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Spring 2011

The Magazine of the Texas Association of Assessing Officers •

Inside: See what the "Buzz is on this year's conference • • • •

Early Bird Registration 72nd TAAO & ICTA Conference ................ page 17 2011 TAAO Annual Golf Tournament Registration ..................... page 19 2011 Marillyn Albert Achievement Award ........................... page 23 2011 CTA of the Year Nominations ..................................... page 24


CONTENTS departments & more


2010-2011 TAAO Board of Directors


President’s Page


TAAO Membership Registration


Say What? The Rules of Statutory Construction


Why a CTA?

10-11 Bills! Bills! Bills! 13-14 Training: A Wise Investment with a Big Payoff 15

TAAO 2011 Course Schedule


TAAO 2011 State Certification Course Registration


Early Bird Registration 72nd TAAO & ICTA Conference


Early Bird Registration Form


2011 TAAO Annual Golf Tournament Registration

21-22 Cease to Complain 23

2011 Marillyn Albert Achievement Award


2011 CTA of the Year Nominations

25 -26 Walter Stoneham Scholarship 27

TAAO Remember When


TAAO News & Notes


TAAO Employment Opportunities

SAVE THE FOLLOWING DATES: April 29-30, 2011................ Board Meeting, Omni Corpus Christi August 27, 2011.................. Spring Boards, Omni Corpus Christi August 28-30, 2011............. 72nd Annual TAAO & ICTA Conference Omni Corpus Christi November 11-12, 2011......... Fall Leadership at Omni South Park in Austin

TAN Magazine Winner of the IAAO 2006 Zangerle Award Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


2011 TAAO Board of Directors

Front row from left: Jeanmarie Baer - Region 9 Director, Curby Brantley – Immediate Past President, Laurie Payton – President, Patricia Davis – President Elect, Marianne Smith – Region 6 Director, Janice Gangawer - Region 4 Director Back row from left: Windy Nash – Region 8 Director, Eddie Carter – Region 1 Director, Tylene Gamble - ICTA Chair, David Pennington – Vice-President, Elisa Hand – Secretary/Treasurer, Carolyn Allen – Region 11 Director, David Flores – Region 10 Director, Frutoso Gomez, Jr. – Region 5 Director Not pictured: Eva Bush – Region 3 Director, Manny Natividad – Region 2 Director, Geraldine Hull – Region 7 Director

Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


TAAO Leadership TAN

2010 - 2011 TAAO Board of Directors


TAAO 1524 S. IH-35, Suite 235 Austin, TX 78704 Phone: 512-926-2511 Fax: 512-926-2920

Laurie Payton, RTA President

Eva Bush, CTA Region 3 Director

David Pennington, RPA Vice President

Janice Gangawer, RTA Region 4 Director

Tylene Gamble, CTA, RPA, RTA ICTA Chair

Frutoso Gomez, Jr. Region 5 Director

Patricia Davis, CTA President-Elect

Marianne Smith, RTA, CTA Region 6 Director

Elisa Hand, RTA, CTA Secretary-Treasurer

Geraldine Hull, RPA, RTA,CTA Region 7 Director

Curby Brantley, CTA Immediate Past President

Windy Nash, RPA, CTA Region 8 Director

Eddie Carter, CTA Region 1 Director

Jeanmarie Baer Region 9 Director

Manny Natividad Region 2 Director

David Flores Region 10 Director

Managing Editor Executive Director Kara Bryant Lulu Mendoza Office Manager Shane Greb Education Manager Hector R. Meza Graphic Design & Layout

scott epperson:Layout 1

Carolyn Allen, RPA, CTA Region 11 Director


7:44 AM

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Scott Epperson, CIC

The Encompass Suite

Field Services Manager

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Advertisements do not imply endorsement of a firm’s products or services by TAAO.

Spring 2011

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Editorial articles are accepted for publication, but do not imply an opinion on the part of TAAO. TAN Magazine reserves the right to refuse or edit any articles submitted for publication.

TAAO does not issue or advocate opinions on political issues, but rather disseminates timely information regarding legislative activity from which individual members may form their own opinions.

TAN Magazine


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Spring is in the Air! by Laurie Payton, President

Spring is finally here! Everything is blooming and if you’re like me you are enjoying outdoors and watching everything coming into bloom. The 82nd Legislature is currently in session. My parents always said, “If you can’t say anything good, say nothing at all.” That being said, we should always strive to be available to provide accurate information to our representatives.


TAAO President

As we come closer to the Annual Conference in August, we need to direct our attention to the upcoming regional and state level elections that will guide the makeup of our leadership, as well as, nominating those individuals for the awards to be given out. You will soon be getting information concerning election of your TAAO Executive Board members for 2011-2012. Anyone interested in joining the Executive Board as the new Secretary/Treasurer who has the current qualifications to hold the position, should contact Curby Brantley, Immediate Past President and Chair of the Nominating Committee. All of the odd-numbered regions will need to meet within their chapters and hold elections for a new Regional Director for the 2011-2013 term. These elections need to take place by MAY 15th. Please review the TAAO Bylaws Article VII (7.2.2) for the specific requirements. Regional Directors, please talk to all of your chapters about nominating candidates for the 2011 Marilyn Albert Award and the 2011 CTA of the Year Award. Applications and instruction are currently on our website. Nominations must be received no later than July 1st. The 2011 Memorial Scholarship is also available and must be received no later than June 3rd. This year we expect to give out multiple scholarships to help pay for education courses, every one expecting to take classes between this conference and next are highly encouraged to apply. The amount of the scholarship and the number will be determined at the upcoming Spring Leadership Meeting. I have listened to several appraisers and this year we are excited to provide a USPAP Refresher Course before the start of the Annual Conference. The course will be held Saturday, August 27, 2011 in the Bay View Room at the Corpus Christi Omni Bayfront Tower and will be instructed by Guy Griscom. Registration cost is $75. Registration is limited to the first 50 people who send in registration and payment. As of this writing there are only 30 spots left! The TAAO Spring Leadership Meeting will be held April 29-30th, 2011. For detail information on this event, please visit . I hope to see you there. All of our committees have been hard at work. As part of my agenda, I have recently had the pleasure of attending a joint Capital and Alamo chapters meeting and I am looking forward to visiting the Northwest Central Chapter later this month. Again, I thank you for your dedication and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Spring 2011


