The Appraisal Review Board (ARB) is an independent, impartial group of citizens authorized to resolve disputes between taxpayers and the appraisal district. ARB members are appointed by the Travis County Local Administrative District Judge. The ARB is a separate entity from the appraisal office and serves a different function. Members must be residents of the appraisal district for at least two years to serve. Current officers and employees of the appraisal district, taxing units and the Texas Comptroller’s office may not serve. ARB members also must comply with special state laws on conflict of interest and must complete a training course and receive a certificate of course completion from the Comptroller.
The ARB hears and resolves disputes over appraisal matters based on evidence provided by both the taxpayer and the appraisal district. While this is a broad and important responsibility, the ARB must be sensitive to its legal and practical limits while adhering to Texas property tax codes. The ARB only has authority over protests submitted to it and has no role in the day-to-day operations of the appraisal office or in appraising property. It cannot instruct the appraisal staff about how to perform appraisals. Only in resolving taxpayer protests can the ARB make changes or set a value on its own, and such a change only affects the property in question.
The ARB is the first level of review in the property tax system. It is a quasi-judicial entity with responsibility to review appraisals that have been protested by property owners. An appearance before the ARB is often the first time a taxpayer faces a decision-making body of government. The ARB is encouraged to make the experience a positive one by its demeanor and willingness to listen. All ARB members should demonstrate fairness and courtesy in conducting hearings and consider the evidence presented by all parties to the protests.
Property Taxpayer Remedies
Property Taxpayer Remedies Spanish
ARB Formal Hearing Procedures
Protest Information Sheet
Comptrollers video - How to present your case at an ARB (homeowner)
Comptrollers video - How to present your case at an ARB (small business)
Texas Property Tax Code
Frequently Asked Questions
Appraisal Review Board (ARB)
1. What is the Appraisal Review Board?
An Appraisal Review Board is a group of private citizens authorized to resolve disputes
between taxpayers and the Appraisal District. ARB members are appointed by the Travis
County Local Administrative District Judge. Although the Appraisal Review Board is
funded by the Appraisal District, they are appointed by the Local Administrative District
Judge. The ARB is a separate authoritative body. No employees or officers of the
Appraisal District or the taxing units it serves may sit on the ARB. To qualify for service on
the ARB, an individual must be a resident of the Appraisal District for at least two years
prior to taking office. Any person who is a former member of the governing body or officer
or employee of a taxing unit, or is a former director, officer, or employee of the Appraisal
District is ineligible to serve. Also the person's close relatives cannot work as professional
tax agents or tax appraisers within the Appraisal District. ARB members also must comply
with special conflict of interest laws.
The ARB determines taxpayer protests and taxing unit challenges. The ARB also
determines if the Chief Appraiser has granted or denied exemptions and agricultural
appraisals properly. The ARB's decisions are binding only for the year in question. The
ARB begins protest hearings around June 1. The ARB establishes its own Procedures and
Rules that govern its operations. For cost savings purposes, the ARB typically meets at
the Appraisal District office.
2. What are the ARB's Duties?
Under the law, the ARB has these specific duties:
1. Determine protests initiated by property owners;
2. Determine challenges initiated by taxing units;
3. Correct clerical errors in the appraisal records and the appraisal rolls;
4. Act on motions to correct appraisal rolls under section 25.25;
5. Determine whether an exemption or a partial exemption is improperly granted and
whether land is improperly granted appraisal as provided by Subchapter C, D, or E,
