Bexar County Appraisal Review Bd. v. First Baptist Church

In Bexar County Appraisal Review Bd. v. First Baptist Church, 846 S.W.2d 554 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1993, writ denied), the San Antonio Court of Appeals, following the Dallas Central Appraisal District opinion, held that where a church successfully protested and litigated a religious tax exemption for its parking lot, the church was not entitled to recover attorney's fees under Section 42.29: The statute plainly confines attorney's fees awards to cases of excessive or unequal appraisals, and not exemptions. . . . It would require pure sophistry for us to hold that this was a suit about valuation and appraisal instead of exemption. Id. at 560. Because the suit was not one to "rectify an unequal or excessive appraisal, the tax code does not support the award of attorney's fees." Id. As pointed out in Tex-Air Helicopters, Inc. v. Appraisal Review Bd. of Galveston County, 940 S.W.2d 299 (Tex. App.-Houston 14th Dist. 1997) at 304, the trial court's award of attorney's fees is discretionary, even under Section 42.29.