TEXAS PROPERTY TAXES
For property tax purposes, January 1st of each year is the effective date of the tax roll. A tax lien is automatically attached to all taxable properties on January 1st of each year to secure the tax liability. During the course of the year, there are several phases involved in the taxation process. During these phases, appraisal districts identify and appraise all real and business personal properties. The governing bodies of the taxing jurisdictions adopt a tax rate to support their fiscal year budget. In the final phase, the tax assessor-collector assesses and collects property taxes for each of the taxing jurisdiction(s) they are responsible for collecting.
In Texas, appraisal districts are responsible for identifying and appraising properties for ad valorem purposes. In Latin, ad valorem translates into “according to value.” Pursuant with the Texas Property Tax Code, properties are taxed according to their fair market value. For example, the tax on a property appraised at $10,000 will be ten times greater than a property valued at $1,000. In the event a property owner disagrees with their assessed value, a protest may be filed with their appraisal district. For additional information regarding the appeal process, please contact the local Appraisal District to speak to one of their appraisers. As a property owner your most important right is your right to protest your assessed value. Additional functions of the appraisal district are to determine the current ownership, administer applicable exemptions, and calculate tax ceilings. As a property owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your property is listed accurately with your correct name, current mailing address, property description and exemptions. For corrections, please contact the appraisal district. Any corrections by their agency will automatically update our office.
The governing body of each taxing jurisdiction certifies their annual budget and adopts a tax rate that will generate the necessary revenue to pay for the services they provide to the public (e.g., public schools, community health services, fire and police protection, streets, roads, flood control projects, etc.). In Texas, property taxes are the major source of funding for taxing jurisdictions. It is important to note that not utilizing their services will not exempt a property from taxation. Prior to adopting their tax rate, the Texas Constitution requires the taxing jurisdictions to follow legislative guidelines and hold public hearings to discuss any increases in their proposed tax rate. These legislative guidelines allow citizens (in certain cases) to rollback or limit any increases in the tax rate. As a taxpayer, you are strongly encouraged to attend one or more of these hearings.
The final phase of the taxation process begins on October 1st of each year. The tax assessor-collector is responsible for assessing property taxes in accordance with the value and exemptions certified by the appraisal district, and rates adopted by each of the taxing jurisdictions. Unless exempt by law all real and business personal property are taxable. Pursuant with the Texas Property Tax Code, property taxes are due (with the exception of split or quarter pay accounts) on January 31st of the year following the year the taxes were imposed. The Tax Code requires that all past due accounts be assessed penalty and interest. If the tax notice is not requested by a mortgage company or agent, the statement will be mailed in October to the owner and address of record. It is important to note that in accordance to Section 31.01(g) of the Texas Property Tax Code, the failure to send or receive a tax notice does not affect the validity of the tax, penalty, or interest, the due date, the existence of the tax lien, or any procedure instituted to collect the tax. It is also important to mention that accounts less than or equal to $15.00 are withheld until the aggregate (total) amount is greater than $15.00.