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DENTON CENTRAL

APPRAISAL DISTRICT

PUBLIC RELATIONS
PLAN
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Mission Statement 2
Purpose ... 2
Professional Standard .. 2
Public Relations / Administration 3
Planning a Public Relations Program . 3
Review and Evaluation 3
Public Education .... 4
Responding to Inquiries and Issues ..... 4
Appeals Process .. 4
Taxpayer Liaison Officer .. 5
Staff Public Relations / Customer Service . 5
Staff Preparedness . 6
Staff Standards .. 6
Providing Good Customer Service .. 6
Correspondence . 8
Spokesperson for Media .. 8
Important Dates & Deadlines ... 9
Means of Circulating Information . 10
News Releases .. 10
Media Contacts .... 10
Printed Information .. 11
Speaking Engagements ... 11
Internet . 11
Plan for Urgent Situations 12
Procedures on How to Handle Bad Press 12
Dealing with Hostile/Angry Customers .. 13
Techniques to Calm the Angry/Upset Taxpayer ... 13
Public Safety Navigation . 13
Responding to Inquiries and Complaints from the Public ... 14
How to Proceed with the Informal Process . 14
How to File a Formal Complaint ... 14
Complaint Form from the Public .. 16
Open Records Request .. 16
Policy . 16
Public Records Request Procedures 17
Initial Response to Public Records Requests .. 17
Clarification of Public Records Request . 17
Charging for Public Records Request .. 17
Open Records Request Form 18
Media Contact List . 20
MISSION STATEMENT
The primary responsibility of the Denton Central Appraisal District is to appraise property for property
taxation and maintain 100% of market value, allowing local funding for the school districts and ensuring
that appraisals are performed in an equal and uniform manner in order that taxpayers pay only their fair
share of the property tax burden.

In carrying out these duties all employees will work with pride, honesty, and fairness in their dealing with
individuals, and always treat the public with respect.

We will keep in mind at all times that we work for the public, and must work as a team, ever striving to
find a better way.

PURPOSE
Public Relations is the practice of managing the communication between an organization and its public.
It involves cooperative efforts with the public and organization to build mutually beneficial relationships.

To help achieve an optimum level of transparency, the Denton Central Appraisal District encourages
property owners to provide their feedback (positive and negative). This process will help the appraisal
district improve their services.

The purpose of the Public Relations Plan at the Denton Central Appraisal District is to create and sustain a
strong and positive image of the appraisal district by maintaining an open line of communication with the
public and keeping them well informed of their rights and responsibilities, and of the appraisal districts
mission, vision and purpose.

PROFESSIONAL STANDARD
A proactive public relations program is essential to public awareness of the appraisal process and of the
importance of the property tax in funding local government services.

IAAOs Standard on Public Relations is the basis for the Denton Central Appraisal Districts Public
Relations Plan. This standard outlines the requirements for developing and maintaining an effective plan.

The International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) is the internationally recognized leader and
preeminent source for innovation, education, and research in property appraisal, assessment,
administration, and property tax policy. www.iaao.org

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PUBLIC RELATIONS/ADMINISTRATION
The appraisal districts public relations program builds on a competent administration. It is the first line
of defense. Courteous and effective implementation of the public relations program can eliminate the
need for other defenses to be used. Without a sound public relations program, the appraisal district may
meet the public only through complaints and appeals.

The Chief Appraiser is responsible for ensuring that all staff meets the public in a courteous manner.
Ensuring that the staff is knowledgeable about the functions of the appraisal district and capable of
informing the property owners about their rights and obligations, may prevent further misconceptions
and ill-feelings toward the appraisal district office.

The Chief Appraisers public includes not only individual taxpayers, but also such groups as appraisers,
developers, title companies, real estate brokers, lending institutions, communication media, taxing units
and other units of government, civic and professional associations, and public institutions that benefit
from the ad valorem property tax system.

The appraisal district office must manage the information systems so that these various publics have
access to the large amount of useful and necessary information to be found in appraisal records. These
groups in turn, can be a communication network that informs the general public about the appraisal
district office.

The most important parts of a public relations program are a well-run office with well-planned records
and record storage, an office layout that makes public access easy, a courteous staff trained to deal with
the public and written rules of procedure.

