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FAQs - Arb Protest
Appraisal Review Board (ARB)
1. What is the Appraisal Review Board (ARB)?
The ARB members are citizens appointed by the Local Administrative
Judge for the purpose of resolving property disputes between owners
and the Appraisal District. The ARB is a separate and independent body
from the Appraisal District. Members are trained in the Texas Property
Tax Code (TPTC) and conduct Formal Hearings of property protests in
three member panels.
2. What are the duties of the ARB?
Specific duties of the ARB are defined under the TPTC and include:
1. Settling protests initiated by property owners;
2. Determining challenges of appraisal values initiated by taxing units;
3. Approving the Annual Appraisal Roll after hearing substantially all
protests filed for the current tax year;
4. Acting on motions and determining property owner “late” protest
to correct prior year Appraisal Rolls’
5. Correcting clerical errors in the Appraisal Roll.
Protesting Your Value
1. How do I protest?
Protests can be filed in written format on the Appraisal District form
found on the back of the Notice of Value or on the Travis Central Appraisal
District website. However, no form is required only the submission of the
owner’s name, identification of the property being protested and the
reason for filing the protest.
a. The owner or authorized person(s) must submit the protest.
b. The property may be identified by address or account number.
c. More common reasons for protest include, but are not limited to, market
value and not equal and uniform with others and the reason for protest
must be stated.
The ability to file an on-line or E-file protest is being expanded and improved
each year. Those property owners issued a PIN number on their Notice of
Value will be able to submit an on-line protest if desired.
2. What is the deadline to file a protest?
Protests must be filed by May 31st, or no later than 30 days after the Appraisal
District delivers a Notice of Appraised Value to you. The latter of the two
before mentioned dates will be the deadline for any given tax year.
Should the protest deadline fall on a weekend or holiday, the protest deadline
is the first business day after that date.
The protest filing deadline for current tax year of 2016 is May 31, 2016.
3. Where do I file my protest?
If you mail your protest, please mail it to the address listed on your Notice of
Appraised Value or mail it to P.O. Box 149012 Austin, TX 78714-9012. Your protest
must be postmarked on or before the filing deadline.
If you personally deliver your protest filing to the Appraisal District office,
it must be in the office before close of business on the deadline date.
Office doors are locked at 4:45p.m.
If you are submitting on on-line protest, you must have submitted your filing
by midnight on the protest filing deadline date.
4. What happens once my protest is filed?
A Formal Hearing will be schedule before the ARB. You will be sent a notice
at least a 15 days prior with the date, time and location of your hearing.
Included along with your notice will be a copy of the State Comptroller’s
publication, Property Taxpayer’s Remedies, the ARB Hearing Procedures
and a statement that you have the right to inspect the information that
the Appraisal District plans to introduce as evidence in establishing your
property value. This information must be requested and there may be a small
charge for reproducing the information.
5. If I forgot to file a protest, can I still have my value lowered?
Forgetting to file a protest or not knowing the protest deadline is not considered
a “good cause” reason to grant you a “late” protest hearing. If you believe there
are “good cause” reasons as to why you could not file a timely protest, then you
should write the ARB and state those facts. The ARB Chair will make a determination
regarding your request and respond in writing.
Informal Review with Appraisal District Staff
1. Do I have to go to an ARB Hearing to settle my issue(s)?
No, taxpayers are encouraged to attempt to resolve their issues with an appraiser
prior to the scheduled Formal ARB Hearing. You should be prepared to present
to the appraiser documented evidence to support your point of view regarding
the value of your property. You will likely be scheduled for an Informal Review
and may talk to an appraiser on your scheduled informal date. If an Appraiser is
unable to resolve your issue(s), then the next step would be to attend the
scheduled Formal ARB Hearing. If you and the appraiser are able to resolve your
issue(s), there will be no need to attend the Formal ARB Hearing.
Formal Hearing Before the ARB
1. What is a formal hearing before the ARB?
A Formal Hearing is conducted very much like a court hearing although less formal.
The ARB sets its own procedures under the guidelines of the State Comptroller’s
Office. ARB hearing panels are generally comprised of three members. Typically,
after the formal introduction of all parties and the property involved, the ARB
will hear evidence presented by the property owner and the Appraisal District
appraiser. Following the presentation of evidence, the panel will make a decision
relating to your protest.
The hearing will last fifteen to twenty minutes or less and the ARB decision
regarding your protest will be announced. Following the full ARB’s approval of
the panel’s decision, a written Notice of Final Order is sent to the property
owner via certified mail. This decision may be changed only through appeal in
binding arbitration or District Court.