6. After it has completed substantially all protests, the ARB approves the appraisal
Protesting Your Value
1. How do I protest?
Protests to the ARB can be filed in written form or by electronic communication. The
Appraisal District has forms for protesting, but an official form is not necessary. Any written
notice of protest will be acceptable as long as it identifies the owner, the property that is the
subject of the protest and indicates apparent dissatisfaction with an action or decision taken
by the Appraisal District. Please identify the property in question (property address/account
number); state the nature of the protest (i.e., market value) and it is helpful to attach any
applicable documentation that you would like for us to review. If using the Online Protest
Program, you need to follow the simple instructions for filing your protest online. A protest
must be filed by May 31, or no later than 30 days after the Appraisal District delivers a
Notice of Appraised Value to you, whichever is later. However if the protest deadline falls on
a weekend or holiday then the protest deadline is the first business day after that date. The
deadline to file a written protest for the 2015 Tax Year is June 1st. It is very important to file
the protest on time. If you mail your protest, please mail it to the address listed on your
Notice of Appraised Value or mail to PO Box 149012, Austin, TX 78714-9012. It must also
bear a post office cancellation mark by midnight June 1, 2015. If you deliver your protest in
person, you must have it in our office before the office closes on June 1, 2015. The office
doors are locked promptly at 4:45 P.M. If you file your residential protest using the Online
Protest Program you must file your protest online before midnight June 1, 2015. Please
check the deadline dates on your Business Personal Property Notice of Appraised
Value/Notice of Protest form for protest deadline on these properties. If you fail to file a
protest on time, your options are limited. Once the written protest is received, a hearing is
scheduled by the ARB. The ARB will give you at least 15 days notice of the date, time and
location of your hearing. The Appraisal District will also send you a copy of Property
Taxpayer's Remedies (a publication of the State Comptroller's Office), a copy of the ARB
hearing procedures, and a statement that you have the right to inspect the information that
the Appraisal District plans to introduce at your hearing. There may be a charge for some of
2. I forgot to file a protest. Can I still get my value lowered?
If you believe there are good cause reasons (i.e., hospitalization) as to why you could not
file a timely protest, then you should write the ARB, state the facts and document (provide
medical receipts on hospitalization) your reasons. The ARB will make a determination and
respond back to you in writing. Forgetting to file a protest or not knowing the protest
deadline are not considered good cause reasons to grant you a late protest. If you believe
there is a clerical error or substantial error associated with your property value, then you
should call the appraisal district, they will clarify if there are any remedies available to
correct the clerical error or substantial value error.
Informal Review with Appraisal District Staff
1. Do I have to go to an ARB Hearing to settle my issue(s)?
No. We encourage all taxpayers to try to resolve their issues with an appraiser prior to their
formal ARB Hearing.
Many times your protest can be resolved with a staff member of the Appraisal District in an
informal manner without going to the ARB for a formal hearing. You should be prepared to
present whatever documented evidence you have to convince the appraiser of your point of
view. You may talk to an appraiser up until the day before your hearing, if you have filed a
protest. The protest deadline is printed on the Notice of Appraised Value. If we are able to
resolve your issue prior to the ARB Hearing, then there is no need for an ARB Hearing.
However, if we are unable to resolve your issue(s), then an ARB Hearing is needed.
Formal Hearing Before the ARB
1. What is a formal hearing before the ARB?
If you are not able to resolve the protest informally with an appraiser, your protest will be
heard by the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). The ARB is a group of citizens who are
authorized to resolve disputes between Appraisal Districts and taxpayers.
A hearing before the ARB is conducted very much like a court case, although less formal.
The ARB sets its own procedures with guidelines from the State Comptroller's Office.
Generally, ARB panels are three-member panels, but may be more. Typically, after formal
introduction of the parties and the property involved, the ARB will hear evidence from the
property owner and the Appraisal District and make a judgment based on the evidence
presented. Each party, the property owner and the Appraisal District appraiser, will have
approximately 5-7 minutes to present their case and evidence at the hearing. The entire
hearing typically takes approximately 15 minutes and the property owner will know the
ARB’s recommendation before they leave the hearing. After a decision is made by the ARB
panel and approved by a quorum of the entire Board, a written Notice of Final Order is sent
by certified mail to you or your agent. This decision is binding for the current tax year unless
you file under binding arbitration or appeal to District Court.
2. Do I need to appear in person?
You have three choices: 1) you can appear in person; 2) you can appoint someone else to
appear for you; or 3) you can file an affidavit stating your facts and presentation by mail.
Appear In Person:
You can appear in person at your scheduled hearing before the ARB. Make sure that you
read your Hearing Notification carefully for the correct date and time of your scheduled
hearing. Please arrive at least ten minutes before your scheduled hearing to properly check
Having Someone Else Appear For You:
You can authorize in writing someone else to appear on your behalf. If the person is your
spouse or a co-owner of the property, you do not need to do anything to authorize the
person. To authorize a friend or a family member other than your spouse, you must provide
a written authorization for the person representing you, signed by you, the property owner.