Planning a Public Relations Program

A planned program of public relations includes well thought out responses to issues and inquiries,
cooperation with other government agencies, and ways of getting information to the public through
media contacts, printed information, and speaking engagements. The Chief Appraiser shall talk to the
media and prepare printed information in advance, if possible.

The first step in planning good public relations is a review of needs. Analysis of these questions shall be
an on-going process by the Chief Appraiser. The Chief Appraiser shall consider:

1. What is the appraisal districts public image?


2. How well informed is the general public?
3. What is the political environment?
4. What staff improvements are needed?
5. Are procedures that are already in place working?
6. What issues have surfaced that need to be addressed and what are the anticipated issues?

Review and Evaluation

The Chief Appraiser shall, with the aid and input of appraisal district employees, review and evaluate the
public relations plan and its effectiveness. Adjustments shall be made as necessary. Press clippings from
newspapers, magazines, and trade publications provide evidence for reviewing and evaluating the
program. Comments from surveys, emails, etc. shall also be considered.

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PUBLIC EDUCATION
Appraisals and the functions of the appraisal district are difficult. We must work very hard to make
technical terms and procedures understandable. The public needs to know the purpose of the appraisal
and what public services are funded by property taxes. The taxpayer shall be made aware that the
appraisal process is designed to establish a tax base and ensure that the tax burden is equitably
distributed according to the appraised value of various properties. Taxpayers shall be informed that they
have a voice in the local budgetary process they elect the officials who set tax rates, they can attend public
hearings, and can vote on bonding or expenditure referendums. Taxpayers need to know the tax rates,
how to apply it to the appraisal value, and how to arrive at the tax bill. It is the appraisal districts
responsibility to inform the taxpayer about the appraisal and assessment process, the information
available for review, procedures for filing an appeal, and filing deadlines.

RESPONDING TO INQUIRIES AND ISSUES


Many people often need information from the appraisal office. Property information and maps are
important resources. The Chief Appraiser shall find an efficient means of responding to inquiries via
telephone, computer, printed matter, electronic media, etc. Dedicated computers in the appraisal district
office provide convenient access to information and records. The Chief Appraiser may charge fees to
recover the costs of providing some forms of information.

Appraisals are often controversial. Many issues will arise in response to specific events. The Chief
Appraiser shall set out clear, well-defined responses to anticipated issues to create and increase public
confidence in the appraisal process and appraisal district office. The Chief Appraiser shall be sure that all
appraisal district employees are well-versed in the responses for anticipated issues. Additionally,
education of the public prior to major actions of the district shall be performed by the Chief Appraiser.
The Chief Appraiser may enlist the media to cover appraisal district actions as this will present the
actions in a clear and well-written manner. The Chief Appraiser may choose other avenues of education
for the public, such as speaking events with citizens groups.

APPEALS PROCESS
Taxpayers shall be made aware of the rules and procedures for appealing appraisals. Information on
what constitutes a valid appeal shall be made available. During this process, taxpayers shall be treated
with courtesy and respect. New information shall be evaluated thoroughly and objectively. Adequate
seating shall be made available for waiting taxpayers.

When presenting their case at an appeal hearing the appraiser should be calm, knowledgeable and
organized. They should not lose their cool or panic. It is important to testify clearly regarding how the
appraisal was performed and to answer any questions concisely and convincingly. On direct examination
during an appeal hearing explain the reasoning fully and explain your support for your conclusions of
value. Do not wait until cross-examination to explain the weaknesses in your appraisal. Spend the most
time on where you place the most weight in your appraisal.

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On cross-examination, some things to keep in mind are the difference between defending a position and
explaining it. Do not get defensive when answering questions. Do not take the appeal hearing as a
personal affront. Do not let opposition affect your professional demeanor in a negative way.

TAXPAYER LIAISON OFFICER


The Taxpayer Liaison Officer shall administer the public access functions required by the Texas Property
Tax Code and is responsible for resolving disputes not involving matters that may be protested. In
addition, the Taxpayer Liaison Officer is responsible for receiving, and compiling a list of comments and
suggestions filed by the Chief Appraiser, a property owner, or a property owners agent concerning non-
value related matters.

