A person claiming that his land is eligible for appraisal as provided by this subchapter must file a valid application with the chief appraiser.
To be valid, the application must:
be on a form provided by the appraisal office and prescribed by the comptroller; and
contain the information necessary to determine the validity of the claim.
The comptroller shall include on the form a notice of the penalties prescribed by Section 37.10 (Tampering With Governmental Record), Penal Code, for making or filing an application containing a false statement. The comptroller, in prescribing the contents of the application form, shall require that the form permit a claimant who has previously been allowed appraisal under this subchapter to indicate that previously reported information has not changed and to supply only the eligibility information not previously reported.
The form must be filed before May 1. However, for good cause the chief appraiser may extend the filing deadline for not more than 60 days.
If a person fails to file a valid application on time, the land is ineligible for appraisal as provided by this subchapter for that year. Once an application is filed and appraisal under this subchapter is allowed, the land is eligible for appraisal under this subchapter in subsequent years without a new application unless the ownership of the land changes or its eligibility under this subchapter ends. However, the chief appraiser if he has good cause to believe the land’s eligibility under this subchapter has ended, may require a person allowed appraisal under this subchapter in a prior year to file a new application to confirm that the land is currently eligible under this subchapter by delivering a written notice that a new application is required, accompanied by the application form, to the person who filed the application that was previously allowed.
The appraisal office shall make a sufficient number of printed application forms readily available at no charge.
Each year the chief appraiser for each appraisal district shall publicize, in a manner reasonably designed to notify all residents of the district, the requirements of this section and the availability of application forms.
A person whose land is allowed appraisal under this subchapter shall notify the appraisal office in writing before May 1 after eligibility of the land under this subchapter ends. If a person fails to notify the appraisal office as required by this subsection a penalty is imposed on the property equal to 10 percent of the difference between the taxes imposed on the property in each year it is erroneously allowed appraisal under this subchapter and the taxes that would otherwise have been imposed.
The chief appraiser shall make an entry in the appraisal records for the property against which the penalty is imposed indicating liability for the penalty and shall deliver a written notice of imposition of the penalty to the person who owns the property. The notice shall include a brief explanation of the procedures for protesting the imposition of the penalty. The assessor for each taxing unit that imposed taxes on the property on the basis of appraisal under this subchapter shall add the amount of the penalty to the unit’s tax bill for taxes on the property against which the penalty is imposed. The penalty shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as the taxes on the property against which the penalty is imposed. The amount of the penalty constitutes a lien on the property against which the penalty is imposed and accrues penalty and interest in the same manner as a delinquent tax.
If the chief appraiser discovers that appraisal under this subchapter has been erroneously allowed in any one of the five preceding years because of failure of the person whose land was allowed appraisal under this subchapter to give notice that its eligibility had ended, the chief appraiser shall add the difference between the appraised value of the land under this subchapter and the market value of the land to the appraisal roll as provided by Section 25.21 (Omitted Property) of this code for other property that escapes taxation.Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2262, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 146, ch. 13, Sec. 74, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 6, Sec. 27, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 579, Sec. 6, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.