TAN Magazine



Professional Information

First Name: _________________________ Middle Initial: _____ Last Name: ________________________ Nick Name: ________ Employer: ______________________________________ Position: _________________________ # of Years in Industry: _______ Mailing Address: _________________________________ City: ______________________ State: _____ Postal Code: _________ E-mail: _______________________________________________ Phone: ________________ ext. ____ Fax: _________________ TPE Number: __________________ How did you learn about TAAO? _________________________________________________________________________________ Recommended by: ____________________________________________________________________________________________


Membership Categories Active Member


Membership Expires September 30, 2011

Any Ad Valorem Tax Assessor, Tax Collector, Chief Appraiser, Deputy or any agent of a governmental body employed by contract or any employee of an appraisal district or tax office in the State, whether appointed or elected to office, who works for taxing entities on a permanent basis, who receives the majority of his or her salary through taxing units and who subscribes to the Code of Ethics adopted by the members of this Corporation, shall be eligible to become an Active Member of the Corporation.

Affiliate Member


Membership Expires September 30, 2011

Any person employed or previously employed by or working primarily with any local or state governmental body or educational institution or a person who is interested in ad valorem taxation, but does not qualify as an Active Member, shall be eligible to become an Affiliate Member.



Check only if you have already been inducted into ICTA.




Make checks payable to TAAO and mail to: TAAO 1524 S IH 35, Suite 235 Austin, TX 78704 Questions? Contact: Lulu Mendoza Phone: (512) 926-2511 ext. 11 Fax (512) 926-2920 Email: Spring 2011

Amount Enclosed: $ __________________

TAN Magazine


Say What?

The Rules of Statutory Construction Bruce Medley, Tax Attorney Committee Chair This time of year when the Leg is in session, many of us open up our computers and check on proposed new legislation. After having done so, most of us scratch our heads and wonder what on earth is going on, because we cannot figure out the how or why of the proposal. Hopefully, after reading this, it will become clear that there is a method to the madness (or is that madness to the method).

Tax Attorney Committee Chair

Bruce Medley

As to the confusion, you must keep in mind that Travis County has one of the highest lawyer per capita ratio in the state – that can’t be conducive to clarity. We members of the second oldest profession are fond of using what we call “terms of art”. A “term of art” is a term or phrase that does not exactly correspond to its plain English meaning - its meaning is derived from years, if not centuries, of legal opinions. Examples include “hearsay”, “relevance”, “consideration” and “party”. (And no, the word “is” is not a term of art). The Legislators themselves, as well as their staffs, are a mixture of lawyers and non-lawyers (what we lawyers like to call laymen [term of art]). This can result in hodge-podge and gobbledygook [not terms of art]. Luckily, the Legislature has given us some basic rules of statutory construction that are also used by the Courts. Remember that a statute does not mean what we think it means or even what the Legislature thinks it means, it means what the Courts say it means. The Code Construction Act, Chapter 311 of the Government Code, has several guidelines useful in interpreting statutes although they themselves may seem confusing – i.e. singular includes plural, present tense includes future tense, and masculine includes feminine. The main guidelines (at least to me) to remember are as follows: �

Plain English Rules? – Statutory language is to be interpreted using plain English meanings (unless it clearly includes a term of art) Keep it in Context – the meaning of a Statute must be interpreted as it exists alongside other laws – everything must be read to give meaning to the whole, if possible. Been There, Done That – statutes always work forward unless clearly meant to be retroactive. The Needs of the Many … - if there are multiple ways to interpret a statute, the law favors those interpretations that benefit the public interest over private interests. I Don’t Care What You Thought You Did – legislative intent may be considered if the statute is not clear on its face. Last In First Out – Conflicts between statutes are resolved in favor of the last one passed (the former language is considered to be repealed by implication). This is even true if the conflict arises in the same session – the statute latest in date of enactment controls.

With these rules, as you can see, all statutes can now be understood clearly and effectively. Unless, the Code Construction Act, itself, is subject to interpretation (which it is – it recognizes that Courts have additional rules of construction that aren’t included). And so, if you now understand these rules and how to use them, my advice is to think seriously about law school, public office, and/or consultation with a mental health professional.

Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


Why a CTA?

by Tylene Gamble, CTA, RPA, RTA With all the changes in registration and education rules, I’ve had this question asked, “Why do I need a CTA? It’s not recognized!” This is really the first time I’ve had that question. Some seem to think the CTA designation has changed meaning with the TDLR transition. That is not the case. The same was true when our registration was with BTPE. It was not a required designation to perform your duties. However, that board was made of our peers who recognized first hand the importance of further education and learning all you could about the system.