The Taxpayer Liaison Officer shall provide to the public, information and material designed to assist
property owners in understanding the appraisal process, protest procedures, the procedure for filing
comments and suggestions or a complaint, and other matters. Information concerning the process for
submitting comments and suggestions to the Comptroller concerning the Appraisal Review Board shall be
provided at each protest hearing.

The Taxpayer Liaison Officer will report to the Board of Directors at each meeting on the nature of
complaints and the status of resolution.

STAFF PUBLIC RELATIONS/CUSTOMER SERVICE


In many areas customer satisfaction ultimately boils down to the customers contact with frontline staff.
The Denton Central Appraisal District takes great pride in achieving the best results in public relations
with the taxpayers in Denton County.

The first step for focusing staff on customer service is hiring the right people. The Denton Central
Appraisal District requires that the staff members greeting the public take a Customer Service Seminar
along with other personnel that deal with the public. The district also has made available, customer
surveys, which also rates the staff on how well the public is being treated. Surveys allow the Denton
Central Appraisal District to quickly capture vital information with relatively little expense and effort and
confront any problems that may seem to arise. The Chief Appraiser or Department Manager will go over
any updates, changes, expectations of staff members, and attitudes. This will allow staff members to learn
more about the organization and the work from interaction with coworkers.

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STAFF PREPAREDNESS
Employee demeanor in serving the public is important to maintaining good public relations. Every public
contact shall be considered an opportunity to improve the organizations image. The Chief Appraiser is
responsible for ensuring that the staff is equipped to communicate with the public in an efficient and
courteous manner. The Chief Appraiser shall ensure that appraisal district employees are well-versed in
the following:

1. Professional standards;
2. Important dates and deadlines;
3. Rules on data disclosure and rules on confidentiality;
4. Records retention standards;
5. Identification of who is authorized and who is not authorized to communicate as an official
spokesperson;
6. Guidelines for interaction with the public;
7. Guidelines and authorization process for using intellectual property, logos, trade-marks, and
copyrights;
8. Code of conduct for online behavior;
9. Protocols and authorization for posting information to online media such as web sites, social
media sites, and community forums;
10. Identification of media outlets and communication services that staff are authorized to use;
11. Policy regarding appropriate online use of the appraisal districts name and identity;
12. Policy regarding endorsements and political statements;
13. Suggestions for responding to irate taxpayers;
14. Guidelines for hearings and appeals;
15. Appearance and attire;
16. Telephone and email etiquette;
17. Guidelines for the style and structure of letters and emails;
18. Methods for recording actions.

STAFF STANDARDS

Employees will be required to attend customer service classes or seminars annually to help improve the
overall customer service and Appraisal Review Board relations of the appraisal district.

There are six basic customer needs that are important when interacting with taxpayers... friendliness,
understanding and empathy, fairness, control, options and alternatives, and information.

Providing Good Customer Service

A. Preparation. The service interaction requires preparation of materials, physical space and
attitude.

B. Approaching the Taxpayer. When interacting with taxpayers, you never get a second chance to
make a positive first impression.

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C. Listening and Offering Support. This step requires listening and inviting feedback to gain
information about what the citizen needs and how you might address those needs. At this stage,
you also work to convey interest in providing assistance to the taxpayer.

D. Problem Solving. These are actions taken by staff during and following the service interaction to
address the customers needs.

1. Often in dealing with difficult people, a problem or perceived problem is the catalyst for the
anger. Whether the taxpayer is angry or truly does have a problem, there are effective ways of
remedying the situation.

2. Most often the taxpayer is looking to you to fix the problem. Patience and clear open
explanations are essential. Your explanations can create relief or magnify the problem. A few
steps to consider are shown below:
a. Once you have determined the problem, repeat what you heard to the taxpayer to be sure
you address the real issue.
b. If the issue is very confusing, concerning a subject you are not comfortable with or you do
not understand the problem, seek assistance. Solve the problem the first time if at all
possible.
c. Indicate the steps and approximate date in which you will address the problem and be on
time.
d. If other offices are involved, make sure and explain the process and the date that you will
send your information to the appropriate office.
e. Ask the taxpayer to allow you to complete the work and do not call you before the stated
time, unless additional information has become available to assist you.
f. Ask for contact information and/or verify current contact information on file. A large
amount of information is conveyed by email, so email address if available.
g. If the issue is difficult or confusing, have other qualified staff review prior to
communicating to the taxpayer.
h. Make sure any explanations are on topic, clear and complete.
i. Be prepared to tell them no and how to effectively use a cushion statement.

