A Review About Property Tax Law in Texas

Property taxes are being used to fund public services which include water districts, public schools, city streets, police and fire protection, among others. In Texas, there is no state income tax so much of the funding for local services are being passed on to the property tax.

This is how the amount of tax to be paid for the property tax is being determined:

Supposing the county commissioners create a budget to build a road, the assessor must divide the cost to build that road among the properties within its jurisdiction.  If the values of the property are equal, then the tax burden will fall equally.

As more property is developed, the burden is dispersed and lightened for each. But as properties expand, so does the need for infrastructure to expand with it. Although the overall budget increases, the burden is still distributed proportionately. Fort Worth lawyer, Lawrence Brown, comments in the complexity of property taxes.

It’s seemed simple but home values are rarely the same now. The assessor must evaluate each property and disperse the tax burden in relation to the value of those properties. With the higher value property carrying the higher percentage but still only creating the revenue needed to meet the county’s budget costs.

When Property Assessments Are Not Accurate

What can happen when a property is not assessed using proper methods? If the property value is only calculated at the time of sale, then over time inflation and the usual rise and property value are not factored into the equation. For example, a large home was purchased in the 70s for a hundred and twenty thousand dollars.

That was a lot of money back then. Today a little home was newly purchased at 120 thousand dollars also although the smaller home is actually worth less. It carries the same tax burden as the large home in a situation where there is a period of excelled new construction.

You can see how this can get out of hand. The new properties that are built and purchased begin to carry a majority of the tax burden. Why? Because the older properties values haven’t been appraised since they were purchased many years ago. What’s even more interesting is that this particular problem doesn’t show up on many of the ratio studies performed by the Department of Revenue.

Here are the important dates to remember: Tax collection starts October 1 when tax bills are starting to be sent to the taxpayers. Tax payment is up to January 31st of the following year. When February 1 clocks in, penalty and interest charges will be imposed.