If you’ve decided to protest your Texas property taxes, you will likely attend a hearing with your appraisal district’s Appraisal Review Board. This hearing occurs if your property tax appeal is not resolved at the informal hearing.
Despite the formal name, the ARB is nothing to be intimated about, but it’s normal to have a few questions. We’ve covered some of the most commonly asked questions about appraisal review boards and hearings for your reassurance.
What is an Appraisal Review Board?
In Texas an Appraisal Review Board, or ARB is a group of citizens appointed by their local administrative district judge. The ARB oversees the formal property tax protest hearing. The board’s job is to listen to both the taxpayer filing the protest, as well as the appraisal district, and make a judgment about the assessed property value.
What are the requirements to serve on the board?
Members who are appointed must be a resident of the county where the appraisal district operates for at least two or more years before becoming a member, and cannot serve in any other paid public office, according to the State Constitution of Texas.
Individuals who are employees of the appraisal district or the Comptroller’s office cannot serve on the board.
When will I be notified about my ARB hearing?
The ARB is legally obligated to notify you at least 14 days before your hearing. Their notification will include details like your hearing date and time, the place, and the subject matter of your hearing. It will also detail your rights to postponement, in the event that the date chosen by the ARB is incompatible with your schedule.
Do I have to attend my ARB hearing?
No! In fact, if you hire a consultant to handle your appeal, they can attend the hearing on your behalf.
There are three ways you can “attend” an ARB meeting:
- You or your consultant may appear in person.
- You may offer evidence/argument via affidavit without appearing in person.
- You or your consultant may appear by telephone conference call.
Sending a professional in your place only requires that you fill out the comptroller’s Appointment of Agent for Property Taxes form, which will notify the appraisal district that you permit someone to appear on your behalf.
Can I postpone my ARB hearing?
While we don’t recommend postponing your hearing unless you have to, you are entitled to one automatic postponement.
Here are the two postponements you may request:
- Postponement without Cause: You do not need to provide a reason for requesting a postponement.
- Postponement for Preparation: Your postponement is requested so that you may better prepare for your hearing. This type of postponement can only be used if you requested the evidence the Appraisal District will use and they did not provide you the evidence at least 14 days in advance of your hearing.
After any postponement, it is then up to the ARB to grant additional postponements if you can show reasonable cause.
Important Tips for Attending Your ARB Meeting
If you choose to attend your ARB meeting in person, here are a few tips to make your hearing as smooth as possible. We can’t promise these will ensure a favorable outcome, but it certainly won’t hurt your chances to follow these property tax protest tips.
- The ARB is not your enemy. The role of the ARB is to act as an independent judge between you and the appraisal district. Remember, they are not supposed to be on anybody’s side.
- Keep it simple, well-organized, and focused. Your hearing isn’t meant to protest what you may feel are larger tax injustices, or any other local political grievance you may have. The ARB can only rule on your property’s value. Arguments about your tax bill or tax rates have no bearing on an ARB hearing.
- Bring evidence, and stick to it. Have copies of photographs and documents for each member of the ARB. Let your evidence present the facts to the board.
- Be on time. The easiest one on this list, and it’s important not just for professional courtesy, but because these hearings may have a time-limit. If you fail to present your case in the allowed time the board may not rule in your favor.
NTPTS professionals are available year-round to ensure that you maximize your savings on your property taxes every year in Texas. Many of our consultants have extensive experience with ARB protests or have served on a board. We can help you navigate the entire property tax protest process, including the ARB hearing.
Reach out to us today so we can see how much we can help you save. Registering your property on our website is the first step in getting your property tax analysis started.