E. Follow Up! So often this is a missed opportunity to develop some good public relations.

1. If your work is to be sent to another office, contact the taxpayer stating that you have
completed your portion of the work and where it was sent. Tell the taxpayer if they are not
contacted or the problem solved by a set time to contact that office and provide the contact
person and their phone number.

2. If the problem is entirely your responsibility to solve, follow-up with an email, letter or call to
verify the information was received and if the problem was solved.

3. Take a proactive role!

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CORRESPONDENCE
Written correspondence shall follow specific guidelines as follows:

1. Answer letters and emails promptly and acknowledge those that cannot be responded to
immediately;
2. State information clearly using common words and phrases;
3. Respond to all relevant questions;
4. Convey a professional image;
5. Add a personal touch whenever appropriate;
6. Correspond positively;
7. Retain a copy of all correspondence for future reference and in accordance to retention schedules;
8. Be consistent with the offices style.

To avoid contradictory responses, correspondence addressing policy issues shall cite controlling rules,
statutes, or professional standards and be communicated within the appraisal office. Responses to
criticisms should be addressed promptly and be resolved in a non-judgmental way.

SPOKESPERSON FOR MEDIA


It is crucial that a spokesperson be assigned the responsibility of all communication with the media. The
spokesperson for the Denton Central Appraisal District is listed below.

Chief Appraiser: Rudy Durham


3911 Morse Street
Denton, TX 76209
(940) 349-3978

The Chief Appraiser may, in certain circumstances, designate an employee to serve in the capacity of
spokesperson.

The Chief Appraiser shall coordinate interviews, write and distribute news releases, newsletters, reports,
correspondence, post information in all applicable places, ordinate special events, such as, open houses
and public appearances, edit special publications and annual reports, and coordinate the release of
information to media channels.

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IMPORTANT DATES & DEADLINES
January December:
Meetings, speaking engagements, and presentations to constituents to provide information on
property tax (by invitation)
Appraisal District related conferences
Taxpayer Liaison Officerongoing taxpayer support as needed
Open Recordsongoing response as requests are made
Review and comply with adopted document retention schedule
Quarterly Board of Directors meetings
Annual Ag Advisory Meeting

January March:
Review all public outreach materials (such as brochures, flyers, and website material)
Deliver applications for exemptions requiring annual applications
Publish annual report on website
Field work to be completed
Deliver applications for agricultural designation
Meet with the taxing entities to answer questions and review the protest calendar
Review/change internal procedures based on legal opinion and/or legislative changes if required
Prepare press releases concerning notices of appraised value and the protest process
Press ReleaseAg valuation, exemptions, and renditions
Run Data Integrity Audits

April May:
Public Relations/Customer Service training
Real Property Notices of Appraised Value to be mailed
Business Personal Property rendition deadline (April 15th)
1-d-1 Open Space Valuation application deadline (April 30th)
Exemption applications deadline (April 30th)
Develop Mass Appraisal Summary Report
In-house training for staff on protest procedures
Business Personal Property rendition deadline that requested an extension (May 15th)
Business Personal Property notices of appraised value to be mailed
Publish Public Notice of Protest and Appeal Procedures
Protest deadline (usual deadline is May 31st)
Informal Review begins

June - July:
Appraisal Review Board hearings in progress
ARB Approves Records
Chief Appraiser certifies Appraisal Roll

August - December:
Development of field work plan
Appraisal staff in field representing DCAD
Sales entry
Data collection

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MEANS OF CIRCULATING INFORMATION
Direct communications shall be used to explain the role of the appraisal office and the services it provides.
Appraisal district staff shall be able to explain in detail the services provided by the appraisal office,
special tax exemptions, the appraisal process, the appeal process, the distribution of tax revenue, and the
relationship between the tax rate and the reappraisal process. The Chief Appraiser shall make use of
these available media resources to communicate with the public.

1. Newspapers;
2. Professional publications;
3. Brochures;
4. Website;
5. Community forums;
6. Community sponsored events;
7. Any other local means available.

News Releases

The news release is a valuable device that shall be used to promote activities, communicate policies, and
inform the public of appraisal issues.

