Everything you need to know about residential property taxes in Texas
Texas State doesn’t have a property tax.
The Texas State Comptroller’s office does not collect property tax or set the tax rates. Your local county taxing unit sets the tax rates and then chooses how to distribute the tax revenue to provide local services, including schools and education, streets and roads, police and fire protection, and much more.
How do I Pay My Property Taxes?
Property taxes are collected on an annual schedule. From January to April, the local appraisal district is required to appraise every property. Property owners will get their notices of the appraised value between April and May. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME for homeowners. You must check your valuation and be ready to take action if you feel like your valuation is unfair. See the chart provided by Texas State Comptroller’s office below.
The Texas Constitution and statutory law authorize local governments to collect property tax. Texas law outlines the process for local officials to follow for determining the value for the property, ensuring that values are equal and uniform, setting tax rates, and collecting taxes.
Several types of local governments may tax your property. There are more than 4,100 local governments in Texas — which include school districts, cities, counties, and various special districts — that collect and spend these taxes.
Texas counties and local school districts tax all nonexempt property within their taxing jurisdiction. Property owners might also pay property taxes to a city, special districts for hospitals, a junior college, or water districts. The governing body of each of these local governments determines the amount of property taxes it wants to raise and sets its own tax rate. You might see multiple line items on your tax bill. Many local governments contract with their county’s tax assessor-collector to collect the tax on their behalf.
The Texas Constitution has the five basic rules for property taxes:
- Equal and uniform taxation – No single property or type of property should pay more than its fair share. Property taxes assessed are calculated on the valuation of the property you own. In some cases, your property is worth half as much as your neighbor’s (after any exemptions that apply). Your tax bill should reflect the accurate valuation (not appraised market value). Uniform appraisals are critical for homeowners.
- Property must be taxed based on its current value. Usually, that is the price it would realistically sell for when both buyer and seller seek the best price, and neither is under pressure to buy or sell. There are certain exceptions to the law, such as using “productivity values” for agricultural and timberland. The land is taxed based on what it produces (natural resources, crops, or livestock) rather than its market value.
- Each property must only have a single appraised value. Various local governments cannot assign different values to your property; all must use the same value.
- All real estate and personal property is taxable unless federal or state law exempts it from the tax. Exemptions might exclude all or only a part of your property’s value from taxation.
- Property owners have the right to Reasonable notice of increases in their property valuation.
Property taxes are used to fund many of our local services and education
Review the visual provided by the Texas State Comptrollers office to understand the path of your property taxes.
Can I Protest the Valuation of My Property?
YES! If you believe that your valuation and property taxes are too high or you were unlawfully denied an exception, you may protest your property taxes with your local appraisal district. If you disagree with the decision of your protest with the ARB, you can escalate your appeal to binding arbitration in some instances or to the district court. You may speak during the public hearing when your elected officials decide how to spend your taxes and set the tax rate. Through elections, you may limit major tax increases to roll back or limit tax rates.
HomeTaxCheck allows you to check your property value for FREE.
If you feel like you are being unfairly taxed, we have a simple online DIY tool to help you protest your property taxes with the Bexar County Appraisal District.