The Pope Audit Group team has more than 24 years’ combined experience in the performance and submission of Taxable Value audits for school districts all over the state.
Taxable Value Audits are performed as described in the Texas Administrative Code Section 9.103 and processed through the Comptroller’s Property Tax Division and Texas Education Agency.
Taxable Value Audits are defined as an investigation or review made to determine if the certified property value study findings of a school district’s taxable property value under Government Code, Chapter 403, should be changed to correct clerical errors in the Comptroller’s records, and to reflect changes in local tax rolls that occurred after the school district’s most recent property value report to the Comptroller for the property value study year that is the subject of the audit request.
The school may receive additional funding as a result of the audit.
A reduction in the Comptroller’s Property Value study could result in additional state funding through the process of an annual taxable value audit. Taxable Value Audits are audits of school district’s total taxable value as certified by the Comptroller’s Property Tax Division. The purpose of the audit is to compare a district’s current appraisal roll to what was originally submitted for certification. There is at minimal a year difference in those values. If the audit reduces the district’s local value the district may receive additional school funding based on the lower value. Schools that are subject to recapture can also benefit from these types audits as they will reduce the amount of recapture that must be paid to the state.
The school has minimal effort during the process.
Once given approval, we order data from the Comptroller and the Appraisal District. If it is determined that the audit will benefit the school, the Superintendent must sign off on one form – Request for School District Taxable Value Audit 50-302. Our firm then gathers data, processes the audit, and serves as agent for the district with the Comptroller and Texas Education Agency and keeps the district up to date throughout the entire process.
Taxable Value Audits occur after values are FINALIZED which occurs on our around July 1st each year. The appeal process is structured to allow your district to argue an assigned value (state, grace year one, grace year two). The audit process audits the LOCAL assigned value once it is certified as final.
An appeal is when a district gets assigned an unfair value and they need to appeal those findings. An audit simply allows ALL schools across the state to update the values the Comptroller has to match what is current resulting in additional state funding if the values can be lowered.
The law allows every school to go back three years. We usually start by going back to the final year they allow. For now, this would be the 2014 audit.
Once we receive all data, our firm can tell if the audit will benefit the school. When then require a completed contract, and formalize the audit findings in the required Comptroller format. Once submitted to the Comptroller, law allows them 180 days to process the audit. Once they process the audit they issue a preliminary finding.
This finding allows us to agree with values as adjusted. Once we agree with the preliminary finding, a waiver is completed to bypass the 40 day waiting period and a final is issued to TEA.
TEA does not have a set deadline, but on average, they take from 3-6 months to update the SOF to reflect the additional funding adjustment. It takes about 8 months to a year from the start of the audit to the receipt of additional funding.
Overall major category appraised values such as Category A or Category F and L may have increased, but it is also likely that your exemptions and deductions have increased as well which equals a reduction in TAXABLE value, not just appraised value.
For districts subject to recapture, and audit can lower the amount of recapture that is owed therefore resulting in additional money saved.