America's Property Tax Advisor

Texas Strengthens Taxpayer Rights

BY FOY MITCHELL, DALLAS, SEPTEMBER 2021

Texas lawmakers are being asked to consider cuts in school property taxes in in their Third Special Session. Gov. Greg Abbott wants to use $2 billion or more of the state’s projected cash balance from Federal stimulus funds to reduce taxes.

 

While debate on a tax cut continues, lawmakers have made some changes to state law that should benefit taxpayers.

 

Back Assessment Shortened

 

House Bill 1090 gives appraisal districts less time to discover and correct omissions of taxable real property.

 

Previously, a chief appraiser had five years to add omitted property to the tax roll. This added back taxes, penalties, and interest against the property owner.

 

HB 1090 shortens the period for back assessment from five years to three years. The back-assessment window for personal property remains at two years.

 

BPP Tax Exemption Increased

 

Senate Bill 1449 increases the business personal property tax exemption from $500 to $2500.

 

Inflation eroded the benefit of this exemption for small businesses and caused unnecessary compliance costs. The new law frees many businesses from having to file renditions in the future.

 

More Time to Correct Renditions

 

Senate Bill 1421 gives taxpayers who made errors in rendering their property two years to correct the mistakes and obtain refunds.

 

It allows appraisal review boards to change records for the current tax year and for the two preceding tax years to correct inaccuracies in a property owner's tangible personal property that was the result of an error or omission in a rendition or property report.