If you* filed a protest or motion as required by Texas law, you are entitled to an opportunity to appear before Tarrant Appraisal Review Board ("Board") to present evidence or argument. Members of the Board who will hear your protest and/or motion are not employees or officers of any county, city, school district, or other political unit that assesses or collects property taxes. They are not part of Tarrant Appraisal District ("District"). They are Tarrant County citizens appointed to impartially resolve certain complaints about taxability and valuation of property within the District.
Texas law empowers the Board to hear and resolve protests only about the following issues concerning your property: valuation; eligibility for exemptions; inclusion of the property on the appraisal records for the District or for a particular taxing unit within the District; whether you are/were the owner; whether a notice required by law was delivered; determination of changes of use of agricultural, open-space or timber lands, or other actions by the District or Board that adversely affect you as a property owner. The Board cannot hear or resolve other matters, such as complaints about the amount of your taxes or your ability to pay your taxes.
Procedures Before Your Hearing
Organize your testimony and documents ahead of time. You must present the original and 4 copies of each document you want the Board to consider. Types of evidences relevant to determination of the value of property includes:
• Residential Real Estate:
1) Sale of Subject Property - signed and dated closing (settlement) statement and fee appraisal.
2) Sales of Comparable Properties - sales of comparable properties should include the following information if available: photographs, property address, sales date/price, grantor/grantee, financing terms/source/confirmed by; or appraisal of subject property with date and reason for sale.
3) Proof of Physical, Functional or Economic
Obsolescence - This type of information can be documented in a variety of ways. The best type of documents are usually estimates for repairs from contractors and photographs of physical problems. This means you must furnish "documented" evidence of your property's needs.
• Commercial Real Estate:
1) Sale of Subject Property - signed and dated closing statement or sales contract with description of property being transferred; photographs of the property; copy of filed warranty deed if transferred in past 2 years; basis of sale (was sale based on actual income and expense data or pro forma income and expense data); complete copy of appraisal.
2) Income Approach - previous year rent roll, rent summary and income statement (typically 3 years of data); documentation of lease offering rates, lease concessions, effective lease rates and current and historical occupancy as of January 1 of the current year.
3) Cost Approach - signed and dated construction contract(s) with detailed description of work to be performed; certified A.I.A. document G702 or equivalent with details. Documentation must reflect all hard and soft cost. IRS records may be required.
4) Market Approach - complete copy of independent fee appraisal; confirmed sales of comparable properties to include photographs, property description, location, land area/building area, year built, date of contract, sales price, financing terms, basis of sale, source/confirmed by.
• Business Personal Property: - balance sheets; depreciation schedule, appraisal, income tax return with appropriate schedules, general ledger, asset detail reports operating statement for auto dealers (one per manufacture) accounting books-records-journals-ledgers showing acquisitions by year of purchase for inventory records, also include accounting policies and procedures, bill of sale, receipts, invoices, leases, bailment agreements, assignments, any other documents that identify location and/or value of property you are protesting. If you are claiming that the goods are taxable elsewhere, you should be able to provide proof the property was rendered to another jurisdiction and that it is on another tax roll.
This list is not exhaustive and there may be other evidence you feel supports your protest. You may have received a specific request for other documents. Please include those as well.
All documents that you present in the hearing become part of the Board's permanent records and will not be returned to you.
Before the date of your hearing, you may inspect all of the data, schedules, formulas, and other information that the District plans to introduce at the hearing to establish any matter at issue. You may get copies of this information from Tarrant Appraisal District. The charges for such copies will not exceed $15 for each residence or $25 for each property of another type.
Neither the property owner nor the District may give any board member information about a protest or motion prior to the hearing.
To request a postponement of your hearing, you must contact the Board before the hearing date.
It is important that you be on time for your hearing. Your motion will be dismissed if you fail to (1) appear at your hearing in person, (2) send a notarized affidavit containing evidence to support your protest or motion, or (3) send an authorized representative (to whom owner has provided an appointment of agent form or notarized statement).
You may present evidence or argument without attending the hearing in person by sending an affidavit executed before a Notary Public (or other authorized public official) stating that you swear or affirm that the information it contains is true and correct. The affidavit should (1) identify you as the property owner, (2) state the account number and description of the property that is the subject of the protest or motion, and (3) give the date and time of the hearing. You should provide the original and 4 copies of the affidavit. For an affidavit to be considered, it must be received by the Board before the time of the hearing. An affidavit cannot be faxed.
*A property owner may designate another person to represent him for property tax purposes by filing certain forms required by Texas law. These forms are available from the District at 2500 Handley Ederville Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76118-6909 or the website at www.tad.org. In this notice "you" includes property owners and their properly designated agents.
Procedures During and After Your Hearing
A protest or motion hearing is somewhat like --- but far less formal than --- a simple trial in a court of law. The Board follows certain rules and procedures so that everyone who appears before it has a fair and reasonable opportunity to be heard and so that an impartial determination is made. For example, all hearings must be open to the public and all testimony must be given under oath.
Panels of three board members usually hear protests or motions. A majority of the Board will finally determine each protest or motion.
The Board's experience indicates that 15 minutes is usually sufficient time for a hearing.
A hearing usually proceeds as follows:
1. The property is identified as listed in the appraisal records.
2. Any Board member who has a conflict of interest is excused and replaced by another member.
3. The property owner and any witnesses and attorney who accompany the owner are asked to identify themselves.
4. The Board member chairing the hearing swears all witnesses.
5. The Chairman clarifies what properties and what issues will be considered and explains how the hearing will be conducted.
6. The Chairman instructs the representatives of the parties that each must provide the other with a copy of any written material that the party intends to offer as evidence, and the panel considers any objections to the conduct of the hearing or to the proposed evidence.
7. Property owner offers evidence and argument.
8. The District's representative(s) and witnesses offer the District's evidence and argument.
9. Board members question the parties and witnesses.
10. The District's representative(s) questions (by directing the questions through the panel chairman) the owner and his witnesses and closes its argument and explanation.
11. The owner questions (by directing the questions through the panel chairman) the District's representative(s) and witnesses and closes his argument and explanation.
12. Board closes the presentation of evidence and argument, and deliberates.
13. If the Board members hearing the protest have enough information, they will determine the protest (if they are a majority of the full Board) or recommend a decision to the full Board (if they are a panel). If the Board members hearing the protest do not have enough information, they may request or require additional information and may recess the hearing and schedule the date and time that the hearing is to resume.
14. On finally determining the protest, the Board will deliver to the owner by certified mail a notice and copy of its Order.
However, the panel chairman may choose to alter the order of the proceedings.