Smith County Appraisal District taking applications for review board

Published on Monday, 16 December 2013 23:13 - Written by ADAM RUSSELL

Smith County Chief Appraiser Mike Barnett said the Appraisal District is seeking a cross-section of Smith County residents to serve on its review board.

The Smith County Appraisal District is taking applications from residents interested in serving on its Appraisal Review Board.

The Appraisal Review Board is responsible, by statute, for reviewing appraisal records and attending hearings where members will make determinations about taxpayer protests, motions to correct the appraisal roll and taxing entity challenges.

“We’re looking for independent men and women from a cross-section of our community to hear property owner complaints and make a decision based on the facts,” Barnett said. “We want the board to be able to look at issues from all points of view.”

Applications should be submitted for review by 241st District Court Judge Jack Skeen Jr. no later than Jan. 15, 2015.

The Appraisal Review Board includes seven regular board members and up to 15 auxiliary board members. Service on the review board will begin in January for two-year, staggered terms.

Barnett said the district already has received a number of applications.

“Having the board affords property taxpayers the ability to have their protest heard by independent review to determine market value because appraised value is always an opinion.”

Board members must be current Smith County residents who have lived in the county for at least two years. Applicants must be up to date on property tax payments or show they are being paid under an installment agreement. Applicants are ineligible to become board members if they have served three consecutive terms; if they are employed by the State Comptroller’s office or are a member of governing bodies, including the county, city, school districts, college districts, or any other entity supported by local property taxes.

Anyone who personally, or whose spouse personally, has a contract with a local government or the appraisal district or owns 10 percent or greater interest in a business contracted with tax supported entities also is prohibited from serving on the board.

Tax consultants, appraisers or individuals paid to represent property owners cannot apply for two years from the time of service. Current or former appraisal district employees and board of director members are not allowed to serve. Applicants who are under indictment or who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving “moral turpitude” are ineligible.

The majority of protest hearings occur during June and July and are conducted by three-member panels with periodic meetings of a quorum of the board. Typically, members are needed to serve on a panel three or four half-days per week during June and July. Meetings are scheduled as needed, approximately once a month, at other times of the year.

Applicants selected as finalists will be scheduled for interviews. Annual training is required for both new and returning members. Workshops are sponsored by the Texas Comptroller’s Office each spring.

Application forms are available at the tax office or online . Contact Taxpayer Liaison Officer Terence Haynes at 903-510-8600. Applications should be submitted to Judge Jack Skeen Jr. in care of SCAD Taxpayer Liaison Officer, 245 SSE Loop 323, Tyler, 75702.