House Ways & Means met on May 10 to discuss a number of bills. The following bills covered in this report are SB 63 (Nelson, et. al), SB 296 (Perry), SB 334 (Johnson), SB 1245 (Perry), SB 1421 (Bettencourt), SB 1427 (Bettencourt), and SB 1655 (Birdwell). The full notice can be found here, and the archive can be found here.


This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.


SB 334 (Johnson) – Relating to disclosure under the public information law of certain records of an appraisal district

  • Goodwin – Texas Public Information Act contains exceptions to protect things like personnel records or criminal investigations, another exception contains the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
  • Central appraisal districts often buy data derived from the MLS to aide them in properly assessing the value of homes; Legislator does not believe this practice should make the home prices into public information
  • MLS exception allows a homeowner appealing an appraisal to see information regarding other homes, as a result central appraisal districts are required to share some private data with property owner or agent during the process
  • MLS exception to this exception does not apply if an appeal goes to arbitration
  • Solution is to add language to the MLS exception clarifying that arbitration has the same exceptions that other appeals have
  • Current MLS exception does not apply to counties with populations lower than 50,000, bill would repeal that bracket making policies consistent statewide


Marya Crigler, Texas Association of Appraisal Districts – For

  • We have received opinions that have prohibited us from providing information if the case is going to binding arbitration
  • We think the property owner who wants to go to arbitration is entitled to the information, we just need the exception to allow us to provide that legally

SB 334 left pending


SB 296 (Perry) – Relating to the date by which a seller must provide resale and exemption certificates to the comptroller in connection with a sale and use tax audit

  • Button – Sticks to amend the tax code to allow more time for the seller to deliver the certificate to the Comptroller by extending the current deadline from 60 to 90 days
  • Providing opportunity for extension at the discretion of the comptroller


Dino Marcaccio, Texas Comptroller’s Office – On

  • Helps reduce the chance of certain companies being over assessed sales tax on truly nontax sales
  • Extends current deadline to provide resale and/or exemption certificates with an additional 30 days, grants one time extension to be determined on a case-by-case basis
  • This bill is revenue neutral, does not create any new sales taxes or reduce any legal taxes due, no fiscal tax note attached to this bill

SB 296 left pending


SB 1427 (Bettencourt) – Relating to the applicability of the temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster

  • Shine – Seeks to remove any doubt that only physical damage exemptions are available under the section of the 1135 tax code as originally intended


Marya Crigler, Texas Association of Appraisal Districts – For

  • We received over 2,000 applications for the disaster exemption because of the pandemic; overall the appraisal districts costs us over $85,000to process those exemptions
  • Clarification is needed and will be cost saving to the appraisal districts and taxpayers

SB 1427 left pending


SB 1421 (Bettencourt) – Relating to the correction of an ad valorem tax appraisal roll and related appraisal record

  • Thierry – Would permit property owner or chief appraiser to correct an inaccuracy in the appraised value of the owner’s tangible personal property
  • Changes in law made by this bill would only apply to motion to correct an appraisal role on or after the effective date
  • Refile of SB 956 from last session, passed senate (31-0)


Scott Resscloth, (didn’t state affiliation) – For

  • We see problem in business inventory often, moving inventory that can be rendered in Texas but figuring out later on that it was in another state (non taxable)
  • Would provide a needed remedy, giving taxpayers a limited ability to correct the omission or the errors in the rendition

SB 1421 left pending


SB 1655 (Birdwell) – Relating to an annual report submitted to the comptroller by a county that imposes certain hotel occupancy taxes

  • Meyer – During the 85th Session, legislator passed a bill to require cities that levy hotel occupancy tax to these reporting requirements
  • This bill would just ensure that this transparency measure is extended to the counties as well


Ann Graham, Texans for the Arts – For

  • Bill will mirror the reporting success of SB 1221 where having self-reported data on the Comptroller’s website improve clarity around the tax rate and the amounts collected, helps ensure compatibility and compliance with allowable uses
  • Defines it as a straightforward transparency bill

SB 1655 left pending


SB 63 (Nelson, et. al) – Relating to the system for appraising property for ad valorem tax purposes

  • Meyer – Offers CS, establishes term limits for appraisal district boards of directors, prevents formal appraisal district employees from serving on the board for three years, etc
  • Increases property tax exemption and special appraisal application transparency, requires chief appraisers to respond to applications within 90 days of receiving the application
  • Requires chief appraisers to fully explain e trees and the chief appraiser denies or modifies an exemption application
  • Allows property owners to check one box to protest on both the grounds that the market value of the property is incorrect and that the value is unequal compared to other properties
  • Creates optional test message and email ARB hearing reminder system for property owners, prevents appraisal districts from introducing additional reasons for denial or modification of exemptions at the ARB hearing
  • CS substitute – makes changes that address appraisal district concerns, increasing term limit from 3 terms to 5 terms
  • Changes the start of the 90-day response timeline from when property owner files an application to when the chief appraiser received all necessary application information
  • Exempts counties with populations of less than 120,000 from the text and email reminder system requirements
  • Shine – I understand that there may be something in regard to deadlines regarding disasters, have you been in a conversation on that?
  • We have not but we are open to any conversation dealing with the disaster deadline and understanding there may be additional flexibility, will update committee


Paul Pennington, Citizens for Appraisal Reform – For

  • Well vetted bill, asks that it be considered in a favorable fashion


Roland Altinger, TAD Legislative Committee – For

  • In favor of the bill, good public policy


Richard Deiotte, Self – For

  • 2 different narratives being heard, taxpayers want to be assured the appraisal system is fair when their home is valued substantially different from one across the street, while district supporters are saying things are working well with no issues
  • More transparency is badly needed and customer service needs to improve, this bill will greatly improve both of these areas

SB 63 left pending


SB 1245 (Perry) – Relating to the farm and ranch survey conducted by the comptroller for purposes of estimating the productivity value of qualified open-space land as part of the study of school district taxable values

  • Murr – Requires the Comptroller to create an instructional guide, delineates what would be apart of that instructional guide
  • Murphy – Are we just trying to get more people to report? Is that the goal of the bill?
  • That would be the goal, if Comptroller can provide additional instruction as well as an online video perhaps you could get above that 50% threshold and we would have a more realistic valuation of qualified open space land

SB 1245 left pending