|(a) Definitions and instructions. The following words
and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following
meanings and are subject to the stated instructions and provisions.
(1) Owner--A person or entity having legal title to
property. It does not include lessees who have the right to protest
property valuations before county appraisal review boards.
(2) Agent--An individual for whom written authorization
has been granted in accordance with the terms of this subsection and
includes the following: an attorney licensed by the State of Texas;
a real estate broker or salesperson licensed under Occupations Code,
Chapter 1101; a real estate appraiser licensed or certified under
Occupations Code, Chapter 1103; an appraisal district employee registered
under Occupations Code, Chapter 1151, or an appraisal district contractor;
a property tax consultant registered under Occupations Code, Chapter
1152; or a certified public accountant certified under Occupations
Code, Chapter 901. An agent may not take any action relating to binding
arbitration on behalf of an owner without a completed Appointment of Agent(s) for Binding Arbitration (Form
50-791) prescribed by the comptroller, and the provisions of §9.4253
of this title (relating to Agent Representation in Arbitration) apply.
(3) Binding arbitration--A forum in which each party
to a dispute presents the position of the party before an impartial
third party who is appointed by the comptroller as provided by Tax
Code, Chapter 41A, and who renders a specific award that is enforceable
in law and may only be appealed as provided by Civil Practices and
Remedies Code, §171.088, for purposes of vacating an award.
(4) Appraised value--Has the meaning included in Tax
(5) Market value--Has the meaning included in Tax Code, §1.04(7).
(6) Appraisal district--Has the meaning included in
Tax Code, §6.01.
(7) Comptroller--The Comptroller of Public Accounts
of the State of Texas.
(b) Request for Arbitration.
(1) The appraisal review board of an appraisal district
shall include a notice of the owner's right to binding arbitration
and a copy of the request for binding arbitration form prescribed
by the comptroller with the notice of issuance and the order determining
a protest filed pursuant to Tax Code, §41.41(a)(1) or (2) concerning
the appraised or market value of property if the value determined
by the order is $5 million or less or if the property qualifies as
the owner's residence homestead under Tax Code, §11.13.
(2) An owner may appeal through binding arbitration
an appraisal review board order determining a protest filed pursuant
to Tax Code, §41.41(a)(1) or (2) concerning the appraised or
market value of property if the value determined by the order is $5
million or less or if the property qualifies as the owner's residence
homestead under Tax Code, §11.13. A motion for correction of
an appraisal roll, a protest concerning the qualification of property
for exemption or special appraisal, or any other issue not specified
in Tax Code, §41.41(a)(1) or (2) cannot be appealed through binding
(3) A request for binding arbitration must be made
on the form prescribed by the comptroller and signed by an owner or
agent. The property owner or agent must submit a copy of the appraisal
review board order being appealed through binding arbitration with
the request pursuant to §9.4252(e) of this title (relating to
Request for Arbitration). If an agent files a request for binding
arbitration, a current Appointment of Agent(s)
for Binding Arbitration (Form 50-791) that has been completed
and signed pursuant to §9.4253 of this title, must be attached
to the request for binding arbitration. Failure to attach the complete
authorization disqualifies the agent from requesting the arbitration.
The request for binding arbitration form must be filed with the appraisal
district responsible for appraising the property not later than the
45th calendar day after the date the owner receives the order determining
protest from the appraisal review board as evidenced by certified
mail receipt. A deposit in the amount provided by Tax Code, §41A.03
in the form of a money order or a check issued and guaranteed by a
banking institution, such as a cashier's or teller's check, payable
to the Comptroller of Public Accounts must accompany the request for
binding arbitration. Personal check, cash, or other form of payment
shall not be accepted. The schedule of deposits, as well as the amount
of the arbitrator's fee for each type of arbitration case, is found
in Appendix 1. The request for binding arbitration with the required
deposit and, if applicable, the agent authorization form must be timely
submitted to the appraisal district by hand delivery, by certified
first-class mail, or as provided by Tax Code, §1.08 or Tax Code, §1.085.
(4) The appraisal district shall reject a request for
binding arbitration if the owner or agent fails to attach the required
deposit in the manner required by this section. In such event, the
appraisal district shall return the request for binding arbitration
with a notification of the rejection to the owner or agent by regular
first-class mail or other form of delivery requested in writing by
the owner or agent.
(5) The chief appraiser of the appraisal district must
submit requests for binding arbitration with the required deposits
to the comptroller not later than the 10th calendar day after the
date the appraisal district receives the requests. The chief appraiser
must assign an arbitration number to each request in accordance with
the procedures and forms developed by the comptroller. The chief appraiser
must certify receipt of the request and state in the certification
whether or not the request was timely filed; the request was made
on the form prescribed by the comptroller; the deposit was submitted
according to this section; and any other information required by the
comptroller. In addition, the chief appraiser must submit to the comptroller
with each request a copy of the order determining protest or, in the
case of an appeal relating to contiguous properties pursuant to Tax
Code, §41A.03, a copy of each order determining protest. The
chief appraiser must submit the requests for arbitration to the comptroller
by hand delivery or certified first-class mail, and must simultaneously
deliver a copy of the submission to the owner by regular first-class
(6) Failure by the owner to timely file the request
for arbitration, the ARB order being appealed, and the required deposit
with the appraisal district shall result in the denial of the request
by the comptroller. Failure by the owner to pay taxes due on the property
subject to the appeal in prior years or, for the year at issue, in
an amount equal to the amount of taxes due on the portion of the taxable
value of the property that is not in dispute before the delinquency
date shall result in the denial of the request for arbitration by
the comptroller. If the property owner or agent did not file a protest
pursuant to Tax Code, §41.41(a)(1) or (2) concerning the appraised
or market value of property determined by the appraisal review board
to be valued at $5 million or less or property that qualifies as the
owner's residence homestead under Tax Code, §11.13, the comptroller
shall deny the request for binding arbitration. If the property owner
or agent filed an appeal in district court concerning the property
subject to a request for binding arbitration, the comptroller shall
deny the request. Failure by the owner to provide all information
required by the comptroller's prescribed form and include a copy of
the ARB order being appealed, will result in the denial of the request
by the comptroller if the information is not provided in a timely
manner, not to exceed 10 calendar days, after a written or verbal
request by the comptroller to the person requesting arbitration to
supplement or complete the form has been made.
