How to pay property tax in Texas

Paying taxes in the United States is always an important topic to talk about, especially in Texas, where everything related to property tax is up to the local authorities and its comptrollers.

This type of tax must be paid by every landowner or person that occupies a building, and the amount will depend on the value of the property; the purpose of doing this is to contribute with the government to generate money for public purposes.

If you live in the state of Texas, and you do not know which is the process to pay property taxes, keep reading this article.

How does it work?

The steps to pay your property tax in Texas are different in each county, however, there is a general process which must be done through the following entities or groups:

County Appraisal District (CAD)

The CDA is responsible for ensuring that property values stay fair. This entity establishes how much money should be paid depending on several factors, including how expensive the property is or its location.

However, the CAD is only the first step to determinate the value of a property because local tax units have an essential role in this matter as well.

Appraisal Review Board

It is a group of citizens that settles disagreements about property values.

Local taxing entities

These entities set budgets and work with the CAD to determine property tax rates.

Local tax collector

In some counties, these collectors function as taxing units to collect the payment.

Taxing unit

Taxing units decide how much money must be spent and how much is needed for every public service. It is important to understand that property tax can increase depending on how much the government spends. However, changes or alterations in property values do not affect the amount of your property tax payment.

Property tax forms

During this process, you will have to fill some forms; they can be downloaded on the Comptroller’s website.

texas property tax forms

However, we recommend you to take a minute to read carefully every form before filling it. If you do not know which one of these you must fill, check with your taxing units or appraisal boards.

  • Taxing units can help you with tax rates and tax bills.
  • And appraisal boards can help you with exemptions, property values, and others.

Payment options

Tax collectors provide different payment options, but this also depends on where you reside. These are the most common:

Credit card, debit card, and cash

Property taxes can be paid by credit card, debit cards, and e-Checks; some of the accepted options are: American Express, Discover, Master Card, and Visa.

You can also pay in cash in any Tax Office location.

Online Payment

Some counties allow you to make online payments as well, but this will depend on where you reside. For your convenience, here is an example of this option in Harris county.

harris county online payment

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Some people are able to defer property tax payment, such as:

  • Elderly over 65 years or disabled people.
  • People who qualify for disabled veterans.
  • Sole owners of inherited properties that qualify as residence homestead.

Partial payments

To help people that cannot make the full payment of their property tax, some collectors can adopt a policy of partial payments; this option does not affect the due date.

Installment payment

Some people are able to pay homestead taxes in four equal installments, which means that property tax can be paid in small parts in a specific time period.

Taxpayers are allowed to make the first installment and request the installment agreement before the due date.

Due dates in Texas

The deadline to pay your property tax in Texas is January 31st; if you do it later, the tax will be considered delinquent. Most property owners pay their taxes before the year ends, so they can deduct the payments from their federal income taxes.

If you do not pay on time, these could be some of the consequences:

  • Penalty and interest charges.
  • Delinquent tax notices.
  • You may be sued.
  • You may have problems to sell your property.

Tax rates in Texas

Texas has one of the highest property tax rates in the United States because it depends on the local authorities and not the state to establish the rate, which makes it difficult for the latter to regulate or influence on this matter.

On this website, you can see the Median Property Tax on Texas, based on calculations that include data from the entire state.