Recommendations for writing news release:

Information shall be newsworthy (timely, unique, or significant)


Public relations industry recommended format shall be followed when practical
Contact information shall be provided
Shall not exceed two pages in length, if possible
Releases shall be as short and concise as possible
Information shall be localized
The release shall be proofread
The most important facts shall appear first
Deadlines, editing procedures, and other requirements of the media shall be accommodated
Anyone mentioned in the release shall be notified before it is submitted for publication or
distribution to the public

Media Contacts

It is the responsibility of the Chief Appraiser to present technical information in a clear and
understandable language.

The Chief Appraiser shall speak carefully, explain fully, ask for feedback before the reporter leaves,
arrange to review the material before it is published if possible, limit radio and television to selected staff
members only, and use whatever means possible to avoid being misquoted.

Any and all contact with national media would call for professional and legal guidance.

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Printed Information

Brochures can be as simple as a single typed sheet of paper or as complex as a professionally prepared,
multipage brochure. Any printed information or electronic information placed before the public shall be
carefully edited and proofed prior to release. All printed matter must be clear, accurate and attractive.

The Chief Appraiser shall consider and research the possibility of preparing materials in Spanish if the
district has a large population not fluent in the English language.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking engagements are an important opportunity for contact between the appraisal office and the
public. Engagements can be spur-of-the-moment or scheduled.

Opportunities for speaking engagements are usually offered by service organizations, civic clubs,
neighborhood associations, real estate appraisers and brokers, industry representatives, lending
institutions, developers, attorneys, regularly scheduled public access stations or radio talk shows,
legislators, and other elected officials. It is recommended that the Chief Appraiser, or designated staff
member, meet with some of these groups just prior to mailing of appraisal notices or any other major
action planned by the appraisal district.

The Chief Appraiser, or designated staff member, shall prepare in advance, standard speeches, charts and
graphs, and films or slide shows so that the quality of the presentation does not suffer. In performing
speaking engagements, the Chief Appraiser, or designated staff member, shall be prepared to hold a
question and answer period; shall have answers ready; and must have tact, sympathy and discretion.

Internet

In addition to more traditional communication methods, the internet is an effective way of informing the
public. Web pages are quickly becoming an avenue to reach a large number of people at very little cost.
More and more of our customers are looking online before calling. This can be very positive if we
provide good clear information. A website is an electronic brochure for the office. Relevant assessment
and property tax information may be made available on the Web. If the Chief Appraiser determines this
to be an effective and convenient way to communicate, he must research, plan and implement ways to
deliver information on the Internet.

Social media sites shall be evaluated to determine their effectiveness for public relations purposes and
directing site visitors to authoritative sources of information such as the districts web site. The appraisal
districts website shall be content driven so information can be quickly accessed, retrieved and reviewed.
Data shall be accessible by multiple search criteria.

The appraisal districts website content shall be at the discretion of the Chief Appraiser. The Chief
Appraiser shall include information determined to be within the guidelines of open records and public
information. The site may include information found in the annual report and other informative data
such as:

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Office hours, location, and contact information;
Property information, including ownership, property characteristic, sales history, and value;
News releases or Public Notices;
Mission statement or strategic plan;
Job openings;
An explanation of the protest/appeals process;
Appraisal notice explanation;
Exemptions;
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs);
Maps;
Taxpayer forms;
Links to other relevant web sites.

PLAN FOR URGENT SITUATIONS

Procedures on How to Handle Bad Press

There may be a time when the Denton Central Appraisal District is confronted with an unflattering article.
Whether the district deserves it or not, the negativity reflects badly on the appraisal districts image and
could affect the attitudes of the taxpayers towards the district.

1. Determine who is to receive all communication with the media.

2. Express your regret concerning the crisis. Taxpayers do not want to see the appraisal district
pointing fingers during a crisis. Be confident in that the district understands what is at stake,
apologize and take action before being forced to do so by legal means.

3. Explain to the public what your plans are and let the taxpayers know how you are going to rectify
the damage.

4. Plan a structure to disseminate your message to the media. Send your media press releases out
all at once, and if the releases will be ongoing, send them out at the same time every day.

