The Appraisal Review Board (ARB) is an independent, impartial group of citizens authorized to resolve disputes between taxpayers and the appraisal district. The appraisal district board of directors appoints ARB members; however, the directors have no authority over how the ARB conducts its business. The ARB is a separate entity from the appraisal office and serves a different function. Members must be residents of the appraisal district for at least two years to serve. Current officers and employees of the appraisal district, taxing units and the Texas Comptroller’s office may not serve. ARB members also must comply with special state laws on conflict of interest and must complete a training course and receive a certificate of course completion from the Comptroller.
The ARB hears and resolves disputes over appraisal matters based on evidence provided by both the taxpayer and the appraisal district. While this is a broad and important responsibility, the ARB must be sensitive to its legal and practical limits while adhering to Texas property tax codes. The ARB only has authority over protests submitted to it and has no role in the day-to-day operations of the appraisal office or in appraising property. It cannot instruct the appraisal staff about how to perform appraisals. Only in resolving taxpayer protests can the ARB make changes or set a value on its own, and such a change only affects the property in question.
The ARB is the first level of review in the property tax system. It is a quasi-judicial entity with responsibility to review appraisals that have been protested by property owners. An appearance before the ARB is often the first time a taxpayer faces a decision-making body of government. The ARB is encouraged to make the experience a positive one by its demeanor and willingness to listen. All ARB members should demonstrate fairness and courtesy in conducting hearings and consider the evidence presented by all parties to the protests.