If you opened your tax bill in October and your jaw hit the floor, you’re not alone. Texas property owners pay some of the highest rates in the U.S., and this year saw big increases in property tax rates in many areas. Don’t let the thought of paying your tax bill overwhelm you. Instead, keep reading to learn more about your payment options and how the Home Tax Solutions team can help.
Texas Property Tax Payment Options
After you receive your annual property tax bill, you have three options. If you agree with the appraised value of your home and have the funds to do so, you can simply pay the bill before January 31. If you disagree with the appraised value of your home, you should appeal to the appraisal review board right away. Keep in mind that you will still be responsible for payment of your property taxes, including assessed late fees, even if your appeal is successful. Finally, you can always reach out to the Home Tax Solutions team. Our reasonable interest rates and low monthly payment options are much more affordable than the high penalties and interest for late property tax payment. Our interest rates are in most cases lower than our competitor rates because we are dedicated to helping Texas homeowners get out of the annual property tax debt cycle. You can apply online today.
The Annual Texas Property Tax Process
It can be a little confusing to determine when you need to make payments or appeal your property tax rates. Because so much goes in to determining property tax rates, the process takes the entire year. We’ve broken the annual property tax process down into four phases: appraisal, equalization, assessment, and collection.
- Appraisal Phase – In January, properties are appraised. Due to limited resources, most taxing units do not assess each individual property annually. Instead, they use information about your home compared with local sales information to determine value.
- Equalization Phase – Because most properties are only assessed once every few years in Texas, the state has a built in system of appraisal reviews. You can appeal the appraised value of your property any time after receiving your bill in October, and most review hearings take place between May and July.
- Assessment Phase – Based on the appraised home values in the area, the taxing unit will determine the necessary property tax rates to cover costs of running local governments and special districts for the year. These numbers will be presented at public hearings and/or for a vote as necessary. This phase takes place from July to October.
- Collection Phase – Once the appraised values and property tax rates have been finalized, bills are sent to property owners beginning in October. Your property tax bill is then due in January.
Penalty & Interest Rates for Late Repayment
The last day to pay your property tax bill without penalty is January 31. In February, a 6% penalty and 1% interest is assessed on the property tax bill that’s an added fee equal to 7% of your outstanding bill. This year, the average property tax bill for Texans was about $3,300, so this 7% fee would add an addition $230 to the bill, totaling $3,530. That’s only one month of late fees! These fees continue to increase by 1% every month. In March, the total fees would be 9%, in April they would be 11%, etc. This continues until July when the penalty jumps up to 12% with the additional 6% interest charge. This means the you’ll owe 18% in penalties (nearly $600 added to the average property tax bill). In August, the penalty and interest rates will once again begin to increase 1% each month until paid. In addition to these basic late payment fees, your taxing authority has the right to assess an additional penalty of up to 20% for attorney fees. If you’re keeping track, this means your July cost would be an additional 38% of the original bill (an added $1,250 for the average Texas property tax fee of $3,300). Don’t let delinquent property tax fees add up! Home Tax Solutions is here to help with affordable property tax loans to help you break free from the endless cycle of accumulated fees and penalties.