Guide to Understanding the Property Tax Process

Property taxes are local taxes. Your properties are valued by the local officials, they set your tax rate, and collect your taxes. However, the process of the work is governed by Texas Law. Property taxes are based on the tax rates set by the various local governments based on the value of the property. 

Constitutional Standards

There are four standards for the Texas property tax.

  • Taxation must be equal and uniform. All property must be taxed and valued in an equal manner. Ensure that you do not pay more property taxes than your assessed value, let it be a single property or any type of property you own.
  • With certain exceptions, all tangible property must be on January 1st. The exceptions include certain agricultural, timber, and recreational, park, and scenic land subject to special appraisal. A property’s market value is the price for which it would sell when both buyer and seller decides to get the best price and neither is under the compulsion to buy or sell.
  • Unless federal or state law provides an exemption, all the properties are taxable. An exemption excludes part of a property’s value from taxation.
  • If there is an increase in appraised property values, property owners have the right to raise notice.

How Does the System Work?

  • An appraisal district in each county sets the value of taxable property each year. 
  • If there are any disagreements between you and the appraisal district about the value of your property, the appraisal review board settles it.

What is the Taxpayer’s Role?

As a property owner, you must know the rights, understand the remedies available to you, and fulfill your responsibilities.

Know Your Rights:

  • You have the right to equal tax appraisals. The value of your property should be the same as that placed on other properties that are similar to yours.
  • You have the right to receive all tax exemptions which you apply and qualify.
  • You have the right to notice the changes in your property value.

Understand Your Remedies:

  • If you think that your property has been assessed more than its actual value, you have the rights to protest with the appraisal review board. If any case, you don’t agree with the review board, you can take your own case to court.
  • You can limit your major tax increases in an election to roll back or limit the tax rate.

Fulfill Your Responsibilities:

  • You must apply for exemptions, and other tax relief before that deadline.
  • You must see to it whether your property is listed correctly in the appraisal records. If your property is omitted from the records, it becomes subject to a back assessment.
  • If your own tangible personal property is used for the production of income (business personal property), you must annually render it to the chief appraiser. 
  • You must pay your taxes on time.

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