The Appraisal Review Board Hearing
The Appraisal Review Board is separate from the appraisal district even though ARB hearings are held in the HCAD building. In fact, appraisal district employees and ARB members are allowed very little interaction, and ARB members are prohibited from discussing a property owner protest with anyone outside the hearing.
ARB members are Harris County citizens chosen by a state administrative judge. “The Role of the Appraisal Review Board” can be found under the VIDEOS tab above and could provide some helpful insight for you.
Property owners must check in at the front desk at least 15 minutes before their scheduled hearing. Tax consultants must check in 30 minutes before their scheduled hearing. If a property owner appears on time and the hearing doesn’t start within two hours, it will be postponed upon request.
When a hearing is ready to start, you are called and escorted to the hearing room. A description of the property is read and you must acknowledge its accuracy. Next you will be asked to state an opinion of value and to sign a disclosure form that you are providing truthful information at the hearing.
You and the appraiser exchange any evidence you plan to use in the hearing. You will then speak first to provide information supporting your position. ARB panel members and the appraiser may ask questions. Then the appraiser presents evidence in support of the appraisal district’s position and makes a final recommendation. Panel members may ask additional questions and you are invited to ask questions.
The ARB panel chair declares the testimony closed, the panel deliberates, makes a decision based on the issues protested, announces their decision for the record and the hearing is declared over. Finally, you will be given a printout of the panel’s final decision. However, the decision then must be approved before the full ARB at its monthly meeting before the decision becomes final.
Remember to bring at least FOUR copies of your evidence; one for each member of the ARB panel and one for the HCAD appraiser. Hearings generally are limited to approximately 15-20 minutes, so be prepared to present your testimony and evidence.
Examples of evidence you could bring include: problems with your house, such as a damaged roof or a cracked slab, or problems with your property such as frequent flooding or a fault line through the middle of your lot. Also, try to compare your home to other similar homes in your neighborhood. Remember if you bring photos, make sure you have paper copies and not digital photos because you won’t be able to pass around your smartphone photos in the time allotted.
Remember that the date of your appraisal is based on its value as of January 1 of this year, so you would be protesting the market value of your property as of that date. Any improvements or damage to your property after January 1 should not be part of the protest.
A Summary of ARB Hearings Procedures as well as the complete document ARB 2015 Hearing Rules and Procedures can be found under the “Resources” tab