Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin
Larry G. Schneider, Appellant
Williamson Central Appraisal District, Appellee
THE DISTRICT COURT OF WILLIAMSON COUNTY, 368TH JUDICIAL
DISTRICT NO. 15-0892-C368, HONORABLE RICK J. KENNON, JUDGE
Justices Puryear, Pemberton, and Goodwin
ad valorem tax case, Larry G. Schneider appeals the trial
court's final judgment dismissing his claims against the
Williamson Central Appraisal District (the District)
complaining of the valuation of his property and of the
manner in which the District performs mass appraisals in
Williamson County. The trial court granted the District's
plea to the jurisdiction and no-evidence motion for summary
judgment. For the following reasons, we will affirm.
unsuccessfully protesting the taxes assessed on his property
by the District, Schneider filed this pro se lawsuit alleging
that a recent change in the District's appraisal methods
is unconstitutional and illegal and seeking injunctive relief
prohibiting the District from using its new appraisal method,
known as ANSI Z765, which allegedly calculates square footage
of a home using outside rather than inside dimensions. The
District filed a plea to the jurisdiction and a no-evidence
motion for summary judgment, both of which the trial court
granted, and Schneider appeals.
appeal, Schneider contends that the trial court erred in
dismissing his claims because
sufficient evidence supports his claim that the District
unequally appraised his property;
District does not have the statutory authority to
"redefine" a square foot of living area; and
District's use of ANSI Z765 is in violation of the Texas
Constitution. We will address each issue in turn.
petition seeks de novo review of the District's appraisal
of his property as upheld by the appraisal review board,
contending that he is entitled to an adjustment to his 2015
appraised value because his property was not appraised
equally and uniformly. See Tex. Tax Code
§§ 42.23 (providing for de novo review of order of
appraisal review board), .26 (providing remedies for property
that is appraised unequally). In his response to the
District's no-evidence motion on this claim, Schneider
submitted various attachments purporting to create a fact
issue, including his pleadings and various non-authenticated
documents, which the District contends are not admissible due
to this authentication defect; Schneider submitted no
affidavits, either from himself or any other party. See
Blanche v. First Nationwide Mortg. Corp., 74 S.W.3d 444,
451 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2002, no pet.) ("A complete
absence of authentication is a defect of substance that is
not waived by a party failing to object and may be urged for
the first time on appeal."). The District contends that,
nonetheless, the entirety of the "evidence"
submitted by Schneider in response to its motion does not
amount to more than a scintilla to create a fact issue on
whether the District unequally appraised his property. We
agree with the District.
Code provides for three means by which a property owner may
show that his property has been unequally appraised.
See Tex. Tax Code § 42.26(a)(1) (requiring
showing that appraisal ratio of property exceeds by 10
percent the median level of appraisal of reasonable and
representative sample of other properties in district),
(a)(2) (requiring showing that appraisal ratio of property
exceeds by at least 10 percent the median level of appraisal
of sample of properties in district consisting of reasonable
number of properties similarly situated to, or of same
general kind of character as, property subject to appeal),
(a)(3) (requiring showing that appraised value of property
exceeds the median appraised value of reasonable number of
comparable properties appropriately adjusted).
Schneider's summary-judgment evidence wholly fails to
address the issue of the median appraisal values as required
by these statutory means to demonstrate an unequal appraisal.
Accordingly, he did not present ...