Texas Attorney General Opinion: KP-0192 Page: 4 of 5
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Mr. Randall Rice - Page 4
recovery, some of whom are still not able to move back into their damaged homes.7 In construing
statutes, courts rely first and foremost on the plain meaning of a statute. Crosstex Energy Servs.,
L.P. v. Pro Plus, Inc., 430 S.W.3d 384, 389 (Tex. 2014). They may not correct omissions in
legislation by reading words into a statute that the Legislature did not include. R.R. Comm 'n of
Tex. v. Miller, 434 S.W.2d 670, 672 (Tex. 1968). Thus, a court would likely conclude that the Tax
Code requires a chief appraiser to provide notice to a property owner of a reappraisal when the
owner's property value decreases as a result of the disaster reappraisal.8
To the extent that providing such notice creates a hardship for hurricane victims to exercise
their rights to protest the new appraised value, taxing units should be advised of their ability to
request a suspension of the statutory appraisal protest deadlines. Government Code section
On request of a political subdivision, the governor may waive or
suspend a deadline imposed by a statute or the orders or rules of a
state agency on the political subdivision, including a deadline
relating to a budget or ad valorem tax, if the waiver or suspension is
reasonably necessary to cope with a disaster.
TEX. Gov'T CODE 418.016(e). Pursuant to his authority under section 418.016, the Governor
already proclaimed "any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business
or any order or rule of a state agency that would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary
action in coping with this disaster shall be suspended on written approval of the Office of the
Governor."9 The Governor likewise may suspend statutory deadlines applicable to political
subdivisions if reasonably necessary to cope with a disaster and if requested to do so by the
7Multiple briefs submitted in response to this request emphasize the hardship that property owners may have
in attempting to protest their new appraisals while continuing their disaster recovery. See Letter from Rob Henneke,
Gen. Counsel, Tex. Pub. Policy Found. at 3 (Nov. 17, 2017); Letter from Cheryl E. Johnson, Galveston Cty. Tax
Assessor Collector at 3 (Nov. 13, 2017) (briefs on file with the Op. Comm.). In some instances, the appraisal review
board will have discretion to accept protests after the deadline for filing has passed if the taxpayer shows good cause
for failure to file the notice of protest within the deadline. TEX. TAX CODE 41.44(b).
8Because you condition your third question on a negative answer to the second, we do not address it. See
Request Letter at 1.
9Tex. Gov. Proclamation No. 41-3567, 42 Tex. Reg. 6851, 6852 (2017), also available at
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: KP-0192, text, April 23, 2018; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1051242/m1/4/: accessed April 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.