Members of the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) say public service, not a paycheck, motivates them to listen day after day to citizen protests regarding values, exemptions and other matters.
Fort Bend County Administrative District Judge James Shoemake is seeking applicants to fill a large number of upcoming vacancies on the appraisal review board now as the appointments must be made by January 1. Training of new members will begin in early 2014 with protests beginning in May.
The Appraisal Review Board is intended to be an informal jury-like tribunal that hears taxpayer challenges to the value, exemptions and other matters that the professional appraisers of the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District (FBCAD) assign to properties. The ARB members typically break into five to nine panels of three members each to hear protests. There are between 15,000 and 28,000 cases to be heard from early May through July.
Judge Shoemake is concerned with having ARB members representative of all areas and ethnicities of the county. If some spots go unfilled, it can lead to delays in finalizing the appraisal rolls for local governments. The Property Tax Code requires that the appraisal records are certified by July 20, or as soon thereafter as practical.
PTC § 41.12 (b) “The appraisal review board must complete substantially all timely filed protests before approving the appraisal records and may not approve the records if the sum of the appraised values, as determined by the chief appraiser, of all properties on which a protest has been filed but not determined is more than five percent of the total appraised value of all other taxable properties.”