ICTA Chair

Tylene Gamble

TDLR has done a great job with such a massive transition. But, remember, they haven’t had the time for hands on property tax experience to be able to relate to the dedication it takes to achieve membership in the ICTA. Bottom line, the CTA designation is not required for TDLR, nor was it required with BTPE. So there has been no change in regard to recognition for CTA membership……… So again, why would you need a CTA designation? I believe there are different answers to that question. The answer would be different depending on where you are in your career, what type of employment you are in or if you are seeking employment, or speaking as an expert in the field. I know my answers first hand and would like to share them. Many years ago… I had just gotten my RPA and was preparing for the Level IV RTA. One of my Mentors, who I respected in the profession, told me I needed to get my CTA. That was good enough for me. If people important to me deemed it necessary and valuable I trusted that. After all, they had been in this business long enough to know, so I got my CTA. At the time, it was just another piece of paper for the wall. However, over time my CTA has taken on new meaning for me. I’ve found that having a CTA describes more of who I AM while my RPA or RTA license is just about what I DO. Think about it this way; in high school were UIL events, in debate, sports or state meets, a requirement for graduation? No, but it sure helped to fill in the blanks on college admissions and scholarship applications. What about in college, did your degree plan list sororities/fraternities or clubs as requirements for a degree: probably not. But there was value in networking, building lifelong connections or being part of associations. College admissions were looking to learn more about WHO you were than just WHAT you did. As an employer looking to fill an RPA or RTA position, having a CTA tells me more about you than your RPA or RTA Certification. For example, it tells me, you have a willingness to learn, are eager to go “over and beyond” the minimum requirements, you are career oriented and not just job hunting and you are well-versed in all aspects of Property Tax System. In our field, a CTA designation also lends insight to help overcome obstacles in working with your assessor/collector or appraisal staff or legislators. A CTA can see from all angles, not just a single position. As you progress through your career, having the CTA could open more doors than just RPA (how many CADs in Texas?) or just a RTC/RTA. So, I may not have all the answers to “Why get a CTA?” but I know it defines me. Ask any CTA how important it is for them, I’m sure they have a story to share.

Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


Bills! Bills! Bills!

By Windy Nash, 2011 Government Relations Chair No, I’m not talking about the bills you pay (at least not directly..) but the bills that have been entered so far during this 82nd Legislative Session. The final day to file new bills was March 11, 2011 and the final tally of all bills filed was just above 6,000!

2011 Government Relations Chair


I am currently tracking 313 Bills of that total 6,000 that pertain to our industry. These tracked bills are classified in different categories for my ease of reference, and it’s interesting that in a time of an extremely down economy, destitute school districts, and over stretched budgets, the largest category of bills falls under exemptions. For example, multiple bills (19 total including constitutional amendments) have been filed purely for the purpose of extending the disabled veterans exemption to surviving spouses. All of the senate bills were left pending in committee and the house bills have yet to have their hearing but, based on the number of bills filed, at least one of these bills will make it to the governor’s desk and become law. There have been several interesting exemption bills filed that warrant attention. Just to list a few of the subjects involved; the exemption of all residential properties, the phasing out of taxes for homesteads owned by those over 65 years of age beginning in 2017, the ability to receive two homestead exemptions, resetting the over 65 freeze to the 2011 value if the value is lower than the current freeze, and the exemption for the M&O portion of the school district tax rate for adults. There was however, one brave house representative who filed a bill that completely does away with all exemptions. I can guess where that bill will end up. Appraisal Caps also seem to be a real hot button in the legislature this year. None of the bills filed in the House have had a hearing yet, and the Senate versions filed were left pending in committee but, based on gossip circulated, we can expect at least one of these bills to pass this year. While different versions do different things, the version that seems to be making the biggest headway is the Senate bill that lowers the homestead cap from 10% to 5% with no election needed to accomplish the reduction. As an employee of an appraisal district I have no opinion on Appraisal Caps however, as a homeowner, I am highly opposed to them. They shift the tax burden and create deficits in value than can never be recovered. This is the reason I feel that other bills filed (capping all commercial and industrial property at 10% and capping ALL real property at 5%) would be extremely harmful to Texas. If you want to see the effects of this type of bill, just look at our California and Florida neighbors. And off my soapbox I come…….. Appraisal District Operations Bills are in high demand this year and include the following topics; popular election of the CAD board of directors, popular election

Continued on next page Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


Bills! Bills! Bills! continued from page 10 of the Chief Appraiser, litigation against appraisal districts, restrictions on attorney representation for the ARB and the Board of Directors, mandating the software that can be used by appraisal districts for appraising property, and the creation of a protest officer who will mediate ARB hearings between the property owner and the ARB. I’m not sure how far these bills will go in the process, but it looks as though election of any officer of the appraisal district is not well supported and currently most of these bills are assigned to a committee but have yet to have their day in court.

2011 Government Relations Chair


Several bills also appear to offer positive changes to the Collection and Appraisal process. There have been two bills filed that allow Tax offices , Appraisal Districts, and ARBs to send notices and orders through electronic means to taxpayers requesting them. These bills will save major dollars in mailing fees alone, and will aid with the efficiency of all organizations. There are also bills that allow changes to the amount of interest on refunds that taxing jurisdictions pay which makes them more equitable with other areas of the economy. Many collection bills are now circulating that change everything from how tax bills are mailed to the calculation of tax rates, rollback rates, and school district funding. Most of these bills carry a very heavy fiscal note and it seems that only the strongest will have a chance of making it through the process. In order to keep this article interesting (wow is that a stretch) I want to clue everyone in on some bills that I find interesting just because……well……they just are. There’s the bill that prohibits a hospital district from using tax proceeds to perform abortions or the bill that establishes an income tax for individuals making more than $150,000. Or, the bill that prohibits the legislature from passing anything resulting in an unfunded mandate without providing a means for funding. The state property tax bill is also raising eyebrows. But let’s not forget the two best bills filed this session that abolish all property taxes (one by 2012 and one by 2014) with an increase to sales tax to cover the difference! While I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the 313 bills that I am currently following, I will end my article before you fall asleep while reading this. I’m also sure that by the time this article goes to print, most of this information will have changed. So, if you would like the most up-to-date and complete legislative play-by-play, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at to be added to my daily legislative update list, or you can view the complete list of bills from the TAAO website at The session ends May 30, 2011. So, until that day comes, don’t forget the wise words of Barber B. Conable Jr., “Exhaustion and exasperation are frequently the handmaidens of legislative decision.”

Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


Training: A Wise Investment with a Big Payoff By Elisa H. Hand, RTA, CTA, CSTA The right employee training, development and education, at the right time, provides big payoffs for the employer in increased productivity, knowledge, loyalty, and contribution. Identifying approaches that best suit your employee’s ability to learn will guarantee your training brings a return on your investment.

Education Committee Chair

Elisa Hand

Licensing, certification, continuing education, and training to retain and grow skills are becoming increasingly important. With this investment of hours and dollars in training, organizations need to make certain their investments in training are wise. Important Aspects of Training How training needs are determined, how training is viewed by employees, and how training is delivered become critically important issues. Training trends and methods for gaining knowledge, other than traditional classroom training, such as coaching and mentoring, take center stage. It’s also important to vary your training so that it appeals to all generations. Keep in mind that Gen- Xer’s and Millennial’s have grown up with technology; whereas, Boomers may be at ease with a traditional classroom setting. New employee orientation is a significant factor in helping new employees hit the ground running. Training that helps each employee grow their skills and knowledge to better perform their current job is appreciated as a benefit. Training also increases employee loyalty, and thus retention, and helps you attract the best possible employees. Continued training ensures that employees are confident and can maintain the knowledge to serve the public and their organization to the best of their ability. Below are some approaches that will guarantee a return on your investment and ensure employee loyalty. With the current budgetary constraints most offices are facing, governing bodies are increasingly asking for monetary justification that the training provided produces results. Customer feedback regarding a well trained staff goes a long way to satisfy their concerns. Options for Training and Education for Employees Options for employee training and development are rapidly increasing due to these factors: • • • • •

Spring 2011

legislation technological innovations employee retention strategies the need for organizations to constantly develop their employees’ ability to do more with less

Continued on next page TAN Magazine


Training: A Wise Investment with a Big Payoff continued from page 13 So, sending an employee off for training at a one-day seminar or a week-long workshop is only one of many options that exist now. Options for Employee Training and Development When you think about education, training, and development, options exist externally, internally, and online. Choices range from seminars to conferences to mentoring programs. Here are the existing alternatives to help your employees continue to grow. For recruiting, retention, and managing change and continuous improvement, it’s a good idea to maintain a balance of all of these practices within your organization. External Education, Training, and Development

Education Committee Chair

Elisa Hand

• • •

Seminars, workshops, and classes come in every variety imaginable, both in-person and online. Share the costs of training by co-hosting a course with other entities in your area. Colleges and universities, and occasionally, local adult education, community colleges or technical schools provide classes. Universities are reaching out to adult learners with evening and weekend MBA and business programs.

• Professional association seminars, meetings, and conferences such as those offered by TAAO offer valuable training opportunities. Internal Education, Training, and Development • • •

Onsite seminars and classes provide training customized to your organization. With the new education requirements from TDLR and PTAD, it is easier to create programs in-house for continuing education credit. Coaching gives employees the opportunity to share knowledge and provide feedback. Mentoring is increasingly important in employee development and training as are formal mentoring programs. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge with others.

What You Can Do to Encourage Continuous Learning and Regular Training • • •

Create a learning environment. Communicate the expectation for learning. Offer work time support for learning. Make online learning and reading part of your education plan. The Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division has developed several webinars offered on-line at no cost. Take advantage of the resources available to you. Pay for professional association memberships and conference attendance annually for employees. Even if you cannot afford to send staff to the annual conference, many of the local chapters of TAAO hold educational programs throughout the year. This is a great opportunity for sharing ideas and transferring knowledge for a small investment

Training is crucial to the ongoing development of the people you employ and their retention and success. Be creative to provide diverse opportunities for training. TAAO offers training for certification, as well as, continuing education opportunities. TAAO’s Austin based courses, the Hosted Regional Program, and our Annual Conference are all geared toward assisting members with training and personal development. Kara, Shane and I will be happy to work with you on any of the courses or programs TAAO offers.

TAAO Continuing Education Opportunities

Elisa Spring 2011

TAN Magazine



TAAO 2011 Course Schedule Primary and Regional Classes (Updated April 2011)

Course Date




May 2-3 May 2-5 May 9-10

28-Truth and Taxation RTA/C Review *see note below* 30-Ethics

Omni SP Omni SP Omni SP

Austin Austin Austin

Dennis Hart Elisa Hand Jeff Craig

June 13-16 7-Property Tax Law June 20-22 9-Advanced Assessment & Collections June 20-23 4-Appraisal of Personal Property July 11-12 28-Truth in Taxation July 18-21 8-Assessment & Collections July 25-27 1-Intro to Texas Property Tax System July 27-29 1-Intro to Appraisal

