Appeal from the 270th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 2017-01753
consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Massengale and
Francis Palma, as beneficiary of 6205 Trust, appeals from the
trial court's summary judgment denying his petition for
review of a Harris County Appraisal Review Board order, which
determined a tax protest concerning a home owned by the
Trust. Palma contends that the real property at
issue does not have situs in Harris County and that Harris
County Appraisal District has no authority to appraise it. We
hold that the District proved as a matter of law that the
subject property is real property located in Harris County
and thus appraisable by the District. Therefore, we affirm.
Francis Palma is the beneficiary of 6205 Trust, which owns
real property located at 5026 Autumn Forest Dr., Houston,
Texas 77091. Harris County Appraisal District appraised the
property for the 2015 tax year, and Palma filed a protest
with the Harris County Appraisal Review Board, arguing that
the property's taxable situs was not Harris County. The
Board entered an order determining that the property's
situs was Harris County, and Palma then filed a petition for
review in the trial court.
petition, Palma argued that, because the property is
residential, it is not taxable and therefore has no taxable
situs and may not be appraised by the District. Palma
requested that the trial court order the District to remove
the property from its appraisal rolls.
District filed a motion for traditional summary judgment,
arguing that the property is taxable and has a taxable situs
in Harris County because it is real property (i.e., land and
improvements) physically located in Harris County. That the
property is residential, the District argued, is irrelevant.
trial court granted the District's motion, finding that
the District has the authority to appraise the property and
that the property has taxable situs in Harris County for the
2015 tax year. Palma appeals.
construe Palma's brief as challenging the summary
judgment determining that the District has the authority to
appraise the property and that the property has taxable situs
in Harris County for the 2015 tax year.
review summary judgments de novo. Boerjan v.
Rodriguez, 436 S.W.3d 307, 310 (Tex. 2014) (per curiam).
A movant for traditional summary judgment has the burden of
showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and
that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Tex.R.Civ.P. 166a(c); Mann Frankfort Stein & Lipp
Advisors, Inc. v. Fielding, 289 S.W.3d 844, 848 (Tex.
2009). If the movant initially establishes a right to summary
judgment on the issues expressly presented in the motion,
then the burden shifts to the nonmovant to present to the
trial court any issues or evidence that would preclude
summary judgment. See City of Houston v. Clear Creek
Basin Auth., 589 S.W.2d 671, 678-79 (Tex. 1979). We
consider all the evidence in the light most favorable to the
nonmovant, crediting evidence favorable to the nonmovant if a
reasonable factfinder could, and disregarding contrary
evidence unless a reasonable factfinder could not. See
Mack Trucks, Inc. v. Tamez, 206 S.W.3d 572, 582 (Tex.
Texas law, real property is taxable. Tex. Const. art. VIII,
§ 1(b); Tex. Tax Code §§ 11.01(a)-(b), 21.01.
The taxable situs of real property is the county in which the
property is located. Tex. Const. art. VIII, § 11. Each
county has an appraisal district, which is responsible for
appraising real property located in the county for each
taxing unit that imposes an ad valorem tax on the property.
Tex. Tax Code §§ 6.01(a)-(b), 6.02(a).
motion for summary judgment, the District argued that the
subject property is appraisable by the District because it is
real property (i.e., land and improvements) located in Harris
County. See id. §§ 11.01(a)-(b), 21.01;
see also Oake v. Collin Cty., 692 S.W.2d 454, 455
(Tex. 1985) (explaining that county's taxing entities
must prove that real property it seeks to tax is situated
within its geographical boundaries). The District's
summary-judgment evidence included (1) the District's
account information for the subject property for tax years
2015 and 2017, which classified the property as single-family
residential property owned by the Trust and subject to the
jurisdiction of nine taxing units;and (2) the affidavit of a
valuation specialist in the District's residential
property division with four attached maps created by the