If a story has reached the taxpayers and looks as if it is doing some damage, a good way to counter
is to compose our own response. Try not to get emotionally involved, this is unprofessional and
the district might say something it might later regret. The media likes objective facts and
statements, so they are also more likely to print something that is calm and to the point.

Stick to all the facts involved and address each negative point of the original bad PR piece.
Explain why the appraisal district made the mistake (if the district made one) and how the district
is going to correct the problem. Give the taxpayers a reason to trust us.

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DEALING WITH HOSTILE / ANGRY CUSTOMERS
Customer service isnt always a cheery interaction, and almost anyone who serves the public occasionally
faces an angry or rude customer. Whether the blame falls on the appraisal districts actions, issues over
values, or just a bad day, how the district handles a problem customer can make a bad situation worse.

Techniques to Calm the Angry/Upset Taxpayer:

1. Speak Softly
2. Take Notes
3. Tell Them Your Name
4. Use Their Name
5. Let Them Get It Out
6. Always Thank Them
7. Offer Alternatives
8. Restate What You Hear
9. Sit Down When Possible
10. Isolate Them When Possible
11. Let Them Know You Want to Help
12. Use Positive Body Language
13. Give Written Guidelines
14. Ask Questions
15. Do Something Right Now
16. Get Others Involved

Public Safety Navigation

1. React and respond to the individual in a calm, but firm manner.


2. Use a lower volume of voice to help the customer calm down.
3. Listen to all demands.
4. If the taxpayer wishes to file a complaint, have them fill out the Complaint Form.
5. Do not tolerate abusive behavior.
6. Make command statements in a firm, but non-challenging tone, saying what you want or do not
want.
I understand that you are upset. It sounds like you really are angry about this. I do not want to
argue with you. I want you to leave.
7. Think over situations that could occur and how you would react. Go through the movements you
would need to make to get help or get out of the situation.
Practice. One strategy might be to keep a desk, chair, or other object between you and the person
to keep distance.
8. If you anticipate problems with an individual let co-workers, Sheriffs Department, or the Police
Department know about it ahead of time.
9. If you feel you may be in jeopardy, remove yourself from the danger, providing it is safe to do so,
and notify the Police.

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10. If you observe a hostile confrontation in progress, do not get involved. Calmly move away from
the area, providing it is safe to do so. Once clear of it, notify the Police if necessary.
11. Completely describe what you observed, how many individuals are involved, physical descriptions
of those individuals and the exact location of the activity.
12. Attempt to bring the person to an isolated area or room.
13. Have at least two people remain with the person at all times until he/she calms down or
professional assistance arrives. DO NOT TRY TO PHYSICALLY RESTRAIN THE PERSON.
14. Be prepared to seek protection under desks and behind solid walls.

RESPONDING TO INQUIRIES AND COMPLAINTS FROM THE PUBLIC


There are times when an individual may make an inquiry with the Denton Central Appraisal District or
file a complaint.

When complaints or concerns occur, they should be resolved at the lowest possible administrative level
through an informal process of cooperative agreement among the affected individuals. However, when
the informal process fails to provide resolution, an individual is entitled to file a formal complaint and
seek a review of any administrative decisions made by the Chief Appraiser to the Denton Central
Appraisal District Board of Directors.

How to Proceed with the Informal Process

The Denton Central Appraisal District periodically distributes information in the local newspapers and
forms that need to be completed regarding exemptions, special valuations, reappraisal notices, etc. Staff
members may be contacted for informal help with specific concerns via the phone or at the front counter.
All staff members should attempt to resolve the concern as amicably and expeditiously as possible.
During this informal stage no records are required to be kept. If the district prepares anything in writing,
a copy is kept.

How to File a Formal Complaint

When a concern or complaint is not resolved through the informal process, taxpayers may initiate the
formal complaint process outlined below.

1. The Board of Directors provide for public complaints or grievances on any matter within the
jurisdiction of the Board of Directors about policies and procedures of the Denton Central
Appraisal District, Appraisal Review Board and the Board of Directors. The board will not
consider complaints addressing any of the grounds for challenge and protest before the Appraisal
Review Board as set out in Section 41.03 and 41.41, Tax Code. The Board of Directors has no
authority to overrule the Chief Appraiser or Appraisal Review Boards decision on a value,
exemption, correction, or protest. The board intends that, whenever feasible, complaints and
grievances are resolved at the lowest possible administrative level.

