How Property Taxes in Texas are Impacted (Or Not) By COVID-19

We completely understand that during this pandemic, paying your property tax bill is probably not top of mind for you. Many Texans are worried about paying other bills like electric and internet right now, so it may seem a little early to be worrying about paying property taxes. The Home Tax Solutions team is always thinking about your property tax needs, and we want to make sure we’re keeping our friends, neighbors, and communities informed about potential changes or concerns related to property taxes. We know that right now, there is a lot of misinformation out there about what people can expect when it comes to their 2020 property taxes. In this blog, we’ll talk about what is actually happening with property taxes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic – spoiler alert, not much is changing.

Have Property Tax Payments Been Waived, Reduced, or Suspended?

No. We have seen false reports floating around about reduced property tax payments, suspended or postponed payment dates, reduction in property values due to disaster, and a number of other inaccurate claims. As of May 2020, the state of Texas has not reported any change in property tax deadlines, payment amounts, or any relief options. What most property owners fail to consider is that our local and state governments rely on revenue from property taxes, as these entities cannot afford to play banker to property owners.

Are Property Values Being Reduced for COVID-19?

Unfortunately, property tax values are assessed each year by January 1, which was well before the COVID-19 pandemic began in the U.S. For this reason, appraised home values are not impacted this year in light of COVID-19. It remains to be seen what the long term impact of the pandemic will be on the value of properties. We have also seen recommendations for homeowners to apply for disaster relief to reduce the taxable value of their property. All indications are that this will not be an option, so it’s not recommended that you count on this relief. 

Do I Have Longer to Appeal My Property Taxes? 

Typically, protests are due to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) no later than May 15 or 30 days after the receipt of the annual notice of appraised value. This year, many local property tax appraisal districts were unable get the notice of appraised value out before April 15, so residents in these districts typically have 30 days after the notice of appraised value was delivered to protest their property values. However, please check with your county and contact your appraisal district directly if you have any questions. 

Are ARB Hearings Still Happening?

Yes. There are still hearings being held via virtual visits or telephone depending on the appraisal district. You should use your appraisal district’s online system or call the office to find out more.

What If I Need Help with My Property Tax Bill?

If you are struggling to pay your 2019 property taxes or you think paying your 2020 home tax bill will be a challenge, please contact the Home Tax Solutions team so we can help! We are all working remotely to ensure seamless service, and we’d be happy to discuss your property tax loan options over the phone to help you get out of the property tax debt cycle. You can also complete our simple application form to get started today.