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TITLE 34PUBLIC FINANCE
PART 1COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
CHAPTER 9PROPERTY TAX ADMINISTRATION
SUBCHAPTER LPROCEDURES FOR PROTESTING COMPTROLLER PROPERTY VALUE STUDY AND AUDIT FINDINGS
RULE §9.4309Insufficient Grounds for Objection

(a) Any petition or ground for objection that does not comply with §9.4308 of this title (relating to Contents of Petition) does not adequately specify the grounds for objection as required by Government Code, §403.303(a) and may be rejected by the division director without further review by the division.

(b) If the division director determines that a petition or ground for objection asserted in a petition does not comply with §9.4308 of this title, the division will notify the petitioner that the petition or ground for objection has been rejected pursuant to this section. No additional information or evidence may be submitted by a petitioner after a determination of rejection has been made by the division director. Grounds for objection, if any, that have not been rejected will be processed as otherwise set forth in this subchapter. The division's agreement as to requested relief sought by way of a ground for objection is deemed final resolution of that ground for objection. Consequently, if all grounds for objection in a petition other than those that have been rejected have been deemed finally resolved by agreement, the petitioner may request referral of rejected issues in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section applicable to a petition rejected in its entirety.

(c) If a petition is rejected in its entirety as set forth in this section, the petitioner may request referral of the rejection to State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) within seven calendar days of the date that the division sends petitioner notice of the rejection. Upon timely written request to the division, a copy of the petition will be referred to SOAH with notice that the petition has been rejected pursuant to this subchapter and a request to docket. Following receipt of the referral, SOAH shall assign the case a docket number and assign an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The petitioner shall not be permitted to submit any additional information or evidence for consideration by the ALJ. No oral hearing will be held. The ALJ shall consider the petition and make a determination as to each ground for objection included in the petition as to whether or not such ground for objection complies with §9.4308 of this title. If the ALJ determines that a ground for objection does not comply with §9.4308 of this title, the ALJ shall, within ten business days after referral, issue a proposal for decision to the deputy comptroller that the ground for objection be rejected. If the ALJ determines that a ground for objection does comply with §9.4308 of this title, the ALJ shall, within ten business days after referral, issue a proposal for decision to the deputy comptroller stating the ALJ's recommendation as to the decision on such ground for objection. The decision must specify the specific change to the study findings the ALJ recommends and the change must be based solely on the ground for objection set forth in the petition. A ground for objection that does not comply with §9.4308 of this title will not provide the ALJ with sufficient information to identify a specific change to the study findings. An ALJ will forward a copy of the record to the deputy comptroller with any proposal for decision. After receiving the ALJ's proposal for decision and the record, the deputy comptroller shall issue a final decision.

(d) An ALJ's proposal for decision issued pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall include the ALJ's recommendations for final decision and the rationale supporting such recommendations.

(e) The ALJ shall serve a proposal for decision issued pursuant to subsection (c) of this section on the deputy comptroller, the petitioner, and the division director by facsimile, electronic mail, hand delivery, or overnight mail delivery service. An ALJ will forward a copy of the record to the deputy comptroller with any proposal for decision.

(f) A party to the protest that is adversely affected by a proposal for decision issued pursuant to subsection (c) of this section may, within seven calendar days after the date the proposed decision is sent by facsimile, electronic mail, hand delivery or is delivered to an overnight delivery service, file with the deputy comptroller exceptions to the proposal for decision. Exceptions filed pursuant to this subsection shall be filed with the comptroller's Special Counsel for Tax Hearings by facsimile or hand delivery and shall on the same date be served on all other parties to the protest by facsimile, hand delivery, or email. If exceptions are filed, all other parties may, within seven calendar days after the date the exceptions are filed, file replies to the exceptions. Replies filed pursuant to this subsection shall be filed with the comptroller's Special Counsel for Tax Hearings by facsimile or hand delivery and shall on the same date be served on all other parties to the protest by facsimile, hand delivery or email.

(g) The deputy comptroller shall issue a final order on a proposal for decision issued pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and, in doing so, may adopt, amend, or reject the ALJ's proposal for decision. A decision is final on the date signed by the deputy comptroller. The deputy comptroller shall deliver written notice of the final decision to each party to the protest.

(h) If one or more, but not all, of the grounds for objection included in a petition are rejected as set forth in this section, the grounds for objection that have not been rejected will be processed as set forth in this subchapter. After the parties have completed the prehearing stages of review, recommendation, submission of evidence, and informal conference on the grounds for objection that have not been rejected and the petitioner has the opportunity to request referral to SOAH, petitioner may, at the same time and in the same manner as grounds for objection that have not been rejected, request referral to SOAH of rejected grounds for objection. The request for referral to SOAH of rejected grounds for objection must be included in petitioner's request for referral to SOAH of grounds for objection that were not rejected. As to grounds for objection that have been rejected, the provisions of subsections (c) - (g) of this section will control. As to grounds for objection that have not been rejected, the remaining provisions of this subchapter will control.


Source Note: The provisions of this §9.4309 adopted to be effective January 26, 2011, 36 TexReg 268; amended to be effective January 9, 2013, 38 TexReg 150

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