submission of only the original, a paper copy, or an electronic image of the original physical document (such as a PDF) shall be accepted as a valid Appointment of Agent(s) for Binding Arbitration.

(d)The owner must specify on Form 50-791 the actions the agent is authorized to take on his or her behalf with respect to the binding arbitration. Authorized actions are the following:

  (1)sign and file or initiate the request for binding arbitration to start the appeal;

  (2)receive and send communications regarding the arbitration proceeding;

  (3)negotiate with the appraisal district to try to settle the case before the arbitration hearing;

  (4)execute a settlement agreement with the appraisal district to resolve the protest without an arbitration hearing;

  (5)withdraw a request for binding arbitration; and

  (6)appear and represent the property owner at the binding arbitration hearing.

(e)If the property owner does not wish to authorize the agent to undertake any one or more of the specific actions identified in subsection (d) of this section, the owner shall strike through the action(s) on Form 50-791 that the agent is not authorized to take.

(f)The owner must identify on Form 50-791 a specific individual to act as agent and provide the agent's license or certificate number and type that qualifies under subsection (a) of this section. The owner also may identify a second, specific, qualified individual to act as an alternate agent in the event the first individual identified as the agent is not available. An alternate agent shall not be recognized as authorized to act unless and until the alternate agent provides written notice to the appraisal district and to the appointed arbitrator that the first agent is not available. A company or business entity does not qualify as an agent. If an owner authorizes an agent to receive deposit refunds, the agent authorization form must include the agent's Social Security Number (SSN), Texas Identification Number (TIN) issued by the comptroller's office, Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) for sole proprietorships only, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service to individuals not eligible to obtain an SSN, in order for any deposit refund to be processed. Only the individual(s) designated in the Appointment of Agent(s) for Binding Arbitration (Form 50-791) may undertake representation of the property owner in the arbitration for which the form was submitted. No other individual, including a licensed attorney, may act on the property owner's behalf in that proceeding unless and until another subsequently executed Form 50-791 is completed that meets the requirements of this section.

(g)In completing Form 50-791, the property owner's name, current mailing address, phone number and email address (if available) are to be provided. If an authorized individual is completing and signing the form on behalf of the property owner, such as under a power of attorney or as an employee of a business, this individual's name and contact information must be provided as well as the basis for his or her authority. Contact information for neither the representative being designated nor an agent designated under Tax Code, §1.111, is permitted to be provided as either the property owner's or the authorized individual's contact information. If a concern arises regarding the authority of the agent to represent the property owner in a particular arbitration, the arbitrator shall contact the owner or authorized individual directly to resolve the matter.

(h)Once the property owner or authorized individual manually signs the Appointment of Agent(s) for Binding Arbitration (Form 50-791), it is valid for three years, expiring on the third anniversary of the date of its execution. Prior to expiration, the appointment may be revoked in writing. The property owner or authorized individual may revoke the Form 50-791 agent appointment at any time by delivery of written notice to the agent, and alternate agent if one was designated, to the address provided in the appointment form or the agent's last known address. A copy of the revocation notice is to be provided to the appraisal district and to the arbitrator appointed to the case.

(i)In undertaking representation of the property owner pursuant to Tax Code, §41A.08(b), including filing a Request for Binding Arbitration (Form AP-219), all agents certify that:

  (1)he or she is acting as a fiduciary on behalf of the property owner in the specific arbitration proceeding for which the request was filed and agrees to undertake those duties specified in subsection (d) of this section the owner authorizes;

  (2)a copy of the specific ARB order being appealed was provided to the property owner before the request for binding arbitration was filed; and

  (3)the property owner knowingly authorized the agent's filing of the request for binding arbitration and his or her representation of the property owner in the arbitration regarding the specific ARB order being appealed.

(j)In order for an agent other than an appraisal district employee to represent an appraisal district, the chief appraiser must sign a written statement authorizing the agent to represent the district in the arbitration proceeding and provide a copy of this authorization to the property owner and the arbitrator at or before the time of the arbitration hearing.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 9, 2018

TRD-201802083

Victoria North

Chief Counsel, Fiscal and Agency Affairs Legal Services Division

Comptroller of Public Accounts

Effective date: May 29, 2018

Proposal publication date: November 10, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 475-0387



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