2. Do I need to appear in person?
Authorization for Someone to Appear on Your Behalf
You must provide written authorization, signed by you, the property owner,
naming the person to represent you. This authorization should include identification
of the property. The person you select should be able to discuss the property
from personal knowledge. This form should be filed in advance of the hearing,
but may be brought to the hearing for cases of unforeseen need.
If the representative is someone other than a family member or friend, e.g. real
estate agent or tax agent, you must make that assignment for authorized
representation by submitting the Appointment of Agent form to the Appraisal
District. This form is available from the District office or via their website.
To authorize someone who is paid to represent you, the Appointment of
Agent form must be completed.
Filing an Affidavit in Lieu of Appearing
The affidavit, Letter of Consideration (LOC), is a written statement with
supporting evidence which must be received by the ARB before the scheduled
hearing date. The affidavit must state that you swear or affirm that the
information it contains is true and must be notarized. The property owner’s
name, address, account number, property description and the date and time
of the hearing must be included in the affidavit.
Delivering the affidavit to the Appraisal District office to be time stamped is
best or mailing the documents Return Receipt Requested is another option.
Remember it must be received prior to the hearing date and time.
3. What form of documentation will the ARB accept for the hearing?
By law, a copy of all evidence presented during a hearing 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 or cell phones.
Bring five sets of evidence, one for the appraiser, three for the panel members
and one for yourself. Black out any personal or confidential information
that may lead to identity theft.
4. Can I reschedule my ARB hearing?
An ARB hearing, not being represented by a tax consultant, may be rescheduled
without cause one time. The ARB may reschedule your hearing again for
“good cause” depending upon the time period requested and reason. Reasons
of “good cause” are not defined in the TPTC and may include:
Active Military Duty
Hospitalization or Under Dr.’s Care
Death of a Family Member
Judicial or Legislative Service
Failure to Receive Administrative Due Process
Family vacations, business conflicts, needing more time to prepare for your
hearing are not “good cause” reasons to reschedule. Alternatives to rescheduling
a hearing would include attempting to resolve your issue(s) with an appraiser
through an informal review, authorizing someone to appear in your place or
submitting an affidavit, LOC, with evidence to be used in determining your
protest at the hearing.
When approved for a second reschedule by the ARB Chair, you will be asked to
submit an affidavit (LOC) before being rescheduled. Should you be unable to
attend your rescheduled hearing your protest will be heard and determined
based upon the evidence submitted. The affidavit will only be used should
the property owner not be present at the rescheduled hearing.
5. How do I prepare for a Protest hearing?
You will receive a copy of the Texas Comptroller’s Property Taxpayer Remedies
pamphlet with your notice of protest hearing letter. This pamphlet offers
advice on how to prepare for a Formal 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.
If you have recently purchased your home and the appraised value set by the
Appraisal District is greater than the purchase price, submit copies of the signed
Settlement Statement as your evidence of value.
If your protest is based upon the condition of your home and you believe it affects
the value make sure to have photos, any engineering reports or written estimates
to repair the deficiencies. These estimates should be dated near the valuation
date of January 1st.
The Appraisal District website has resources that will help you prepare for your
hearing. In addition you may visit the Appraisal District office to inspect and obtain
copies of the data, schedules, formulas and any other information the Chief Appraiser
plans to introduce at your hearing or other information as it relates to your property.
If you request copies of the information the cost may not exceed $15 per residential
property or $25 per commercial property.
Be on time and prepared for your hearing.
Stick to the facts in your presentation of evidence.
Provide facts, not emotional arguments.
Keep it simple and well organized.
Stress the key facts and figures.
Be prepared to state the value you are seeking.
6. Question: I want to bring in sales as part of my evidence, which sales and what
timeframe should I research?
TCAD is looking for the best evidence of value so sales closer to the appraisal date
(within 6 months) are best. Sales should be similar to your home with respect to
location, age, condition, quality, and size. Sales should be adjusted (like a fee
appraiser adjusts) based on the application of generally accepted appraisal methods
and techniques. The TCAD appraiser or the ARB will consider your sales evidence
and appraiser may even adjust one or more sales via a TCAD sales adjustment formula.
TCAD reserves the right to decline the use of sales which are not comparable to
your property. Please have the TCAD PID number attached to each sale you wish
the appraiser to consider.
These FAQ’s should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. Consult an attorney if you have additional questions.