PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM
The Texas local property tax is just that — a local tax, assessed locally, collected locally and used locally. More than 3,700 local governments in Texas — school districts, cities, counties and various special districts collect and spend these taxes.
The local property tax is the largest single funding source for community services. State government receives no benefit from these local taxes. Your local property taxes help to pay for your public schools, city streets, county roads, police departments, fire protection and many other vital programs.
Your property tax bill is due on January 31. After you pay your bill to your local tax office, funds are distributed to your taxing entities. If you are having trouble paying your property tax bill in Travis County, please contact the Travis County Tax Office. Information on property tax deferrals is also available.
ENTITIES IN THE SYSTEM
Several types of local governments may tax your property. Texas counties and local school districts tax all nonexempt property within their jurisdictions. You also may pay property taxes to a city and to special districts such as hospital, junior college or water districts.
In Travis County property taxes support 127 local government agencies including 21 cities, 16 emergency districts, the county, the hospital district, the junior college, 54 municipal utility districts, 1 road district, 15 school districts, and 17 water control improvement districts. These agencies are also known as taxing entities.
In addition to taxing entities, two other agencies play important roles in the property tax process: the appraisal district and the tax office. Each of these entities has a distinct role in the creation of your property tax bill:
TERMS TO KNOW
These values are determined by the appraisal district:
- Market Value: What the property would sell for
- Assessed Value: The limited property value after exemptions are applied
- Taxable Value: The property value you pay taxes on
These values are determined by your taxing entities:
- No New Revenue Rate: The tax rate that would generate the same amount of tax levy as the last year
- Voter Approval Rate: The maximum tax rate that a taxing unit can adopt
- Adopted Rate: The tax rate adopted by the taxing unit
PROPERTY TAX CALENDAR
The property tax process for each tax year includes a series of steps:
|January 1||Property values are set|
|mid-April||Notices of Appraised Value are sent out|
|May 15||Deadline to file a protest|
|July 25||Certification of appraisal roll|
|August/September||Tax rates set|
|October||Property tax bills begin to be mailed out|
|November||Voter approval elections are held|
|January 31||Property tax bill payments due|
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Penalty and interest charges begin accumulating on most unpaid tax bills on February 1 of each year.
Taxes are due when you receive your tax statement around October 1st. You have until January 31st of the following year to pay your taxes at the Tax Collector’s Office.
TCAD processes the deferral request and sends the information to the Travis County Tax Assessor’s Office. You may contact the tax office with any concerns or questions you may have.
Property is taxed by the authority of the Texas Constitution. The Constitution sets forth five basic principles for property taxes in Texas.
- 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 meaning the price that it would sell for on the open market 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.
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