Texas Property Tax System
What is Property Tax?
Property taxes are local taxes that are assessed locally, collected locally and used locally. You pay your property taxes to the local tax collector. The tax collector distributes funds to schools, cities, and other local governments. Local governments spend the funds on schools, roads, hospitals, police departments, fire departments, and other programs.
Who is responsible for setting Property Taxes?
County Appraisal Districts appraise the value of your property. Appraisal Review Boards settle disputes between taxpayers and property owners. Local Taxing Units set budgets and property tax rates. County Assessor Collectors collect taxes from property owners and distribute the funds to the local taxing units.
What are my rights under the Texas Constitution?
The constitution sets out five basic principals for property taxes in our state Taxes must be equal and uniform. No single property or type of property should pay more than its fair share. Property must be appraised on its current market value. The price it would sell for when both the buyer and seller seek the best price and neither is under pressure to buy or sell. Each property in a county must have a single appraised value. This is guaranteed by the use of the county appraisal districts. All property is taxable unless federal or state law exempts it from the tax. Property owners have a right to reasonable notice of increases in their appraised property value. More information on the Texas Property Tax Code can be found at https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/..
What are my remedies?
If you believe that your property value determination is too high or if you were denied an exemption or special appraisal valuation, you may protest to your ARB. If you do not agree with the decision of the ARB you may take your case to binding arbitration in some instances or to district court. You may speak during public hearing when your elected officials are deciding how to spend you taxes and are setting the tax rate. You may limit major tax increases through elections to roll back or limit tax rates.
When is the deadline for paying my property taxes?
Taxes are due when you receive your tax statement. Tax collections begin around October 1 and taxpayers have until January 31 of the following year to pay their taxes. On February 1, penalty and interest charges begin accumulating on most unpaid tax bills.
What happens if I don’t pay my taxes?
The longer you allow delinquent property taxes to go unpaid, the more expensive
If your property boundaries span more than one county you will receive appraisal notices from each county appraisal district.
What exemptions are available?
There are several partial and absolute exemptions available. Some of these exemptions include General Residential Homestead, Over 65, Over 55 Surviving Spouse, Disability Homestead, Disabled Veterans, Charitable, Religious, Freeport and Pollution Control.
Does my home qualify for an exemption?
As a general rule to qualify for an exemption you must own your home and it must be your principal place of residence. Additional qualifications may apply based on the exemption.
Will this protect me in case of a lawsuit?
Texas has two distinct laws for designating a homestead. The Texas Tax Code offers homeowners a way to apply for homestead exemptions to reduce local property taxes. The Texas Property Code allows homeowners to designate their homesteads to protect them from a forced sale to satisfy creditors. This law does not, however, protect the homeowner from tax foreclosure sales of their homes for delinquent taxes. For more information on homestead designation as provided by the Texas Property Code please contact the Office of Attorney General at www.oag.state.tx.us
How much will I save?
An exemption removes part of the value of your property from taxation and lowers your tax bill. In addition to the state mandated exemption amounts for school taxes, each taxing unit decides whether to offer the optional exemption and at what percentage. The amount of savings depends on the exemption and the amount of exemption allowed by each taxing units.