(a)After reviewing the petition, the division will
send petitioner responses to each of the petitioner's grounds for
objection. The division's responses may include agreement, disagreement,
disagreement with modification, or rejection as set forth in this
(1)An agreement by the division to the relief requested
or the amount claimed to be correct in a ground for objection is a
final resolution as to that ground for objection.
(2)If at any time a response by the division results
in a valid finding for a school district, the protest shall be finally
resolved for the protesting school district and all eligible property
owners protesting property in the school district, and there shall
be no further consideration of the petitions.
(b)Not later than 15 calendar days after the division
delivers its responses to the petitioner, the petitioner must reply
to the division utilizing Part B of the petition.
(1)The petitioner's reply must either agree to all
of the division's responses, thereby waiving further consideration
of the petition, or notify the division as to each ground for objection
the petitioner disagrees and will continue to protest.
(2)A petitioner's failure to timely reply as provided
in this subsection will be deemed agreement to the division's responses
and will constitute final resolution of the petitioner's protest.
(3)In an otherwise timely-filed reply, a petitioner's
failure to indicate on Part B of the petition an agreement or disagreement
to the division's response will be deemed agreement to the division's
response as to the ground for objection and will constitute final
resolution as to the ground for objection.
(4)The petitioner may not reply to a rejection of
a ground for objection. The petitioner may only request referral of
the petition to SOAH for a hearing on the rejection pursuant to §9.4309
of this title (relating to Insufficient Grounds for Objection).
(c)For each ground for objection with which petitioner
does not agree with the division's response, petitioner must file
with the division director:
(1)any supplemental evidence not already submitted
at the time the petition was filed, with any such supplemental evidence
organized, separated and identified pursuant to §9.4308(h) of
this title (relating to Contents of Petition); and
(2)a written designation of witnesses who may testify
at the hearing on each unresolved ground for objection with witnesses
identified by name and with the professional qualifications of each
(d)All documents required pursuant to subsection (c)
of this section must be filed with, and at the same time as, petitioner's
reply submitted under subsection (b) of this section.
(e)Within 15 calendar days after receipt of petitioner's
reply and supplemental evidence, if any, the division shall:
(1)supplement the documents created, collected, and
utilized by the division in conducting the study or performing the
audit, as applicable, including any rebuttal evidence regarding each
ground for objection to which petitioner has not agreed; and
(2)provide a written designation of witnesses who
may testify at the hearing on each unresolved ground for objection,
with witnesses identified by name and with the professional qualifications
of each witness identified.
(f)For purposes of this subchapter, employees of the
division and the chief appraiser of the appraisal district that appraised
property for a protesting school district, as well as employees of
the chief appraiser appraising property for the protesting school
district employed pursuant to Tax Code, §6.05(d), are deemed
qualified to testify as witnesses.
(g)The division will either provide notice of the
date, time, and place of an informal conference regarding the petition
to be held for consideration of petitioner's remaining grounds for
objection, or the division may provide the petitioner with revised
recommendations to the division's initial responses for any unresolved
grounds for objections.
(1)No later than seven calendar days after being provided
the division's revised recommendations, a petitioner may agree to
the division's revised recommendations, and waive further consideration
of the petition, thereby finally disposing of the protest, or request
an informal conference be held for consideration of petitioner's remaining
grounds for objection.
(2)Notwithstanding the referral of rejections to SOAH
under §9.4309 of this title, appearance and participation in
an informal conference regarding the petition is a jurisdictional
prerequisite for referral of grounds for objection to SOAH for hearing.
(3)Failure to appear in the scheduled informal conference
will be deemed agreement by the petitioner to the division's recommendations
or revised recommendations, constitute final resolution and waive
further consideration of petitioner's petition, thereby finally disposing
of the protest.
(4)Notice under this subsection will be made by U.S.
first class mail, overnight delivery service, facsimile, or email.
(h)If the division has identified any failure of petitioner
to properly comply with the requirements of labeling and organizing
evidence, at the time of the informal conference the petitioner will
be notified of such failure and given the opportunity to correct such
failure through identification of evidence that was intended to correspond
to grounds for objection that remain unresolved and subject to referral
to SOAH. This subsection does not permit a petitioner to submit any
additional information, documentation, or evidence.
(i)After completing the informal conference, the petitioner
may request a referral for a hearing before a SOAH Administrative
Law Judge (ALJ) for all remaining unresolved grounds for objection
submitted on Part B of the petition.
(j)A petitioner's request for a referral to SOAH for
a hearing on the unresolved grounds for objection shall be made by
filing a written request with the division director no later than
seven calendar days after the informal conference.
(1)The petitioner's written request must specifically
identify each ground for objection for which the referral is requested
by numbered objection as reported on Part B of the petition.
(2)The petitioner's written request must identify
the individuals who will present argument and introduce evidence on
behalf of the petitioner before SOAH.
The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed
the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority
Filed with the
of the Secretary of State on December 21, 2020
General Counsel for Fiscal and Agency Affairs
Comptroller of Public Accounts
Earliest possible date of adoption: February 7, 2021
For further information, please call: (512) 475-2220