If you authorize someone besides a family member or friend (i.e., a real estate agent), you
must obtain a copy of the Appointment of Agent For Single-Family Residential Property Tax
Matters form from the Appraisal District and file it with our office. To authorize somebody
who is paid for representing you, you must use a special Appointment of Agent form. This
form is available from the Appraisal District. The person you select should be able to
discuss the property from personal knowledge and should file the form as soon as possible.
At the very latest, the person must bring the appropriate form to the ARB hearing.
The affidavit and supporting documents must be received by the ARB before the scheduled
hearing date. Delivering them to our office in person is best. If you mail them, it is a good
idea to send them return receipt requested. Be sure to mail them in plenty of time and be
sure the address is correct. The affidavit must state that you swear or affirm that the
information it contains is true. Be sure to clearly place in the affidavit or a cover letter, the
property owner's name, address, account number, property description, and the date and
time of the hearing.
3. What form of documentation will the ARB accept for the hearing?
By law, a copy of all evidence submitted to the ARB must be retained for public record.
Therefore, the ARB will not accept evidence presented on DVD, CD-ROM, memory
cards, PCs, PDAs, video recorders, projectors, digital cameras, cell phones
4. Can I reschedule my ARB hearing?
ARB hearings, not represented by a tax consultant, may be rescheduled without
demonstrating any cause one time only. The ARB will also reschedule your ARB hearing
for good cause. “Good cause” for filing late protests is not defined in Tax Code Section
41.44(b). Claims of good cause for late-filed protests should be carefully considered and
standards in making determinations of good cause under Tax Code Section 41.44(b)
should be uniformly applied. The ARB should give due consideration to good cause claims
in such a manner that properly respects the rights of property owners while not
undermining or contravening laws related to filing deadlines or the orderly and expeditious
fulfillment of ARB duties. Good cause reasons may include:
Active military duty
Hospitalization or under doctor's care
Death in the immediate family
Judicial or Legislative service or a pending court hearing
Failure to receive administrative due process
Other matters of good cause as determined by the ARB
Please note all ARB Hearing reschedule requests for good cause must be properly
documented, filed timely, and submitted in writing to the ARB Chairman at PO Box 149012,
Austin, TX 78714-9012.
Family vacations, business conflicts, needing more time to prepare for your hearing, etc.,
are not considered Good Cause reasons to reschedule your ARB Hearing. Alternatives to
being rescheduled are:
Have someone come to the hearing in your place by providing them with written
Submit your documentation by mail or in person prior to your ARB scheduled hearing
by providing the Appraisal District with a written letter signed by you. The hearing will
take place whether you are there or not and all information submitted will be
considered at the time of your ARB Hearing
Request an earlier ARB Hearing if ARB Hearing slots are available
Try to resolve your issue informally with an appraiser prior to your scheduled ARB
The ARB will determine if good cause exists for missing a deadline or a hearing. Good
cause as defined by Tax Code Section 41.45 is a reason that includes an error or mistake
that was not intentional or was not the result of conscious indifference and will not cause
undue delay or injury to the person authorized to extend the deadline or grant a
rescheduling. The ARB reschedule policy is outlined in the insert that is sent with your
5. How do I prepare for a Protest hearing?
You will receive a copy of the Texas Comptrollers Property Taxpayer Remedies pamphlet
with your notice of protest hearing letter. This pamphlet offers advice on how to prepare for
an ARB hearing. In addition, you will receive a copy of the ARB Formal Hearing
Procedures which will explain the procedures to be used in a hearing.
The appraisal district website is one resource you may use in preparing for your hearing, in
addition you may visit the appraisal district offices to inspect and obtain copies of the data,
schedules, formulas and any other information the chief appraiser plans to introduce at your
hearing. If you request copies of the information the cost may not exceed $15 per
residential property protested or $25 per commercial property.
Go prepared to your hearing and take anything that will help you make your case. If your
protest is you recently purchased your home and the appraisal district has it valued higher
than your purchase price, bring in copies of your signed Settlement Statement. If your
protest is that the condition of your home affects the value, such as you have a cracked
slab or need a new roof, bring in photos, engineering reports or written estimates to repair
Be on time and prepared for your hearing
Stick to the facts of your presentation
Keep it simple and well organized
Stress key facts and figures
Provide the ARB with facts and not emotional arguments
These FAQ's should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. Consult an attorney if you have any questions.