86R4407 CJC-F
  By: Guillen H.B. No. 994
  relating to the procedures for protests and appeals of certain ad
  valorem tax determinations.
         SECTION 1.  Section 41.45(b), Tax Code, is amended to read as
         (b)  A property owner initiating a protest is entitled to
  appear to offer evidence or argument.  A property owner may offer
  evidence or argument by affidavit without personally appearing and
  may appear by telephone conference call to offer argument.  A
  property owner who appears by telephone conference call must offer
  any evidence by affidavit.  A property owner must submit an
  affidavit described by this subsection to the board hearing the
  protest before the board begins the hearing on the protest.  On
  receipt of an affidavit, the board shall notify the chief
  appraiser. The chief appraiser [may inspect the affidavit and] is
  entitled to a copy of the affidavit on request. The board and the
  chief appraiser shall review the evidence or argument provided by
  the property owner before the hearing on the protest.
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 42, Tax Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter B-1 to read as follows:
         Sec. 42.35.  APPLICABILITY OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter
  applies only to the appeal of an order issued by an appraisal review
  board that is located in a county:
               (1)  that has a population of less than 45,500;
               (2)  that shares a border with a county that has a
  population of 1.5 million or more and is within 200 miles of an
  international border; and
               (3)  through which the Atascosa River flows.
         Sec. 42.36.  APPEALS TO JUSTICE COURT. (a) As an
  alternative to bringing an appeal under Section 42.01(a)(1) to a
  district court as provided by Subchapter B, a property owner may
  bring the appeal to a justice court if:
               (1)  the appeal relates only to a determination of
  appraised value or eligibility for an exemption from taxation; and
               (2)  the amount of taxes due on the portion of the
  taxable value of the property that is in dispute, calculated using
  the preceding year's tax rates, is $5,000 or less.
         (b)  Venue of an action brought under Section 42.01(a)(1) in
  justice court is in any justice precinct in which the property that
  is the subject of the order being appealed is located.
         (c)  If the justice court determines that the justice court
  does not have jurisdiction of the appeal, the court shall dismiss
  the appeal. In that event, the property owner may appeal the order
  to a district court by filing a petition for review with the
  district court not later than the 30th day after the date of the
         (d)  Sections 42.21, 42.23, 42.24, 42.25, and 42.26 apply to
  an appeal brought under Section 42.01(a)(1) to a justice court in
  the same manner as those sections apply to an appeal brought under
  Section 42.01(a)(1) to a district court.
         Sec. 42.37.  REPRESENTATION IN JUSTICE COURT. In an appeal
  brought under Section 42.01(a)(1) to a justice court, an appraisal
  district may be, but is not required to be, represented by legal
         Sec. 42.38.  EXPIRATION OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter
  expires September 1, 2025.
         SECTION 3.  On the expiration of Subchapter B-1, Chapter 42,
  Tax Code, as added by this Act, the Office of Court Administration
  of the Texas Judicial System, using existing resources, shall
  conduct a study on that subchapter's effectiveness in increasing
  court efficiency and improving property owners' ability to exercise
  their appeal rights under Chapter 42, Tax Code. Not later than
  December 1, 2026, the office shall issue a report on the study to
  the appropriate standing committees of the house of representatives
  and the senate. The report must include the office's
  recommendation as to whether the legislature, in the next regular
  legislative session following the issuance of the report, should
  enact legislation similar to Subchapter B-1, Chapter 42, Tax Code,
  as added by this Act.
         SECTION 4.  An appeal under Subchapter B-1, Chapter 42, Tax
  Code, as added by this Act, that is pending on September 1, 2025, is
  governed by that subchapter as it existed on August 31, 2025, and
  that law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 5.  The change in law made by this Act applies to the
  appeal of an order of an appraisal review board without regard to
  whether the order was issued before the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.