|(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter,
the ALJ shall convene a hearing for a protest.
(b) All oral hearings under this subchapter shall be
recorded. The comptroller or petitioner will be provided a copy of
the recording after a written request and payment of a cost-based
fee to SOAH. Upon written notice provided to the ALJ and comptroller,
and at least ten calendar days prior to a scheduled hearing, a petitioner
may make arrangements for and bear the cost of having a hearing recorded
and transcribed by a court reporter.
(c) Oral hearings are generally open to the public
and shall be held in Austin. The ALJ may close a hearing on the ALJ's
own motion or on the motion of a party to the protest if confidential
information will be disclosed during the hearing.
(d) Hearings shall be conducted in accordance with
this subchapter. The Texas Administrative Procedures Act, the Texas
Rules of Civil Procedure, the Texas Rules of Evidence, and the SOAH
procedural rules do not apply. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude
general application by an ALJ of evidentiary principles addressed
in the Texas Rules of Evidence as an advisory tool in making evidentiary
determinations in protests of the comptroller's findings under Government
Code, §403.302(g) and (h).
(e) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter,
the comptroller shall present its evidence and argument prior to each
petitioner. After each petitioner has presented its evidence and argument,
the comptroller shall be given the opportunity to present rebuttal
evidence and argument. The ALJ may otherwise establish the order of
proceeding and is responsible for closing the record.
(f) No party may offer documentary evidence at the
hearing that was not filed and served in accordance with the requirements
of this subchapter. No evidence may be submitted to SOAH on any ground
for objection of a protest of the comptroller's findings under Government
Code, §403.302(g) and (h) except as identified and submitted
by the comptroller.
(g) Testimony of witnesses shall be confined to the
documentary evidence that has been timely submitted pursuant to the
terms of this subchapter and identified and submitted to SOAH according
to subsection (f) of this section.
(h) The following individuals are considered qualified
to testify in a hearing before SOAH conducted pursuant to this subchapter:
comptroller employees, chief appraisers, and individuals registered
as Class IV Appraisers with the Texas Department of Licensing and
(i) Argument shall be confined to the evidence for
the grounds for objection identified and submitted by the comptroller
and to the arguments of the other parties.
(j) Admissions, proposals, offers, or agreements made
or reached in the compromise of disputed issues prior to referral
to SOAH may not be admitted in a hearing. Admissions, proposals, offers,
or agreements made or reached in the compromise of disputed issues
regarding other protests or prior study years may not be admitted
in a hearing.
(k) Unless permitted by the ALJ, no more than two representatives
for each party shall present argument and introduce evidence at a
(l) An attorney, agent or other representative who
appears at a protest hearing to argue and present evidence on behalf
of a petitioner shall not testify at the hearing.