<div>As thousands of Texans make ready for messy property tax appeals, they may be surprised to learn that no state agency has adopted the “2020-2021 Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.” The standards have been used by the state’s central appraisal districts (its county assessors) in the biennial mass appraisal of literally every piece of private real estate in Texas. State administrative law doesn’t allow an agency or board to enforce a private set of standards without a notice-and-comment rulemaking, and each specific version must be identified by a specific publication or revision date. See the column below in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. </div>
Without a required state rulemaking, the 2020-2021 USPAP has no more relevance to Texas state law than the bylaws of the Kiwanis Club of Houston. It’s unenforceable in the state and would likely not survive a challenge in the state courts.
Jim, I can tell you this: The Texas Appraiser Licensing & Certification Board Commissioner hasn’t submitted the “2020-2021 Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice” to a required notice-and-comment rulemaking pursuant to the procedures and standards set forth in the Texas Administrative Procedure Act (Texas Government Code § 2001.021).
Also, Title 1 of the Texas Administrative Code § 91.40 requires any state agency adopting by reference (ABR) a document into law to “note the revision date of the ABR information” and to “amend the rule to adopt a newer version of the ABR information” when the agency wishes to enforce a newer version. This requirement hasn’t been met either. Absent a required rulemaking, the “2020-2021 Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice” is simply not recognized by the State of Texas and would not likely be enforceable if challenged. Ditto, previous named versions of the standards.
It puts the tax rolls of every Texas county at risk. It deceives the state’s bank depositors, members of Texas credit unions and investors in certain land-secured bonds. The rogue behavior enables a tiny Beltway nonprofit to continually change and republish its private standards. The nonprofit has learned to monetize the arrangement.