Covert v. Williamson Cent. Appraisal Dist
In Covert v. Williamson Cent. Appraisal Dist., 241 S.W.3d 655 (Tex. App.--Austin 2007, pet. denied), the owners of three properties improved with car dealerships, each of which was appraised in a single tax account that valued the land as well as the improvements, attempted to appeal the valuation of the "land portion only" of each property. 241 S.W.3d at 657.
The appraisal district did not challenge the trial court's jurisdiction but instead filed special exceptions, contending that the owners failed to state a cause of action because the Tax Code provides no remedy for unequal appraisal of only a portion of an appraised property. Id.
The trial court dismissed the case and the Austin Court of Appeals affirmed. Focusing on what property had been appraised--there, the land and improvements together (id. at 658--59)--the court of appeals held "that a taxpayer challenging the equal and uniform assessment of an improved property under section 42.26 must allege that the overall appraised value of the property is unequal." Id. at 661.
The court explained that an owner may allege and introduce evidence that only certain parts of its property were valued unequally, but it cannot prevail in its challenge unless it can show that the value of the entire appraised property is not equal or uniform as a result. Id. at 659 & n.6.