taxesProperty Tax Assistance

Truth-in-Taxation: Tax Rate Adoption

Truth-in-taxation is a concept embodied in the Texas Constitution that requires local taxing units to make taxpayers aware of tax rate proposals and to afford taxpayers the opportunity to limit tax increases. 1 Property owners have the right to know about increases in their properties' appraised value and to be notified of the estimated taxes that could result from the new value. 2

Creating a budget and adopting a property tax rate to support that budget are major functions of a taxing unit's governing body. This is accomplished by following truth-in-taxation requirements to ensure the public is informed of any increases. The type of taxing unit determines its applicable truth-in-taxation requirements.

If certain taxing units fail to comply with the hearing, notice or tax rate adopting process in good faith, a property owner in the taxing unit may seek an injunction to stop the taxing unit from sending tax bills until it convinces the district court that it has complied with the law. 3 A property owner must act to enjoin collections before the taxing unit delivers substantially all of its tax bills. 4 This injunction process does not apply to taxing units with low levies or water districts. 5

By providing the following information, the Comptroller's office provides technical assistance and not legal advice. Taxing units should consult legal counsel for questions about the meaning of statutes, notice and hearing requirements and other matters that are unclear in the law.

Generally, the governing body must take the following actions: