FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/09/2011
Rep. Gutierrez passes Taxpayer Relief Amendment
AUSTIN- Today, Representative Roland Gutierrez (Bexar) passed the Taxpayer Relief Amendment to House Bill 274, the loser-pays bill, requiring County Appraisal Districts to reimburse one hundred percent of attorney fees to taxpayers who contest their property tax appraisals and win.
"My amendment will give relief to all taxpayers in the state of Texas by ensuring fairness to the process." Gutierrez remarked. Under current law, a taxpayer may hire an attorney to appeal the appraisal of their business or personal property. If the court sides with the plaintiff, then the tax appraisal district is only required to reimburse ten percent of the plaintiff's court fees.
Gutierrez's amendment was added on to HB 274 on third reading today before final passage in the House. HB 274 has been contentious legislation that attempts to prevent frivolous lawsuits in the state of Texas by requiring that losers pay for the full costs of the court case. After the bill died on a point of order late last week, Governor Perry declared this issue as an emergency item. In uncommon practice, the House passed HB 274 through second reading on Saturday without debate or amendments.
The Taxpayer Relief Amendment passed with bi-partisan support on a vote of 100-45.