(7) On receipt of the request for arbitration, the
comptroller shall determine whether to accept the request, deny the
request, or request additional information. The comptroller shall
notify the owner or agent and appraisal district of the determination.
(c) Appointment of Arbitrators.
(1) The comptroller shall appoint, pursuant to §9.4256(b)
and (c) of this title (relating to Comptroller Appointment of Arbitrators),
an arbitrator qualified under §9.4258 of this title (relating
to Qualifications for Inclusion in the Comptroller's Registry of Arbitrators),
eligible under §9.4259 of this title (relating to Arbitrator
Eligibility for A Particular Appointment), and subject to §9.4256(f)
of this title, upon acceptance of a valid request and deposit as provided
by Tax Code §41A.03. The notification of the appointment must
be transmitted by regular first-class mail to the arbitrator. The
arbitrator shall notify the owner or agent and the appraisal district
promptly of the appointment.
(2) The comptroller must be notified, in writing, within
5 business days of the arbitrator's receipt of the appointment that
the arbitrator is unable or unwilling to conduct the arbitration under §9.4256
(g) - (h) of this title, or for any other reason; or that the appointment
is accepted. The notification must be delivered to the comptroller
electronically, by facsimile transmission, or by regular first-class
mail. If the comptroller does not receive from the arbitrator written
notification of acceptance or refusal of the appointment within 5
business days, 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 within 10
business days of the receipt, or the determination pursuant to this
subsection, of the arbitrator's refusal. The process of appointment
of arbitrators pursuant to this subsection shall continue in this
fashion until an acceptance is obtained. A refusal to accept an arbitration
appointment may be considered by the comptroller in evaluating subsequent
requests for arbitration and appointments.
(d) Provision of Arbitration Services.
(1) Arbitration services shall be provided pursuant
to this subsection.
(2) Unless the property owner or agent and the appraisal
district both agree to arbitration by submission of written documents
only, the arbitration will be conducted in person or by teleconference.
The arbitrator may decide whether to conduct the arbitration in person
or by teleconference unless the property owner or agent indicates
on the Request for Binding Arbitration (Form AP-219) that the arbitration
be conducted in person or by teleconference only. If the arbitration
is conducted in person, the arbitrator and both parties shall appear
in person for the hearing. If the arbitration is conducted in person,
the hearing must be held in the county where the appraisal district
office is located and from which the appraisal review board order
determining protest was issued, unless the parties agree to another
location. The selected location must be in an office-type setting
generally open to the public or to the arbitrator and includes conference
rooms in an office or residential building.
(3) The arbitrator must give notice and conduct arbitration
proceedings in the manner provided by Civil Practice and Remedies
Code, §§171.044, 171.045, 171.046, 171.047, 171.049, 171.050,
and 171.051, and shall continue a proceeding if both parties agree
to the continuance and may continue a proceeding for reasonable cause.
The arbitrator should cooperate with the appraisal district and the
owner or agent in scheduling a hearing. The arbitrator must, by written
procedures delivered in advance to the parties, require that the parties
produce and exchange evidence prior to the hearing.
(4) The arbitrator shall decide to what extent the
arbitration hearing procedures are formal or informal and shall deliver
written procedures to be used at the hearing. The parties shall be
allowed to record audio of the proceedings, but may record them by
video only with the consent of the arbitrator.
(5) The parties to an arbitration proceeding may represent
themselves or may be represented by an agent as provided by Tax Code, §41A.08
and pursuant to §9.4253 of this title, as evidenced by the owner's
execution of a written authorization made on the comptroller-prescribed Appointment of Agent(s) for Binding Arbitration (Form
50-791). Any deposit refund will be processed in accordance with the
original request for binding arbitration.
(6) The confidentiality provisions of Tax Code, §22.27,
concerning information provided to an appraisal office, apply to information
provided to arbitrators. The information may not be disclosed except
as provided by law.
(7) The arbitrator shall not communicate with the owner,
the appraisal district, or their agents, nor shall the owner, the
appraisal district, or their agents communicate with the arbitrator,
prior to the arbitration hearing concerning specific evidence, argument,
facts, merits, or the property subject to arbitration. Such communications
may be grounds for the removal of the arbitrator from the comptroller's
registry of arbitrators.
(8) The arbitrator shall dismiss a pending arbitration
action with prejudice pursuant to the terms of §9.4261(m) of
this title (relating to Provision of Arbitration Services). When a
binding arbitration proceeding is brought pursuant to Tax Code, §41A.03(a-1)
involving two or more contiguous tracts of land, the arbitrator shall
dismiss from consideration in the proceeding each tract of land and
each appraisal review board order appealed in which it is determined
that any of the circumstances set forth in §9.4261(m) of this
title apply to the particular tract or ARB order. Cont'd...