How property taxes are collected in Texas
Universal truth: taxes are confusing, and no one likes paying them. Sadly, we can’t make your taxes go away, but we can at least help eliminate the confusion.
Let’s start with the basics
Property taxes are assessed, set and collected on a local level. However, the entire process is governed by Texas state law. According to the Harris County Appraisal District, property taxes provide more tax dollars for local government services than any other source. They go towards schools, streets, police, and many other public services.
There are five standards for property tax laid out by the Texas State Constitution:
- Taxation must be equal and uniform.
- With some exceptions, all tangible property must be taxed on its January 1st market value.
- All property is taxable unless federal or state law provides an exemption for it.
- Property owners have a right to reasonable notice of increases in appraised property values.
- Each property in a given appraisal district must have one appraised value.
Major players in the Texas tax system
There are three main components in the Texas tax system: appraisal districts, appraisal review boards (ARB) and local taxing units. An appraisal district assesses the taxable properties in each county to determine the value of each property. If you disagree with the assessed value of your property, an appraisal review board will mediate the situation between you and the appraisal district. The tax rate is set by local taxing units, such as the county, school districts, cities, etc. The total amount of taxes set depends on how much the local taxing units determine they will need to spend that year.
There are four steps in the Texas property tax process: determining property value, appealing the values, adopting tax rates and paying the taxes.
Property appraisals typically begin on January 1st of each year. Property values are affected by property use, ownership and market conditions. Don’t agree with the assessed value of your property? Think you were improperly denied an exemption? Contact the appraisal review board. Once the ARB has heard your protests, the chief appraiser gives each taxing unit an appraisal roll. Around September or October, local taxing unit officials adopt tax rates. Tax collection starts as bills go out in October and November. Once you have received your bill, you have until January 31st of the following year to pay your taxes. If your taxes are still unpaid by February 1st, interest charges and penalties start piling up and may eventually lead to tax delinquency. To avoid heavy fines and to stay in control of your property, be sure to pay your bills on time. Or reach out to a Texas property tax loan agent to help you get on track!
Home Tax Solutions
Unable to pay off your Texas property taxes on your own? That’s where we come into play. Home Tax Solutions works with Texas property owners to create flexible, customized tax plans that can be paid off over time with low interest and no lump fees.
Questions? We’re happy to help. Call Home Tax Solutions today. 1-800-643-8537