|(a) The following parties may request a performance audit of an appraisal district under this section as provided by the Tax Code, §5.12: (1) the governing bodies of a majority of the taxing units participating in an appraisal district; (2) the governing bodies of a majority of the taxing units entitled to vote on the appointment of appraisal district directors; (3) the owners of not less than 10% of the number of accounts or the owners of not less than 10% of the number of parcels of property established by the Comptroller of Public Accounts for purposes of the study conducted under the Government Code, §403.302, if the class constitutes at least 5.0% of the appraised value of taxable property within the district in the preceding year; or (4) the owners of property representing not less than 10% of the appraised value of all property in the district belonging to a class of property
established for purposes of the study conducted by the Comptroller of Public Accounts under the Government Code, §403.302, if the class constitutes at least 5.0% of the appraised value of taxable property in the district in the preceding year. (b) A performance audit must be requested in writing on a Comptroller of Public Accounts form. Taxing units must use Comptroller of Public Accounts Form 50-239. Property owners must use Comptroller of Public Accounts Form 50-238. Comptroller of Public Accounts Forms 50-238 and 50-239 are adopted by reference. Copies of the forms can be obtained from the Comptroller of Public Accounts, Property Tax Division, P.O. Box 13528, Austin, Texas 78711-3528. (c) A request for a performance audit must contain the following information: (1) a request from taxing units must include the name and original signature of the presiding officer of each requesting unit and copy of the resolution or
other evidence of official action that authorizes the request; (2) a request from property owners must include the name and original signature of each requesting property owner, the account or parcel number(s) of the owner's property, and the appraised value of the property the preceding tax year; (3) the name of the appraisal district that is the subject of the request; (4) information showing that the parties to the request meet all requirements for requesting a performance audit established by the Tax Code, §5.12(b) and (c); (5) whether the performance audit requested is a general audit or is to be limited to one or more specific areas of performances, and identifying the specific areas; and (6) the designation of an individual as the sole representative of all parties to the request for performance audit. All matters pertaining to the audit and requiring communications or
transactions between the comptroller and the parties making the request will be directed by the comptroller to the requested parties through the designated representative. (d) A general audit shall consider and report on the following areas of performance: (1) the extent to which the district complies with applicable law or generally accepted standards of appraisal or other relevant practice; (2) the uniformity and level of appraisal of major kinds of property and the cause of any significant deviations from ideal uniformity and equality of appraisal of major kinds of property; (3) duplication of effort and efficiency of operation; (4) the general efficiency, quality of service, and qualification of appraisal district personnel; and (5) except as otherwise provided by subsection (e) of this section, any other matter included in the request for the audit.
(e) Parties may not request an audit of: (1) the financial condition of the appraisal district; (2) an appraisal district's tax collections; (3) an appraisal district function that is not required of the appraisal district by the Tax Code, the Education Code, or other laws of the state of Texas; (4) a function the appraisal district performs under interlocal contracts or pursuant to a consolidation election held under the Tax Code, §6.26; (5) an action of an individual not directly related to the performance of the appraisal district; (6) an alleged criminal act or act of official misconduct as defined in the Penal Code; (7) the value of a particular property; the grant or denial of an exemption in a particular case, the grant or denial of special appraisal to a particular property, the situs of a particular property, or
similar matters involving individual properties that are properly in the jurisdiction of the appraisal review board; (8) an issue other than the level of appraisal or degree of uniformity of a category of property or of all property in the appraisal district that is directly involved in litigation; or (9) a matter that involves actions or determinations in any year earlier than the year of the request. (f) The comptroller shall approve all requests for performance audits meeting the requirements set forth within this section. (g) The comptroller shall disapprove those requests for performance audits that do not meet the requirements of this section and those portions of requests for performance audits containing requests to audit any of the areas listed within subsection (e) of this section. (h) For purposes of this chapter the property value study conducted by the comptroller under the
Government Code, §403.302, and the Tax Code, §5.10, is a performance audit on a matter of uniformity and level of appraisal of property in an appraisal district. (i) The comptroller shall send written notice of an audit request to the presiding officer of the appraisal district board of directors and to the chief appraiser within seven days after receipt of the request. (j) Following approval of an audit request, the comptroller may require a pre-audit conference with the requesting parties or their representative. The purpose of the conference will be to clarify the elements of the audit request and to provide a foundation for an accurate cost estimate. (k) Prior to the start of a performance audit, the comptroller shall prepare and deliver to the requesting parties an estimate of anticipated costs of conducting the audit. Costs include expenses related to salaries, professional fees, travel, reproduction or other
printing services, and consumable supplies that are directly attributable to conducting the audit. (l) If at any time during the audit the comptroller finds that additional costs are anticipated above the original cost estimate, the comptroller shall amend the costs. (m) Following completion of a cost estimate, the comptroller shall direct the requesting parties to deposit with the comptroller security in the amount of the cost estimate to secure payment of the costs of conducting the audit. (n) The security required by subsection (m) shall be a cash deposit or other financial security the comptroller determines is adequate to cover the expected costs to the comptroller of conducting the audit. (o) Security shall be deposited in the name of or assigned to the Comptroller of Public Accounts. (p) If the comptroller finds that costs are anticipated above the cost estimate, he may require
additional security from the requesting parties. (q) Following the satisfaction of all security requirements, the comptroller shall provide written notice of the commencement date of the audit. Notice shall be made to the authorized representative of the requesting parties, to the presiding officer of the appraisal district board of directors, and to the chief appraiser at least 14 days prior to the beginning of field work on the audit. (r) The comptroller staff shall develop standards and procedures for conducting performance audits under this chapter. (s) Following payment of the costs of conducting the audit and completing the report, the comptroller shall report the results of its audit. The report shall address all elements of the request as approved by the comptroller. If the request is for an audit limited to one or more particular matters, the report shall be limited to those matters. The report shall be in writing to
the governing body of each taxing unit that participates in the appraisal district, to the chief appraiser and to the presiding officer of the appraisal district board of directors. If the audit was requested by property owners, a written report shall also be provided to the representative of the property owners who requested the audit. (t) The comptroller may discontinue the audit in whole or in part: (1) if requested to do so by the requesting parties; (2) if any matter within the audit request becomes the subject of litigation or protest or challenge before the appraisal review board in the county; or (3) if any matter within the audit request becomes the subject of a criminal investigation or prosecution. (u) If the audit is discontinued, the comptroller shall make and distribute a report of costs incurred and elements of the request considered by the comptroller, if any.