Omni SP Omni SP Omni SP

Austin Austin Austin

Mark Flowers Scott Howard Jeff Craig

Omni SP Omni SP Omni SP Omni SP

Austin Austin Austin Austin

Dennis Hart Elisa Hand Scott Howard Scott Howard

August 1-4 August 1-4 August 8-12

RPA Review RTA/C Review 2-Appraisal of Real Property

Omni SP Omni SP Omni SP

Austin Austin Austin

Lois McKibben Allen McKinley Marc Moffitt

September 6-9 September 12-14 September 14-16 September 12-14 September 19-20 September 19-22 September 26-28 October 3-6 October 3-6 October 10-12 October 12-14 October 24-27 October 24-27 October 24-28

5-Mass Appraisal 1-Intro to Texas Property Tax System 1-Intro to Appraisal 9-Advanced Assessment & Collections 30-Ethics 3-Income Approach to Value 32-USPAP

Denton CAD Dallas CAD Dallas CAD Omni SP Dallas CAD Omni SP Dallas CAD

Denton Dallas Dallas Austin Dallas Austin Dallas

Allen McKinley Debbie Cabello Debbie Cabello Bruce Anderson Roy Hale Marc Moffitt Jeff Law

RPA Review RTA/C Review 1-Intro to Texas Property Tax System 1-Intro to Appraisal 7-Property Tax Law 4-Appraisal of Personal Property 2-Appraisal of Real Property

Omni SP Omni SP Omni SP Omni SP Omni SP Omni SP Dallas CAD

Austin Austin Austin Austin Austin Austin Dallas

Lois McKibben Allen McKinley Diane Malone Diane Malone Tracey Foster Ronnie Sutton Jeff Craig

November 7-10 November 7-10 November 7-10 November 14-16 November 14-17 November 15 November 17-18 November 28-Dec 1

10-Appraisal Analysis 5-Mass Appraisal 3-Income Approach to Value 32-USPAP 7-Property Tax Law 31- USPAP Refresher 30-Ethics 8-Assessment & Collections

Omni SP Omni SP Dallas CAD Omni SP Denton CAD Dallas CAD Omni SP Dallas CAD

Austin Austin Dallas Austin Denton Dallas Austin Dallas

Gerry Ramsey Jeff Craig Allen McKinley Tracey Foster Jim Pritchard Jeff Law Tracey Foster Roy Hale

Register Online at:


Instructors subject to change without notice.

* Review will not quality for Continuing Education credits. All review materials are being rewritten and must get approval by the Texas Comptroller’s Office in order to be taken for CE units.

TAAO Primary Course Location: Omni Austin Southpark 4140 Governor’s Row, Austin, Texas Phone: 512-448-2222

Spring 2011

Regional Course Locations: Go to: www. or call 512-926-2511

TAN Magazine


TAAO 2011 State Certification Course Registration • •

Fill out this form completely to ensure accurate processing. Register at least three weeks before start of the course. Call TAAO office to inquire of availability if registering within two weeks of course. Regional course offers can reach capacity very quickly, register early. TAAO group rates at the Austin Omni Southpark are $107 (single room) and $127 (double room) per night. Call 512.448.2222 for reservations. Reservations need to be

• •

made at least two weeks before the first day of class. Space is limited. Student manuals are distributed at 8:00 AM at the registration sign-in table on the first days of class. Courses begin promptly at 8:30 AM each day. All course cancellations incur a $75 cancellation fee. Written notice of cancellation must be received one week before the first day of the course in order to receive a refund (less the $75 cancellation fee.)

Please fill out a separate form for each course you wish to take. Email confirmation will be sent to the email listed below. Full Name: ________________________________________________ TPE #: ____________________ Email: ____________________________________________________ Phone: ___________________ Employer: ____________________________________________________________________________ Course Name: _________________________________________________________________________ Course Date: _____________________________

Course Location: _________________________

Course is being taken for:

Core Course

Continuing Education

If taking a Review Course:

Level III

Level IV

Advanced Assessment & Collections Mem $235 | Non-Mem $335

USPAP (Refresher) Mem $150 | Non-Mem $250 Truth in Taxation Mem $185 | Non-Mem $285 Ethics Mem $185 | Non-Mem $285 USPAP Mem $205 | Non-Mem $305 Income Approach to Value Mem $235 | Non-Mem $335


Mass Appraisal Mem $235 | Non-Mem $335

Property Tax Law Mem $235 | Non-Mem $335

Assessment & Collections Mem $260 | $360

Appraisal of Personal Property Mem $235 | Non-Mem $335

Introduction to Texas Property Tax System Mem $260 | Non-Mem $360

Appraisal Analysis Mem $235 | Non-Mem $335

Appraisal of Real Property Mem $260 | Non-Mem $360

Make Checks Payable to TAAO. Mail to 1524 S. IH-35, # 235, Austin, TX 78704

TAAO Use Only Check #: _____________ Amount Paid:______ Date Received: _________ Invoice #: _______

Total Enclosed: ____________ PHONE 512.926.2511 | Spring 2011

FAX 512.926.2920

TAN Magazine


Early Bird Registration is Now Open for the 72nd TAAO & ICTA Conference!! AUGUST 28th – AUGUST 30th, 2011 AT THE CORPUS CHRISTI OMNI BAYFRONT TOWER

