Several new laws are set to go into effect on Jan. 1 that should improve the appraisal process and help property taxpayers.
State lawmakers passed several pieces of legislation during the 2009 session 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.
It is hoped, according to the Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Office, that these measures will improve the fairness and accuracy of the appraisal process and ensure that appraisal districts are following uniform appraisal practices and procedures.
House Bill 1038, authored by Rep. Ken Paxton, requires appraisers 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.
The goal of Proposition 2 is to 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.
The intent of both of these measures is to increase transparency and accountability in the appraisal process.
For a list of all Texas laws that will become effective on Jan. 1, 2010, please visit the Legislature’s Web site at www.legis.state.tx.us.