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2. Correspondence shall be mailed to:

Denton Central Appraisal District


(Chief Appraiser, Taxpayer Liaison, ARB Chairman, or Board of Directors)
P.O. Box 2816
Denton, TX 76202

3. The complaint/grievance should be in writing, request placement on the board agenda, along with
all documentation, and specify the subject matter to be considered. The request must state who
will make the presentation.

4. The complaint/grievance should be filed within 15 days of the event or series of events of which
the complaint/grievance is alleged.

5. The Chief Appraiser shall have 10 days following the receipt of the complaint to notify the
individuals, delegations, or complainants of the date, time and place of the meeting.

6. The Chief Appraiser shall provide the Board of Directors with copies of the original
complaint/grievance, all responses, and any written documentation previously submitted by the
individuals, delegations, complainants, and the administration. The Board is not required to
consider documentation not previously submitted or issues not previously stated.

7. The Boards deliberations at its meetings with respect to complaints shall occur in open session,
as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Article 6252-17, Tex.Rev.Civ.Stats.

8. The Chairman of the Board of Directors may set reasonable time limits. The Board shall hear the
complaint/grievance and may request a response from the appraisal district. The Board shall
then make and communicate its decision orally or in writing at any time up to and including the
next regularly scheduled board meeting.

However, if the grievance involves a complaint or charge against another appraisal district employee or
Board member, it shall be heard in a closed meeting unless an open hearing is requested in writing by the
employee or Board member against whom the complaint or charge is brought. The employee will have to
follow the guidelines set out in the Employee Handbook adopted by the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors shall make public to the taxing jurisdictions information of public interest
describing the functions of the board and procedures for filing and resolving complaints by the board.

The Board of Directors, at least quarterly and until final disposition of any complaint filed, shall notify the
parties to the complaint and the status of the complaint unless notice would jeopardize an undercover
investigation.

Citizens will not be permitted to enter into discussion or debate as other agenda items are being
considered by the board.

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Complaint Form from the Public

OPEN RECORDS REQUESTS


Public access to appraisal records is crucial to good public relations. A climate of openness and
transparency shall be established in the appraisal office. Appraisal office employees must understand
policies and statutes pertaining to open records, public disclosure and confidentiality, including an
awareness of compliance timeliness. The Chief Appraiser shall educate appraisal district employees on
the guidelines for the dissemination of real estate records or taxpayer information and should be
sensitive to privacy concerns. Information request must be delivered to the Chief Appraiser who may
process it himself or designate an employee to do so and provide that employee specific guidelines to use.
All open records or public information requests shall be processed in a manner that is compliant with
state law and state time requirements.

Policy

All records of the Denton Central Appraisal District are subject to the Texas Public Information Act
Government Code Chapter 552, unless determined to be confidential by law and will respond to the public
requests as soon as practicable and without unreasonable delay, in the manner described below.

The Deputy Chief Appraiser of Appraisal is the Public Information Officer for the appraisal district. All
open records requests shall be made in writing and submitted to the Public Information Officer for
processing.

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Public Records Request Procedure

The Deputy Chief Appraiser of Appraisal is responsible for coordinating public records requests made to
the Denton Central Appraisal District and other staff as appropriate in fulfilling timely requests. All
formal public records requests must be submitted in writing by fax or email and directed to:

Public Information Officer


Denton Central Appraisal District
3911 Morse Street
Denton, TX 76208
Phone: (940) 349-3800
Fax: (940) 349-3801
Email: openrecords@dentoncad.com

Initial Response to Public Records Request

After receiving a request for a public record or document, the Public Information Officer will respond to
the public records request as soon as practicable and without unreasonable delay. The appraisal district
will respond with one or more of the following:

A statement that the Denton Central Appraisal District does or does not have custody of the
requested documents.

Copies of all requested public records for which the Denton Central Appraisal District is the
custodian of is exempted from disclosure.

A statement that the Denton Central Appraisal District is the custodian of some responsive
records, an estimate of time in which copies will be provided or inspection will be available, and
an estimate of the fees the requestor must pay.

A statement that the Denton Central Appraisal District is uncertain whether it possesses any
requested records and that it will search for the requested records and respond as soon as
practicable.

