Property taxes are an important part of the upkeep of Lone Star State as a whole. In the absence of personal income tax, Texas’ property tax revenue and sales tax revenue are the primary sources of funding for local services. Property tax revenue helps pay for public schools, libraries, playgrounds, city streets, county roads, police, fire protection, and emergency medical services, among other things.
The County Appraisal District (CAD) appraises and sets the taxable value for properties in each Texas county, and property owners pay the amount due to local tax assessors/ collectors, who then distribute the funds to local taxing units. In short, these ad valorem taxes are assessed, collected, and used locally.
Each property owner should receive their annual property tax bill in October, detailing the amount due based on the appraised value of a property. When you have multiple properties, each should be listed on your tax bill, so why do some people have multiple tax bills? We will answer this question and other frequently asked questions regarding property tax bills in this blog.
The Texas Tax Code Section 31.01 explains that tax assessors are required to prepare and mail a property tax bill to each property owner listed on the tax roll, or to that person’s agent, by October 1st every year (or as soon as practicable thereafter). Typically, both the property owner and the owner’s designated agent are mailed tax bills.
In cases where the property taxes are paid from an escrow account controlled by the mortgage holder (mortgage servicer), the notice requirements are met by sending the tax bill to the mortgage holder. If your taxes are included as a part of an escrow payment, the bill is usually sent directly to the mortgage servicer, who will then pay the bill, and you will see it noted on your next mortgage statement.
While it is uncommon, it is possible for property owners in Texas to receive property tax statements and appraisal notices from more than one county. This occurs only in instances where the property boundaries span more than one county. Keep in mind, if you are paying property taxes in two counties, penalties and interest will accrue in both districts if you leave your taxes unpaid.
Every property owner in Texas, regardless of county, is protected by a set of 5 basic rules outlined in the Texas Constitution. These basic principles for property taxes in Texas are: Taxes must be equal and uniform. No single property or type of property should pay more than its fair share. A property must be appraised at its current market value. This refers to the price it would sell for when both buyer and seller are seeking the best price, and neither is under pressure to buy or sell. Each property in a county must have a single appraised value. This means that the various taxing entities to which property taxes are paid cannot assign different values to your property. The use of county appraisal districts guarantees that appraisal values are the same. All property is taxable unless federal or state law specifically exempts the tax. All or part of your property’s value may be exempt from taxation under these exemptions. It is the right of property owners to receive reasonable notice of increases in their appraised property values.
Another reason property owners may receive more than one tax bill is if there has been a request for corrections on their original property tax bill. While this does not delay the delinquency date, it does mean that another property tax bill will be sent (the corrected tax bill).
The Texas Tax Code addresses 33 types of property tax bills that vary by delinquency date or by the requirements for applying delinquent penalty and interest charges. Detailed information regarding all the different property tax bills can be found on the Texas Comptroller website, where they have been split into five categories:
American Finance & Investment Co., Inc. (AFIC) offers our clients an affordable, hassle-free way to manage their Texas property taxes and avoid crippling penalties and interest. We can ensure that your account with the local government tax office is paid in full and will work out a manageable repayment plan for you. AFIC can provide you with an instant quote by completing the form on our homepage. For qualifying properties, we can help you pay off your delinquent taxes and offer you the following benefits:
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YOUR TAX OFFICE MAY OFFER DELINQUENT TAX INSTALLMENT PLANS THAT MAY BE LESS COSTLY TO YOU. YOU CAN REQUEST INFORMATION ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF THESE PLANS FROM THE TAX OFFICE.
If you are over 64 or disabled, don’t get a property tax loan, contact your tax office about a deferral.
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