Who Makes Up Your Texas Appraisal Review Board?

June 30, 2022 |

Members of your Texas appraisal review board (ARB) have a lot of sway as it relates to commercial property values/assessments. The board takes in both sides of the tax protest argument. They’re the literal face of the formal hearing process. They’re the jury that decides whether a commercial property owner’s argument and evidence justify a lower value/assessment. In other words, they’re pretty important people. But who exactly are they? Read on to learn more about the members of your Texas appraisal review board — their qualifications, how they’re chosen and other points of interest you should know.

 

How Are Appraisal Review Board Members Chosen?
The Texas Comptroller’s website notes that, as dictated by the state tax code, Texas appraisal review board members are selected by the district judge who oversees a given county. Certain areas, especially those in less populous, rural districts, opt for consolidated ARBs. In these instances, where one board carries out work for multiple counties, board members are appointed jointly by the affected areas’ district judges.

 

What Qualifications Must Texas Appraisal Review Board Members Meet?
You might be surprised to learn that, besides needing to have lived in their respective district for at least two years prior to joining the board, there are no special qualifications ARB candidates must meet. There are, however, circumstances that could make them ineligible. A person cannot serve on a Texas appraisal review board if he or she:

  • Is related (by blood or marriage) to someone who:
    • Appraises properties for property tax purposes
    • Is a tax agent who receives pay to represent property owners at appraisal district proceedings
    • Is either an ARB member or appraisal district board member
  • Is a member, employee or officer of an appraisal district board, a Texas Comptroller employee or an employee, officer or member of a taxing unit’s governing body
  • Owes delinquent property taxes more than 60 days after that delinquency became known (unless an abatement, deferment or installment plan agreement has been reached)
  • Has a contract with (or special interest in a business that has a contract with) the appraisal district or another a taxing unit the district serves

Special requirements come into play for counties with more than 120,000 residents. In such regions, a person cannot serve on a Texas appraisal review board if he or she:

  • Formerly served as an employee, officer or member of the appraisal district board
  • Served as an officer or member of a taxing unit’s governing body
  • Went before the appraisal review board regarding compensation in the two years prior
  • Served three previous terms as an auxiliary or full ARB board member (including partial terms)

Certain stipulations come into play regarding eligibility, specifically related to which relationships disqualify a person from serving and timelines surrounding previous experience. For full details, visit the Texas Comptroller’s Appraisal Review Board Protests Frequently Asked Questions page.

 

Other Things You Should Know About Your Texas Appraisal Review Board Members
The decision to join a board is a commitment that isn’t to be taken lightly. Here are some interesting facts about ARB members.

  • ARB members aren’t allowed to hold public office. This is due to the fact that they are paid per diem and the Texas constitution states a person can’t maintain more than one paid public office at a time.
  • They work hours outside the “normal”. Boards are required to allow for protests outside of regular 9 – 5 hours, either making appointments available on Saturdays or after 5 p.m. during the week. (Although it should be noted that protests cannot start after 7 p.m. on a weekday.)

Again, additional information can be found on the Texas Comptroller’s FAQs page.

 

Your Texas appraisal review board members might seem intimidating, especially considering the impact they have on the amount commercial property owners like you pay. But having an understanding of who is (and isn’t) qualified to serve — and what some of that service looks like — can take some of the edge off the protest process. If you have questions about any of the above, or if you’re interested in learning how Lane’s property tax experts can help you enter into the protest process better prepared, please reach out. Our team looks forward to working with you!

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