Clarification of Public Records Request

If the Denton Central Appraisal District receives an unusual request or the scope of the request is unclear,
the appraisal district may request additional clarification before responding to the request.

Charging for Public Records Request

The Denton Central Appraisal District is allowed to recover their actual costs in fulfilling a public records
request. The district follows the Texas Administrative Code, the Office of the Attorney Generals Cost of
Public Information. In such instances, the public records request coordinator will not fulfill the request
until the requestor confirms in writing that the requestor wants to proceed with the request despite the
estimated cost. See page 23 for those costs.

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Denton Central Appraisal District

Open Records Request for Information under Texas Public Information Act
The Texas Public Information Act allows the public the right of access to government information. All persons
who request information must do so in writing, submitting a written request that includes enough description
and details of the information you are requesting, allowing the governmental body to accurately identify and
locate the items which you are requesting. The request must be for records or information that already exists.
The Public Information Act does not require a governmental body to create new records, perform legal
research or to answer questions. The requestor may ask to inspect records, obtain copies of records or both.
Although most government information is available under the Act, some exceptions exist.

Written requests submitted under the Texas Public Information Act may be submitted by mail, fax, email or in
person to the following:

Public Information Officer


Denton Central Appraisal District
3911 Morse Street, Denton Texas 76208
Phone: (940) 349-3800 Fax: (940) 349-3801 E-mail: openrecords@dentoncad.com

Please Print

Requestors Name: __________________________________________________________________

Firm/Company Representing: __________________________________________________________

Mailing Address: ____________________________________________________________________

City: ____________________________ State: ____________ Zip code: ______________________

E-mail Address: ____________________________________ Phone Number: __________________

Describe in detail the information you are requesting. Please include enough description of the information
you are requesting so that we may accurately identify and locate those items for you. If your request cannot
be determined, it will be returned to you for clarification.

Property Address and/or Property ID (PID) Number(s): _____________________________________

Appraisal Year(s) Subject to Your Request: _______________________________________________

Detailed Description of the Records You Are Seeking (be specific):_________________________________


__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

I request the information be sent in the following form: ___E-mail ___CD ___US mail ___FTP ___Pick-up

Requestors Signature: ____________________________________ Date: _______________________


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Price List for Services
Readily Available Information
Standard size paper (up to 8.5" x 14")
Under 50 pages: = .10 cents per page
Over 50 pages: = .10 cents per page
(+ personnel charge)
Non-Standard size paper (over 8.5" x 14") =
Under 50 pages: .50 cents per page
Over 50 pages: = .50 cents per page

Non-Readily Available Information


Cost of copy (use "Readily Available Information" cost)
+ personnel charge + overhead charge

Maps
Up to 8.5" x 14'" Copy or Print of Map = .25 cents per page
Over 8.5" x 14" Copy or Print of Map = .50 cents per page
24"x 36" Copy or Print of Map = $5.00 per page
24" x 36" Print of Color Map = $15.00 per page

Special Maps .

24"x 36" PID Abstract Map = $15.00 per page *


24"x 36" Oil & Gas Map = $20.00 per page *
24' x 36" PID Abstract/Aerial Map = $20.00 per page *
* Requires customized data manipulation to produce

Property Record/Evaluation Forms


Appraisal Card = .10 cents per page
(no charge to owner)
Other charges
Personnel Charge = $15.00 per hour
Overhead Charge = 20% of personnel charge
Programming Time = $28.50 per hour
Other costs = actual cost

Data
Computer Time = $1.80 per minute
Rewritable CD (CD-RW) = $1.00
Non-rewritable CD (CD-R) = $1.00

Postage

Postage & Shipping Charges = actual cost

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MEDIA CONTACT LIST

Chief Appraiser: Rudy Durham


(940) 349-3978

Public Relations Officer: George Clerihew


(940) 349-3897

Newspapers: Denton Record-Chronicle


P.O. Box 369, Denton, TX 76202
314 E. Hickory, Denton, TX 76201
Phone: (940) 566-6836
classads@dentonrc.com

Fort Worth Star Telegram


P.O. Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101
808 Throckmorton St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
Phone: (800) 776-7827

Cross Timbers Gazette


6101 Long Prairie Rd, Ste 744-186
Flower Mound, TX 75028
Phone: (940) 728-8284

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