Texas Property Taxes, Four Phases of The Tax Year

 Property Taxes are the primary financial resource for the operation of governmental entities in Texas.  This is largely based on the fact that Texas has no state income tax.  Annual valuations are determined by local appraisal districts and taxes are generally levied and collected by counties, cities and school districts.

The Texas Constitution sets out five basic rules in regards to property taxes:

·        Taxation must be fair and equitable.

·        All tangible property must be taxed based on its current market value.  The exceptions to this rule are properties receiving exemptions and agricultural valuations.

·        All property is taxable unless exempted by state and federal law.

·        Taxpayers have a right to reasonable notice of increases in the appraised value.

·        Each property in a county must have a single appraised value.

The Texas Property Tax Calendar is divided into four sections:

January-May (1/1-5/15): The Appraisal Phase. 

·        The appraisal district collects information to appraise properties for the current tax year.

·        Administer exemptions and special appraisals.

·        Update property records.

·        Taxpayers file personal property renditions and appraisal districts set valuations based of those filings.

·        Notices of appraised value are mailed to taxpayers.

May-July (5/15-7/25): The Equalization Phase (The Administrative Remedy).

·        The tax roll is submitted to the Appraisal Review Board (ARB).

·        Taxpayers file protests.

·        The informal and formal appeal process begins.

·        After the appeal hearings the ARB approves and certifies the tax roll on or about July 25.

July-September (7/25-10/1): The Assessment Phase.

·        Taxing entities receive the certified tax rolls.

·        Local jurisdiction adopted budgets.

·        Tax rates are adopted

·        Taxes statements are mailed to taxpayers.

·        Some taxpayers dispute their ARB rulings and appeal their appraised values to district court for Judicial Review.

October-January (10/1-1/31): Current Collection Phase

·        Taxes are collected by local jurisdictions.

·        Taxes become delinquent 2/1