Property owners in the Gaines County Appraisal District will have an opportunity to protest proposed appraisals of their property for local taxes. The district’s appraisal review board (ARB) will begin hearing taxpayer protests for the Real Estate will be held Wednesday June 29th and Mineral and Industrial will be held Thursday, June 30th.
After the ARB completes its hearings and approves final property appraisals, local governments, will use these appraisals to set 2022 tax rates. The ARB is a group of citizens who live in the appraisal district and are appointed by the district’s board of directors. Their responsibilities are outlined in the Texas Property Tax Code. Current and former officers and employees of the Appraisal district or of local taxing units can’t serve on the ARB. Current employees of the State Comptroller’s office also may not serve.
The law gives property owners the right to protest actions concerning their property tax appraisals. You may follow these appeal procedures if you have a concern about:
the appraised or market value of the property;
unequal appraisal of the taxpayer’s property compared to other property in the district;
inclusion of property on appraisal records;
any exemption that may apply to you, such as a homestead exemption;
qualification of agricultural-use, open space, or timber productivity appraisal;
the change of use of land receiving special appraisal;
identification of the taxing unit or units in which the property is located;
failure of the chief appraiser or appraisal review board (ARB) to send a required notice, or
any other action by the chief appraiser, appraisal district or appraisal review board (ARB)
that adversely affects the property owner.
Gayla Harridge, Chief Appraiser for the district, outlined the steps a property owner must take to file a protest. First, the property owner must file a written notice of protest that shows why the owner is protesting to the ARB. The Taxpayer must file this notice by June 10th, or within 30 days after the appraisal district mails the taxpayer a notice of appraised value, whichever is later. If a person leases property and, by contract, must pay the owner’s property taxes, then the person leasing may protest the property’s value to the ARB, if the property owner doesn’t protest. If the ARB sends a property owner a notice of any kind of change in the appraisal records, of if the chief appraiser issues a notice for a property omitted in the prior year, the property owner has 30 days from the mailing date to file a protest.
“A protest letter from the taxpayer is also acceptable,” Harridge said, “as long as it identifies the property protested and indicates dissatisfaction with some decision or action of the appraisal office.” Each protesting property owner may offer evidence or argument, by filing an affidavit with the ARB. A property owner may appoint another person to present the protest by filing an Appointment of Agent form with the appraisal district. Property owners should know that the ARB has No Authority over Tax Rates or Spending and will not hear protests on these topics.
All formal ARB protest hearings will be held in person, telephone conference call or by written affidavit. Affidavit with evidence for a hearing by telephone conference call or a hearing by affidavit must be notarized and submitted to the ARB before the hearing begins.
Formal protest filing options (make sure you file before the protest deadline included on your appraisal notice):
- Online: org online protest
- Mail: protest forms may be submitted by mail to PO Box 490, Seminole Texas 79360
- Email: protest forms may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The ARB will schedule hearings as property owners file protests and will mail them a notice of the time, date, and place of their individual hearings at least 15 days before the hearing date. Property owners also will receive a copy of the State Comptroller of Public Account’s pamphlet called Texas Property Taxes: Property Taxpayer Remedies, a copy of the ARB’s procedures and notice of available evidence at the appraisal office to be presented at the hearing.
Harridge said that hearings will be held for 2 days or longer and that the ARB expects to approve the final appraisal roll by July 20, 2022. State law requires the ARB to review and approve the appraisal records by July 20, or when not more than 5 percent of the total property value in the district remains under protest.
Those protesting their appraisal should NOT contact ARB members outside the hearing, the chief appraiser stressed. Each ARB member must sign an affidavit that he or she has had no contact about the protest with a property owner or the appraisal office staff before the hearing.
Texas Property Taxes: Taxpayers’ Rights Remedies & Responsibilities is available at the Gaines County Appraisal District office. For a copy, contact the appraisal district staff at 302 S.E. Avenue B, 432-758-3263.