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Summary: HB 316 would make permanent a pilot program that has operated in numerous Texas counties that allows property owners the opportunity to protest appraisal review board determinations concerning property valued at more than $1 million. Protests are made to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) instead of to a district court. According to interested parties, the SOAH may be a less costly and time consuming alternative to a district court appeal for entities with properties appraised at the $1 million level, although there are no specific findings of cost savings to date. HB 316 makes the appellate process for certain property permanent and available to taxpayers statewide.
Analysis: HB 316 limits government by allowing certain property owners the opportunity to appeal appraisal determinations to SOAH, instead of to a district court. By allowing both SOAH and district courts to address property appraisal appeals, the burden on district courts to adjudicate these appraisal appeals will be lifted, and entities will be able to appeal more easily. This can work to lower appraisal values for Texans that believe their property has been overvalued, thereby limiting the size and scope of government by limiting the amount they can tax Texas property owners.