The City of Houston provides the opportunity for an appeal to Benefitted Users who disagree with the outcome of the City’s Verification and Correction process as it relates to their property.
The Appeal process consists of a two-step option, the first of which must be pursued initially before a Benefitted User makes a decision to proceed with the second:
- Step One: First-Level Appeal – if a benefitted user is dissatisfied with the outcome of the City’s Verification & Correction process, and
- Step Two: Second-Level Appeal – if the Benefitted User is still dissatisfied with the decision reached under Step One.
A. First-Level Appeal
- You may request an Appeal of the Outcome of the City’s verification process of your drainage utility charge after you receive a Notification of Outcome of Verification & Correction Process from the City.
- Your completion of the Verification and Correction process and receipt of the Outcome of this process is a prerequisite to requesting a First-Level Appeal.
- You can submit your Request for Appeal any time you wish following receipt of the City’s Notification of Outcome of Verification & Correction Process.
- You may submit your Request for Appeal online (www.rebuildhouston.org), by phone (713-371-1111) or in writing (City of Houston, Department of Public Works and Engineering, P.O.BOX 4863, Houston, TX 77210-4863).
- You may select a preferred date and time for your Appeal hearing from the City’s online calendar (Click Here to register online and schedule your Appeal), or you may contact the City at (713) 371-1111 to schedule a preferred day of the week and time for your Appeal hearing.
- The Appeal will take place in front of an independent Hearing Examiner who will determine whether your annual drainage utility charge, as calculated by the City, was correctly determined.
- The hearing will be conducted at the City of Houston - Utility Customer Service in 4200, Leeland St, Houston, TX 77023.
- If you choose to bring representation you must notify the city five (5) calendar days prior to the hearing of such representation by calling (713) 371-1111. You and/or your representative must appear at the scheduled date and time if you wish to be present at your hearing. Valid photo ID is required to enter the building. Please bring your hearing notice or printout of the e-mail.
- If you choose not to be present at your hearing, the procedure will still take place in front of an independent hearing examiner and you will be notified of the outcome. If you choose to be absent from your hearing but wish to submit further supporting documentation you must notify the city five (5) calendar days prior to the hearing by calling (713) 371-1111.
- If you choose to hold your hearing over the phone, you must notify the city five (5) calendar days prior to the hearing by calling (713) 371-1111.
- Copies of supporting documentation should be brought to the hearing by you and/or your representative to support your claim. Supporting documentation may include such items as drawings or other depictions with accompanying measurements, recorded deeds, closing documents, final inspections, occupancy permits, state tax identification information, or other items deemed appropriate. The copies will be retained as part of the City of Houston record (please do not submit original documentation).
- The appeal outcome shall be based on the information and data considered by the City as a result of your request for Verification and Correction of your annual drainage utility charge and additional supporting documents brought to the hearing.
- The appeal should be related to the same request indicated on the Verification & Correction submittal.
- Based on the outcome of the appeal, your drainage utility charge will be adjusted accordingly or remain unchanged, and if appropriate, a credit or debit will be applied to your account.
- Any drainage charge adjustment will be applied commencing in the then current billing fiscal year in which the adjustment is made but will not be retroactive to prior years.
- You will be notified of the outcome of your Appeal, using the same address and the same medium by which you tender your request for an Appeal (in writing, via U.S. Postage, or electronically).
B. Second-Level Appeal
- If you are still dissatisfied with the decision of the Drainage Hearing Examiner under the First-Level Appeal --- you can request a Second-Level Appeal.
- You must submit your Request for the Second-Level Appeal within thirty (30) days of the Hearing Examiner’s decision.
- You may submit your request for a Second-Level Appeal via phone, internet or in writing [please see # A (d) above].
- A panel of three Hearing Examiners shall decide a Second-Level Appeal solely on the basis of the record kept from the First-Level Appeal, i.e., no additional information, documents or testimony will be received.
- The three Hearing Examiners panel will be randomly designated by the Director of the Department of Public Works & Engineering, and may not include the Hearing Examiner who previously ruled on your particular case.
- The decision of the three Hearing Examiners panel will be sent to you, and it shall be final.
For questions regarding scheduling, please Contact (713) 371-1111. Customers will be notified in writing of their scheduled date and time.