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RULE §9.4256Comptroller Appointment of Arbitrators
Texas Register

(a) Upon the expiration of the 45 calendar-day settlement period provided under §9.4255(c) of this title, the comptroller shall appoint, pursuant to the terms of this section, an individual included in the registry who is both qualified under §9.4258 of this title (relating to Qualifications for Inclusion in the Comptroller's Registry of Arbitrators) and eligible for the particular appointment under §9.4259 of this title (relating to Arbitrator Eligibility for a Particular Appointment), to resolve each valid request for binding arbitration. The appointment process set forth under this section shall be implemented exclusively using the online arbitration system when it is generally available.

(b) In selecting an individual from among a group of qualified and eligible arbitrators available for assignment, the comptroller may use an online system that distributes the arbitration appointments as evenly as possible among arbitrators. In each case, the comptroller shall select first for appointment only from among those arbitrators on the registry who principally reside in the county in Texas where the property that is the subject of the arbitration is located. Upon the refusal of all of these arbitrators to accept the appointment to a particular arbitration matter, the comptroller may appoint an otherwise eligible arbitrator on the registry residing in another county in Texas.

(c) The comptroller shall notify the arbitrator of his or her appointment to a particular matter by regular first-class mail, electronic mail, fax, or through the online arbitration system, at the comptroller's discretion.

(d) The arbitrator shall respond to the comptroller, in writing, ten (10) calendar days or less from the date on the comptroller's notice or letter of appointment whether he or she accepts or refuses the appointment for any reason. The arbitrator shall deliver notice of his or her acceptance or refusal of the appointment to the comptroller using the online arbitration system when it is generally available, or by electronic mail, by facsimile transmission, or by regular first-class mail until the online arbitration system is generally available. If the arbitrator is required to refuse the appointment for any of the reasons set out in subsection (g) or (h) of this section, the arbitrator shall provide the specific reason in writing to the comptroller. Whether the arbitrator timely accepted the appointment is solely within the discretion of the comptroller.

(e) If the comptroller does not receive from the arbitrator written notice of acceptance or refusal of the appointment ten (10) calendar days or less from the date on the comptroller’s notice or letter of appointment, the comptroller shall presume that the appointment has been refused. If the arbitrator refuses the appointment, the comptroller shall appoint a substitute arbitrator from the registry immediately upon the receipt of notice or presumption of refusal. The process of appointment of arbitrators pursuant to this section shall continue in this fashion until an acceptance is obtained.

(f) The comptroller may not appoint a person listed as an arbitrator on the registry for good cause if the person is found, pursuant to §9.4262 of this title (relating to Removal of Arbitrator from the Registry of Arbitrators), to have engaged in repeated bias or misconduct while acting as an arbitrator. If a request for removal or complaint against an arbitrator has been filed under §9.4262 of this title and is pending, it is in the discretion of the director of the Property Tax Assistance Division of the comptroller's office whether to appoint the arbitrator who is the subject of the request or complaint to a particular matter until the complaint or request to remove is resolved.

(g) An arbitrator may not accept an appointment and may not continue an arbitration after appointment in the following circumstances:

  (1) the arbitrator is or becomes not qualified as defined by §9.4258 of this title;

  (2) the arbitrator is or becomes ineligible as defined by §9.4259 of this title; or

  (3) the arbitrator has an interest in the outcome of the arbitration.

(h) An arbitrator may not accept an arbitration appointment regarding an unequal appraisal appeal, unless and until the arbitrator completes a training program of at least four hours in length that the comptroller has approved on property tax law which emphasizes the requirements regarding the equal and uniform appraisal of property.

(i) The owner or agent or the appraisal district may request the comptroller to appoint a substitute arbitrator before the arbitration hearing begins upon a showing, supported by competent evidence, that the assigned arbitrator was required to refuse the appointment pursuant to subsection (g) or (h) of this section.

Source Note: The provisions of this §9.4256 adopted to be effective May 29, 2018, 43 TexReg 3459

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