During the past two weeks, The Kerrville Daily Times has received a large volume of calls, emails and letters to the editor regarding the recent round of property tax appraisals.
Many of those who contacted us were seeking more general information about the role of appraisal districts in local government and the makeup of appraisal district boards.
According to the office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, these districts, such as the Kerr County Appraisal District, constitute a “political subdivision of the state.”
They exist separately from those entities that set tax rates, such as Kerrville Independent School District, Kerr County, emergency service districts or the city of Kerrville.
Appraisal districts are governed by a board of directors with at least 5 members appointed by taxing entities, as well as the county tax assessor/collector, who typically serves as a nonvoting member of the board.
Taxing entities, such as cities or school districts, select their appointed directors in the fall of odd-numbered years.
To be eligible to serve on the board, a potential appointee must be a resident of the district, which shares the same boundary as the county in question, and voting members must have resided there for at least two years.
Employees of an entity that participates in the CAD, such as a school district or county government, are not eligible to serve on the board, but elected officials or members of a governing body are.
Of note, board members do not actually appraise property and are, in most cases, forbidden from discussing an actual appraisal with the tax assessor/collector — except in the case of a public meeting or in closed session when discussing pending litigation.
Rather, their duties are largely administrative and include items such as the hiring of the chief appraiser, setting the CAD’s budget, notifying taxing entities of vacancies on the board and appointing the members of the Appraisal Review Board, which hears dispute cases from taxpayers.
Residents can visit the property tax section of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website, comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/ for more information about that process.
The comptroller’s office also offers additional information about appraisal boards, including manuals and training videos designed to explain the board’s role to appointees.
Those can be found at comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/board-of-directors/index.php.
Many of the rules and regulations governing appraisal boards are found in Section 6 of the state tax code, statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TX/htm/TX.6.htm.