Who audits the Appraisal District and the values they determine?

Who audits the Appraisal District and the values they determine?

The Texas Comptroller – Property Tax Assistance Division

The appraisal district undergoes a formal examination or assessment every year.  One year on values, the next year on processes and procedures.  Both are described below.

Property Value Study – Government Code Section 403.302

Typically performed every other year, opposite of the Methods and Assistance Program.  Exception when appraisal district values are determined to be invalid, the district is studied consecutively for the next two years.

Also known as the PVS, the legislature required an independent estimate of taxable property value in each school district to ensure fair school funding in response to court challenges about unfair distribution of school funding.  The state wants to ensure that local districts are appraising at market value.  The state determines this independent estimate of taxable value through the PVS.

The Property Tax Assistance Division, PTAD, analyzes certain property categories to estimate their property value which is usually market value.

The results of the study are either valid or invalid.

Valid is when PTAD considers the locally appraised values by the appraisal district to be valid or acceptable, when the values are within a statistical margin of error.  This means the appraisal district value must be within 5 percent of the PTAD’s value to be valid.  When the appraisal district values are determined to be valid, the appraisal district values (local value) are reported to the Commissioner of Education for the calculation of school funding by the state.

Invalid is when the appraisal district value falls outside of the PTAD’s value by 5 percent.  The values are then considered invalid for that school district.  When the appraisal district values are determined to be invalid, the appraisal district values (local value) will only be reported to the Commissioner of Education if the invalidity is in a two year grace period.  When the appraisal district values are invalid and has fallen out of grace (two year period) the school district with invalid values will lose state funding.

Methods and Assistance Program – Property Tax Code Section 5.102

Typically every other year, opposite of the Property Value Study

Also known as MAP, the Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) reviews the appraisal district as related to governance, taxpayer assistance, operating procedures and appraisal standards, procedures and methodology.  This is an assessment to identify whether the appraisal district is meeting minimum statutory and appraisal requirements.

To pass the MAP the appraisal district must receive a pass in all categories.

PTAD issues a preliminary report to the chief appraiser to indicate where the appraisal district may have deficiencies and to allow an opportunity to cure those deficiencies before PTAD issues a final report.  If the appraisal district fails to make timely changes concerning a failed mandatory question, a school district may lose its rights to exercise grace in the Property Value Study, resulting in loss of state funding.

Boards and Committees

Board of Directors

Appraisal Review Board

Citizens Advisory Committee