Each year Texas property owners have the misfortune of receiving their annual property tax levy. Texas has some of the highest property tax rates in the country, in a state where property values have held despite the recession. As a result, homeowners have seen little relief in their annual property tax assessment. When making your yearly property tax payment keep note of the important due dates, payment options that may be available, and realize the penalty for late property tax payment can be stiff.
Property Tax Payment - Residential and Commercial Property Taxes in Texas
Those who escrow for taxes and insurance have little to fret over. Your mortgage company will pay the property taxes from your escrow account. You should receive a receipt from the tax assessor indicating payment has been made. The receipt is essential to retain, as many homeowners deduct property taxes for federal income tax purposes.
If you don't have an escrow account, you need to pay your property taxes by January 31st to avoid penalties or interest charges. If you have not received your tax bill by January 1st, I recommend contacting your tax assessor to determine the amount owed.
Property tax bills often include more than one taxing jurisdiction because some taxing jurisdictions combine their collection operations. Likewise, certain properties will be subject to multiple taxing jurisdictions collected by different assessors. Contact the central appraisal district for your respective county to determine the taxing jurisdictions which apply to your property. Many county central appraisal districts now post their property tax data online.
Property Tax Payment Due Dates and Payment Options
Taxes that remain unpaid on February 1st are considered delinquent with penalty and interest charges added to the original amount. Because taxes are due in one lump sum, coming up with this property tax payment at once can be a challenge. The good news is that most tax collection offices provide property tax payment options such as:
- Payment by credit card, typically with additional fees of 3% to 5%
- Deferment or installment plans for taxes on homestead properties for disabled property owners or property owners over 65 years of age (check with the County Central Appraisal District to see if you qualify)
- Discounts for early property tax payment
- Partial payment of your taxes
Paying your property taxes is an important responsibility for each property owner. The services provided by our cities and counties and the schools that educate our children are funded by property tax revenues. While there is much debate over the efficient and effective spending of this revenue, the municipal services we have come to expect and enjoy would cease to exist without collecting property taxes.