Gov. Rick Perry today highlighted several new laws that take effect Jan. 1, 2010, which institute important reforms to the appraisal process to help property taxpayers.
"In addition to cutting taxes for 40,000 small business and leaving billions of dollars in our Rainy Day Fund this last session, we also implemented measures that will provide greater protection for property owners by adding transparency and fairness to the appraisal process," Gov. Perry said.
HB 8 and 3612 by Rep. John Otto and SB 771 by Sen. Tommy Williams are among several bills that will improve the appraisal process, and include provisions that impose limits on what is considered a comparable sale for appraisal purposes; create an expedited arbitration process; and require substantial evidence to increase an appraisal after a successful appeal. These changes will improve the fairness and accuracy of the appraisal process and increase the oversight of appraisal districts to ensure they are following uniform appraisal practices and procedures. HB 1038 by Rep. Ken Paxton ensures appraisers continue to consider all comparable properties when appraising a home, including those recently sold at foreclosure or that have decreased in value.
Additional measures to strengthen the appraisal process include the passage of Propositions 2 and 3 by Texas voters in November. Proposition 2 will ensure that residential property is appraised only based on its use as a homestead (instead of being appraised based on a hypothetical alternate use). Proposition 3 will allow the Legislature to adopt uniform statewide appraisal standards in the future. Both of these measures will increase transparency and accountability in the appraisal process.
For a list of all Texas laws effective on Jan. 1, 2010, please visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us.