Requirements to Obtain a Property Tax Professional License in Texas
Property tax professionals can obtain their license and register with the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR) by meeting the following requirements:
- Be a resident of the state of Texas
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a good moral character
- Have engaged in the assessment, appraisal, or collection of ad valorem taxes
It should be noted that elected county assessor collectors and employees of the elected county assessor-collector are not eligible to be registered with TDLR, nor are they required to register with the TDLR.
Common Complaints Made Against Property Tax Professionals
Property tax professionals have been known to have many types of complaints filed against them. If a complaint has been made against your license, it is important to take action to protect your license and defend yourself. Some of the more common types of complaints made against property tax professionals include:
- Unfair treatment of taxpayers
- Violations of the code of ethics
- Complaints related to breach of fiduciary duty
- Unlicensed activity by property tax professionals
- Licensure issues, including application disapproval, criminal background history, and probationary licenses
- Negligent or improper referrals
- Negligent rebates
- Failure to supervise
- Improper form usage
- Failure to disclose
These are just a few of the more common complaints made against property tax professionals. If allegations have been made against you, and you do not know where to turn for help, make sure you take steps to protect your license when you contact a license defense attorney for legal guidance and support.
What Happens After a Complaint Is Made Against a Property Tax Professional
One complaint can put your property tax professional license in jeopardy. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation handles complaints against licensed property tax professionals. Once they receive a complaint, they’ll first determine the validity of the allegations.
From there, they will examine whether such allegations involve possible violations of Chapter 1151 of the Texas Occupations Code. TDLR may then proceed with a formal investigation, part of which requires giving you an opportunity to respond. TDLR will also review any documents or materials provided in your defense. Some factors that are taken into consideration by the TDLR before making a decision in your case include:
- Whether the violation in question was intentional or willful
- The severity of the violation in question
- Whether you have been accused of similar violations in the past
- Whether you were acting in good faith to avoid or mitigate the violation
- Whether you acted in good faith to correct the violation after it became known
If an informal resolution cannot be reached by the TDLR, you will be required to appear before an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), where you will have the opportunity to provide evidence and call on witnesses to testify on your behalf. The ALJ will offer a Proposal for Decision, which the Board may adopt as a final order or reject and explain why a different final order will be rendered.
Disciplinary Actions Property Tax Professionals Face
The disciplinary action property tax professionals could face if the TDLR believes the allegations made against them are valid are severe. Some of the more common types of disciplinary actions you may be forced to deal with Include:
- A written warning
- Mandated continued education
- Administrative fines as high as $5,000
- Ongoing monitoring
- Reporting requirements
- Mandated completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program
- Continued testing for illegal drug use
- Suspension of your property tax professional license
- Revocation of your property tax professional license
The type of penalties you will face can vary widely depending on the type of complaint made against you, your professional record, whether any complaints have been made against you in the past, and other factors. It is important to take the allegations against you seriously. Failure to respond to such complaints could result in disciplinary actions and sanctions that could destroy your career.
Property Tax Professional License Defense FAQ
When allegations of professional misconduct have been made against you as a property tax professional, you may be confused and unsure of how your life will be affected. We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding property tax professional license complaints below.
If you have additional questions or concerns that were not answered on this page, be sure to contact our office to discuss the specific circumstances of your case.
How Long Will the Entire Process Last?
The process for defending your property tax professional license can be complex. The TDLR‘s investigation into the complaint against you may take several months. Depending on how long it takes to present your case before the TDLR and the initial outcome, it could be six months or more before your case is resolved.
If you are unhappy with the TDLR‘s decision regarding your property tax professional license, you may need to move forward with an appeal and have your case heard before an Administrative Law Judge. If this happens, it could significantly increase the amount of time it takes to resolve your case.
Can the TDLR Revoke My Property Tax Professional License?
Yes, the TDLR has the authority to impose sanctions when they find complaints against property tax professionals valid. However, there may be alternative options to license suspension or revocation, such as educational opportunities, remedial training, or other plans of action. Your license defense attorney will work tirelessly to help you secure the most favorable outcome in your case and protect your career.
Do I Need an Attorney to Represent Me?
Legally, you are under no obligation to obtain an attorney. However, when defending your property tax professional license, having an experienced attorney advocating for your rights could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. The TDLR likely understands the rules and regulations more than you do. Take steps to properly defend yourself by getting a powerful legal advocate on your side.
Should I Call the TDLR to Explain Myself?
It is never a good idea to contact the TDLR and respond to a complaint made against you or the TDLR‘s notice of investigation. Anything you say to TDLR investigators or the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) can be used against you and your license.
Although you may have the best intentions, making statements or providing responses to their questions could have a significant impact on your ability to retain or obtain your property tax professional license. If you receive a letter from the TDLR or Real Estate Commission in Texas, it is important to reach out to your attorney to discuss the contacts before you reach out to these agencies to discuss the complaint against you.
Having your attorney handle any communications with the TDLR may be in your best interests if you hope to protect your license from suspension or revocation.
Why Hire a Property Tax Professional License Defense Attorney
When allegations have been made against you, why trust Bertolino LLP to help you defend your license? If you have been notified of a complaint against your property tax professional license, you should not attempt to handle it alone.
Building a solid defense requires a wealth of legal knowledge and the experience of a Texas professional license defense attorney. At Bertolino LLP, we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to protecting your career and livelihood. There is simply too much at stake.