Recent Texas Attorney General Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included opinions are from April 11, 2018 through May 10, 2018.

Opinion No. KP-0192 (Post-Disaster Reappraisal): Pursuant to Subsection 23.02(c) of the Tax Code, a taxing unit authorizing a disaster reappraisal must pay the appraisal district all the costs of making the reappraisal. Appraisal districts may not capitalize on a disaster by requesting additional funds from taxing units for expenses the appraisal district would incur regardless of the disaster. To the extent that an appraisal district incurs additional costs resulting from a disaster reappraisal, it may require participating taxing units to fund those extraordinary expenses.

Section 25.19 of the Tax Code requires a chief appraiser to deliver a written notice to the owner of each property that was reappraised in the current tax year. The legislature made no exception to this requirement for disaster reappraisals conducted pursuant to Section 23.02 of the Tax Code. Thus, a court would likely conclude that a chief appraiser must provide notice to a property owner of a reappraisal when the owner’s property value decreases as a result of the disaster reappraisal.

Opinion No. KP-0190 (TCEQ Permits): Section 382.112 of the Health and Safety Code requires the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to consider a local government’s recommendation on a standard permitting determination only to the extent that the recommendation concerns the statutory and administrative requirements of the Texas Clean Air Act. A court would likely conclude the TCEQ is precluded from considering local zoning, land use, and other ordinances in standard permitting decisions made under Section 382.05198. The TCEQ could likewise be precluded from considering local zoning, land use, and other ordinances on standard permitting decisions made under Section 382.05195 if a court construed such an action as invalid, arbitrary, or unreasonable.