by Sandy Griffin & Debbie Glenn, Conference Committee Chairs

Conference Committee Chairs


Early bird registration is now open for the 2011 TAAO and ICTA “Endless Waves of Change” Annual Conference. Visit our website at now to take advantage of the Early Bird reduced registration fee or complete the Early Bird form included in this issue of the TAN and mail with your payment by the deadline date of May13, 2011. While on-line, make your hotel reservation as well. Room rates are $149.00 until August 11, 2011. Space is limited, so reserve your room soon. Once the Agenda is finalized (after spring leadership meeting in April) you will be able to download and view the specifics about the speakers, topics and special events. We are working hard to ensure all members will receive the greatest benefits from attending our conference. A revised agenda will be available on-line in early summer with the approved CE hours and will be announced by email. The revised agenda will also be in the summer edition of the TAN magazine. We are excited to announce that the Saturday before conference, August 27, 2011, we will hold a USPAP Refresher Course with instructor Guy Griscom. The course will be held in the Bay View Room at the Corpus Christi Omni Bayfront Tower. The cost is $75 and open to everyone. Registration is limited to the first 50 people who send in registration and payment. Download the registration form at For all our golfers that will be attending, registration and tournament links will be available soon. The tournament will be held at Northshore Country Club on Monday, August 29th at 8am. The Exhibitor hall registration is also now open for the annual conference. Information can be found on the TAAO website’s conference page and has been updated with more information. PLUS!! • President Laurie Payton has requested entertainment each night for ALL!! Beginning with the Welcome reception on Saturday, we’ll have a steel drum band and a silent auction as this year’s Scholarship Event. At the President’s reception on Sunday & then after bingo on Monday we’ll have a DJ for “endless waving” to the music or simply relaxing. Then of course the big shebang of entertainment is Tuesday: Awards Banquet with a live band for music entertainment. If you have any questions about conference, please feel free to give our TAAO staff a call at 512-926-2511. They will be happy to assist you with anything you may need.


H o p e to see y o u all the r !

Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


EARLY BIRD  REGISTRATION   Payment  &  Registration  form  must  be  postmarked  by  May  13,  2011  to  qualify  for  Early  Bird  Registration  Rates  

Name:  _________________________________________________________   Name  for  Badge  (if  different):  ______________________________________   Job  Title:  ____________________   Employer:  ________________________   Mailing  Address:  _________________________________________________   Phone:  _________________   Email:  __________________________________   Emergency  Contact:  ___________________  Phone  Number:  _____________     Please  Circle  Selection  

Basic Registration   TAAO  Member  |  Non-­‐Member   Retired/Life  Member       New  ICTA  Member       One  day  Member  |  Non-­‐member   Circle  one:            SUN      |      MON      |      TUE  

TAAO  Companion      $240    |    $340            $190            $175      $125    |    $155  

Will you  attend  the  Welcome  Reception  on   Saturday  evening?         Y      /      N   Will  you  attend  the  President’s  Reception  on   Sunday  evening?         Y      /      N    


Name of  Companion  Badge:  ________________________________   Companion  Fees  Include  Attendance  at  Welcome,  President’s  and   Awards  Receptions.  

  Additional  Events   CTA  Lunch  (CTAs  Only)     CTA  Lunch  Guest  Pass       President’s  Reception  Extra  Pass   Awards  Banquet  Extra  Pass    

 Free  for  CTAs                $35                $65                $50  

If you  have  any  dietary  or  physical  restrictions  please  email   Kara  Bryant  at  in  order  to  be  accommodated.  

Total Payment:      


Payment &  Registration  form  must  be  postmarked   by  May  13,  2011  to  qualify  for  Early  Bird  Rates       Basic  Registration  Includes   • Program,  badge,  conference  bag   • All  educational  sessions  &  business  meetings   • Meals  &  special  events:  Speakers  Luncheon,   President’s  Reception,  Tradeshow  Luncheon,  Awards   Gala,  Fellowship  &  Continental  breakfasts   • All  refreshments  breaks,  including  Ice  Cream  Social   • Prize  drawings,  raffles  and  meet  your  match  game.   • CTA  Luncheon  included  for  CTA’s  only  –  Guests   welcome  with  purchase  of  Guest  Pass     Items  not  included  in  basic  registration:  CTA  Lunch  (unless   current  CTA  or  receiving  2011  CTA  designation)  &  Golf   Tournament.          

Spring Spring 2011 2011

Registration  &  Payment  Instructions   Submit  one  form  per  person  or  couple.  Send  check  with   completed  registration,  please  do  not  fax.    Confirmation   email  will  be  sent  within  two  weeks  of  processing   registration.     Make  checks  payable  to:   TAAO   1524  S.  IH  35,  Suite  235   Austin,  TX  78704     Refund  Policy   Refund  requests  must  be  received  in  writing.   Cancel  by   July  15th         Registration  Less  $50.00   th August  12       Registration  Less  $100.00   th after  August  12       No  refund

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2011 TAAO Annual Golf Tournament Registration Time 8:00 a.m. Shotgun Start Florida Scramble – (Number on each team to be determined by total registrations received)

When Monday, August 29, 2011 Where Northshore Country Club 801 East Broadway Avenue Portland TX 78374

Entry Fee $70 before August 2nd $80 August 3rd – 29th

Entry fee includes • Green & Cart fees and Grilled Chicken Sandwich buffet • Hamburger Two drink tickets, drink tickets thereafter will be $3 ($5 for mixed drinks) • The Fundraising Committee will be selling Mulligans.

Name: ________________________________________________________________ Company: _____________________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: _________________________________________________________ E-Mail: _______________________________________________________________ Phone: __________________ Fax: __________________Golf Handicap: __________ Preferred Teammates: ___________________________________________________ Send your completed registration form and payment to: TAAO ATTN: Golf Tournament 1524 S IH 35, Suite 235 Austin, TX 78704 Amount Enclosed: _______________

Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


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Spring 2011










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TAN Magazine


Cease to Complain By Tracey L. Foster, JD, RPA, RTA, CTA Words can be powerful tools. Your words move others. They can move them positively and constructively, or they can move them in the wrong direction. Your words also move you. When your words are positive, you feel better, positive. But when your words are harsh or negative, they make you feel harsh and can move you in the wrong direction. Make your words send everyone in the right direction. Cease to complain.

