Property taxes-also called ad valorem taxes-are locally assessed taxes. The county appraisal district appraises property located in the county, while local taxing units set tax rates and collect property taxes based on those values. Many taxing units outsource collections to a single entity in the county. Property taxes provide more tax dollars for local services in Texas than any other source-they help pay for public schools, libraries, playgrounds, city streets, county roads, police, fire protection, emergency medical service and many other services.
There are three main parts to the property tax system in Texas:
The property tax year has four stages: appraising taxable property, protesting the values and other matters, adopting the tax rates and collecting the taxes. The following represents a summary of the process.
No. Texas has only local property taxes levied by local taxing units. The state does not have current local tax records on each property and its ownership and does not set your property's value for property taxes.
All taxable property will pay county and school taxes. If the property is located inside a city's boundaries, you also may pay city taxes. Special taxing units-junior college, hospital district, road district and others-may also tax your property.
The Comptroller's office may provide technical advice to local governments and taxpayers on property tax issues, but it cannot intervene in local tax matters.
You can file a written protest with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). The TDLR regulates the registration and professional conduct of persons in the appraisal occupation. You may contact TDLR by calling (800) 803-9202 or by e-mail or by mail at:P.O. Box 12157
A local board of directors governs the appraisal district.
The governing bodies of taxing units that vote on the appraisal district's budget (county, city, school, junior college districts and some conservation and reclamation districts) elect the appraisal district's directors. If the governing bodies do not select the county tax assessor-collector as a director, the county tax assessor-collector (if he or she collects the county's taxes) serves as a non-voting director.
Each taxing unit located in that appraisal district pays its pro rata share of the budget. Some appraisal districts have adopted different funding mechanisms. Most appraisal districts base each taxing unit's share on the amount of taxes levied by that unit compared to the total taxes levied by all units in the district.
The board of directors of each appraisal district appoints the appraisal review board members. In counties with a population of 120,000 or more, appraisal review board members are appointed by the local administrative district judge
An individual must be a resident of the district for two or more years before taking office. No special requirements are necessary. An individual may not serve if he or she is an appraisal district director or an employee or officer of an appraisal district, tax office or the Comptroller’s office. Also, an individual is ineligible to serve in counties having a population of more than 100,000 until the fourth anniversary of the date the person ceased to serve as a member or officer of a taxing unit for which the appraisal district appraises property or if the person has ever appeared before the review board for compensation. Finally, an individual cannot serve if he or she is closely related (second degree by blood or marriage) to an individual paid as a tax agent or is in the business of appraising property for tax purposes in the appraisal district.
ARB members may not contract with the appraisal district or with a taxing unit in the district. This includes the member or a business entity in which the member has a substantial interest.