General Policy & Policies for Public Access
The Hays Central Appraisal District (HCAD), by law, appraises taxable property for the benefit of the county, cities, school districts and special districts that set tax rates and levy property taxes within District boundaries.
HCAD does not set tax rates or collect taxes. The District appraises more than 98,750 property parcels annually. The legislature has determined that an appraisal district’s primary function is to appraise property for property tax purposes. The District also administers exemptions and special appraisals and determines the taxable situs of property. The Chief Administrative Officer of the Appraisal District is the Chief Appraiser.
The governing body of HCAD is the Appraisal District’s Board of Directors. The law also authorises an Appraisal Review Board to be appointed, which hears property owners protests regarding values.
Board of Directors
A Board of seven directors governs the Appraisal District. Board members select and hire the Chief Appraiser, adopt the annual District budget, and ensure the District follows policies and procedures required by law. The Board of Directors does not appraise property or make decisions affecting the appraisal records.
At each regularly scheduled meeting, the Chairman of the Board of Directors will welcome the visitors and will allow up to five (5) minutes for each visitor to address the Board. Anyone wishing to address the Board is requested to sign-in and identify the topic or agenda item they wish to discuss.
The Chief Appraiser may delegate authority to District employees, as necessary. The Chief Appraiser and his/her staff appraise the properties in the District. Property owner concerns about property appraisal should be discussed with the Appraisal District staff. Concerns that cannot be resolved at the staff level should be addressed by written protest to the Appraisal Review Board.
Appraisal Review Board
The Appraisal Review Board (ARB) by law is responsible for hearing and resolving protests from property owners concerning appraisal of their properties. The ARB members are by statute not employees of the Appraisal District, including the Board of Directors. They typically are county property owners selected by the Board of Directors to serve two year terms. The Appraisal Review Board’s duties and a property owner’s rights to protest the appraisal of their property are more thoroughly explained in the pamphlets entitled Property Taxpayer Remedies at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/remedy12 and the Appraisal Review Board Manual at www.windows.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax.
Public Access to the Board of Directors
It is the policy of the Board of Directors to provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to address the Board concerning the polices and procedures of the Appraisal District and on any other issues within the Board’s jurisdiction. Generally, the Board’s statutory duties and jurisdictions involve:
- Adopting the District’s annual budget
- Contracting for necessary services
- Hiring the Chief Appraiser and assigning responsibilities to the position
- Making general policy regarding the operation of the District
- Appointing Appraisal Review Board members
Non-english speaking persons are encouraged to provide a personal interpreter. If a person cannot provide an interpreter, the District will attempt to arrange for interpreting assistance provided a written request is submitted to the Chief Appraiser at least three (3) business days in advance of the meeting.
Access by Disabled Persons
District Facilities allow access by disabled individuals. Handicapped parking spaces are available at the side parking lot of the District office. Individuals who need additional assistance for entry or access should notify the District at least three (3) business days in advance of the meeting.
The Chief Appraiser and Property Appraisals
The Chief Appraiser is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Appraisal District. The Chief Appraiser is the only employee of the Board and is selected and hired by the Board, and is directly accountable to the Board in the discharge of his/her duties and responsibilities. All other personnel of the Appraisal District are employed by and accountable to the Chief Appraiser.
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