Anyone who has filed a complaint with the Board of Revision to contest the value of their property or who has acquired property at a price over the County appraised value has likely encountered counsel for their local school district at their Board of Revision hearing. Indeed, School boards often contract with law firms that focus on property valuation matters to actively review property values within a given district and to take action to ensure appropriate valuations are imposed. This activity led to the introduction of House Bill 126 last year, which sought to limit or at least regulate a School District’s ability to challenge a property tax value by requiring the School District first to pass a resolution to proceed with the challenge and notify affected property owners. The Bill passed the House and moved on to the Senate, where a significant amendment was added to the Senate version of the Bill; Substitute House Bill 126 now prohibits a School District from initiating a challenge against a property in its District and also prohibits a Board of Education from appealing a decision rendered by the Board of Revision to the Board of Tax Appeals. A School District can still file a countercomplaint to a property owner-initiated challenge, but the proposed Bill would essentially take a sword away from School Districts and leave them simply with a shield; the ability to file a counterclaim to a property owner-initiated complaint.
The Bill returns to the House for approval of the amended version or Committee referral to reconcile the changes. Should the Amended Bill pass, it would represent a significant change in how cases can be brought before the Board of Revision by Local School Districts.
Pickrel, Schaeffer, and Ebeling Co., L.P.A. will follow this legislation to see how the House responds.
If you have questions or want to discuss this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mike Sandner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937.223.1130.