Ethics Committee Chair

Tracey L. Foster

Professional ethics is generally defined as the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group. Ethically speaking, there is no specific rule against complaining. But maybe there should be. Think about how much time is wasted by people complaining. People gather around the water fountain or coffee pot to commiserate about their boss, a co-worker, their spouse, their job, or any number of other topics on which anyone can be an expert. Complaining once a day creates 365 new complaints per year! Multiply that by the number of people standing around the coffee pot and you have a lot of time wasted complaining. Is that appropriate ethical behavior? I would suggest that it is not. Now my Dad always says, “No sense being mad and nobody knowing about it.” But what he is talking about is not complaining, it’s proactively trying to change something that you believe is wrong. If you take action on a legitimate problem or make an effort to correct a situation that is less than desirable, that’s not complaining; that’s doing something. Complaining requires no action, no follow-thru. You just put something out there and hope that others join in. Sure there are times when we all feel like someone or something is out to get us and we want to let the world know how unfair we are being treated. But, instead of just complaining about the wrongdoing, we should focus our energy on how to correct the situation, or at least how to make it better. Besides, complaining is contagious! When I complain, I go out hoping for some affirmation that I have been wronged and solidarity by my coworkers against my evil-doer. But it never happens. As soon as I make my case and state my complaint in no uncertain terms, someone else has something worse or more traumatic to complain about. I get no sympathy, only fellow complainers, trying to one-up each other. And nothing is worse than hearing the “boss” complain! What kind of morale boost is that? Listening to your supervisor ramble on about being overlooked, misunderstood, overworked or underpaid is about the most discouraging thing that a staff member can experience. Not only will it unsettle an office staff, but it makes the supervisor look like he or she may not have the control over their business that the people under them believe they have. And if I am the staff member who is looking to move up in

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TAN Magazine


Cease to Complain continued from page 21 the organization, that’s the job I’m going after. After all, just by not complaining, I’m doing better than that person.

Ethics Committee Chair

Tracey L. Foster

1. Complaining once less each day chokes off 365 seeds of negativity a year! Add to that the number of contagious complaints that will be eliminated and you have a whole different work environment. Combine that with a positive, proactive response to improving situations that may need improving and what a difference we can all make! The next time you feel yourself start to complain, smile instead. Try it - once a day. Cease to complain. Start now. extent appropriate for the office. I will never share my personal opinions unless necessary for the good of the job and then only in a constructive and positive manner.

Spring 2011

2. I resolve to dress and act in a manner that is professional and positive and that positively motivates others around me. There are days that this one will be tough, but I included it to push me to stay positive and help motivate those around me to stay up-beat. Each morning when we wake up, we each have a choice. We can choose to be happy and have a positive attitude or we can choose to be sullen and negative. Some mornings are harder than others because everyone’s life is full of challenges and disappointments. But, the difference between someone who is successful and someone who is unsuccessful is how they deal with those challenges and disappointments. The choice is ours, and I resolve to make it positive. 3. I resolve to communicate better with those I work for and with. Most errors can be overcome if they are caught in time. By communicating better with the people around us we can catch errors before they happen or even prevent them from happening altogether. By communicating clearly and concisely, we can determine what information needs to be conveyed and avoid omissions that may cause problems. 4. I resolve to be more patient. Taxpayers are not property tax professionals. They do not understand our deadlines or our requirements and want to be treated fairly. The Comptroller’s office is just doing what the Legislature mandates. The Property Value Study and MAPs Review will make us better professionally. (What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?) Members of the Legislature are not property tax professionals and do not know as much as we do about our system. We must be patient with them and educate them so that they will pass laws that make the system better, not worse. 5. Finally, I resolve to make 2011 a banner year. To learn new things that will help me do my job better. To be a better boss, employee, mentor and student. To overcome adversity and accept challenges with a smile (or at least a “Watch what I got!” attitude.) To eat more chocolate and make more time to enjoy the company of friends and family!

TAN Magazine



The Marillyn Albert Achievement Award is TAAO’s highest honor. Named for TAAO’s Past President and Executive Director Marillyn Albert Harkins, this award recognizes a TAAO member who consistently performs high quality work, is devoted to excellence, and maintains a professional image. Please complete the Marillyn Albert Achievement Award nomination form and mail it to the Chair and Members of the Marillyn Albert committee. Your nomination must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2011. See nomination form for chair and member contact information.

Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


The CTA of the Year exemplifies the qualities that describe CTA’s – professional, dedicated, ethical, knowledgeable, and respected. Each year, the TAAO local chapters nominate the CTA that they feel best represents these qualities. The CTA of the Year is active with TAAO at the state and local chapter level and acts as a mentor for new property tax professionals. Past CTA’s of the Year include several TAAO Past Presidents, Marillyn Albert Award winners, and Instructor of the Year Award winners. These individuals have also served on the board of the Property Tax Education Coalition (PTEC) and on the Professional Advisory Committee for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Chapters can complete the CTA of the Year application form and mail it to the Chair and Members of the CTA committee. Your nomination must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2011. See nomination form for chair and member contact information.

Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


Walter Stoneham Scholarship Walter Stoneham is the epitome of professionalism and also what one would characterize as a gentleman. He has served as a role model for many in our field for his innovative thinking, mentorship and dedication to TAAO. Walter was involved in the San Antonio business community for many years before entering the property tax field. From 1964 – 1984, he served as Executive Director of the Research and Planning Council in San Antonio. A good deal of his research was devoted to the Texas property tax system. His research was paramount in crafting State Representative Wayne Peveto’s landmark legislation in 1979, which reformed the Texas property tax system and created appraisal districts throughout Texas. During 1984, Walter accepted a position as a Research Analyst for the Bexar Central Appraisal District. There he worked closely with the Chief Appraiser in public affairs administration as well as ongoing research projects. Upon the Chief Appraiser’s retirement in 1987, Walter was named Chief Appraiser of the Bexar County Central Appraisal District. He held that position until his retirement in 1997. During his time in the property tax profession, Walter was very active in TAAO. He served as an instructor and was centrally involved with the planning and

Walter Stoneham the success of the annual conference. One week after his retirement in 1997, tragically, Walter was seriously injured in a bicycle accident and was left unable to participate in TAAO activities from that time forward. Keeping in mind his devotion to TAAO and running, one year after his unfortunate accident TAAO formed the Walter Stoneham Memorial Fun Run in his honor. The proceeds raised by the event have funded the TAAO Education Scholarship since its inception. Although Walter is physically unable to take part in the event itself, he has served as an inspiring figure to our membership and those who have participated. It is a fitting continuing legacy for a man who never gives up in his effort to help his friends and fellow professionals.

Walter and his wife Dorothy live in San Antonio and invite their friends to contact them at Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


ďż˝ 2011 TAAO Scholarship Application on

To download a copy of the scholarship application go to: scholarship application form

Application Procedure: 1. Fill out the application 2. Write a short essay (question on application) 3. Submit 3 letters of recommendation Send completed application and three letters of recommendation to: TAAO-Scholarship Program 1524 S IH-35, Suite 235 Austin, TX 78704 Applications must be received in the TAAO office NO LATER than Friday, June 3, 2011 to be considered.


Spring 2011

TAN Magazine



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TAN Magazine


Appraisal and Tax Solutions that

think like you do. Developed specifically for Texas appraisers, assessors and tax collectors, Tyler’s Orion solution empowers you to decrease costs and better serve the public with: •

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ArcGIS Server Integration

Comparable Sales

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Want an appraisal and tax solution that thinks like you do? Visit or e-mail us at

& Condolences to Ted Smith, Chief Appraiser, Mason CAD. His father, C.H. Smith of Mason passed away on Wednesday February 23 at the age of 82.

Members: Send us the news you want to share with association members. Keep your colleagues up to date on promotions, moves, celebrations, and even passings. This is your space to share events of interest with the TAAO family.

Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


COMMERCIAL APPRAISER - Wharton CAD is accepting resumes for COMMERCIAL APPRAISER. Position also requires knowledge on Business Personal Property. Prefer experience in the TX Property Tax System, an RPA or, at a minimum, a Level III Appraiser. Duties include collection, inspection, measuring, analysis, and appraisal using Cost, Income and Market Approaches. Schedule building and testing is a plus. Excellent working environment and benefit package. Requires vehicle, valid driver’s license, self-motivation and ability to work unsupervised. Position requires 8 hour days, 5 days a week and some after work and weekends during peak seasons. For more information or for consideration, send resume and references to 308 East Milam, Wharton, TX 77488 or email to whartoncad@ STAFF APPRAISER - Wharton CAD is accepting resumes for STAFF APPRAISER. Prefer experience in the TX Property Tax System, an RPA or Level III Appraiser. Duties include detailed data collection, field inspections and measurements. Position entails significant contact and explanations with property owners and presentations at ARB hearings. Some training is provided. Excellent working environment and benefit package. Requires vehicle, valid driver’s license, self-motivation and ability to work unsupervised. Position requires 8 hour days, 5 days a week and some after work and weekends during peak seasons. For more information or for consideration, send resume and references to 308 East Milam, Wharton, TX 77488 or email to CHIEF APPRAISER - Brown County Appraisal District is accepting resumes for CHIEF APPRAISER. Minimum requirements: a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience; six years of appraisal or appraisal district experience, three of which must be in responsible administrative or supervisory positions. Must have Spring 2011

a private vehicle available for use on the job, must possess and maintain a valid Texas driver’s license and minimum state-mandated liability insurance. Must have financial administration skills and be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. The Chief Appraiser must establish residency within the appraisal district. Preferred qualifications: RPA, RTA, CTA, Chief Appraiser’s Institute. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include individual health, disability, and life insurance, vacation, retirement plan, automobile allowance, and mileage outside of the county, sick/personal leave. Please submit resume to: Doran Lemke, 403 Fisk, Brownwood, Texas 76801 on or before May 31, 2011, phone # (325) 643-5676. APPRAISER - The Brown County Appraisal District is currently accepting applications for the position of appraiser. The position requires the appraisal of residential, commercial, business personal property and agricultural properties. Responsibilities include data collection, field reviews, analysis and application of appraisal techniques, conduction informal and formal hearings with taxpayers, and assisting the Chief Appraiser in the development and execution of the reappraisal plan. Resumes and applications will be accepted until May31, 2011. Salary is commensurate with education and experience. Benefits include vacation, individual health, life and disability insurance, retirement plan, automobile allowance plus mileage, sick/personal leave. Please submit resume and application to Doran Lemke, 403 Fisk, Brownwood, Texas 76801, phone # (325) 643-5676

TAN Magazine


With the acquisition of Beyond Appraisal, Manatron continues its tradition of providing the most comprehensive integrated property software and services.

Integrated, enterprise-level solutions developed specifically for Texas Appraisal Districts

Spring 2011

TAN Magazine


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enjoy Sprin g!

TAN Magazine: Spring 2011  

TAN Magazine's Spring 2011 Edition