What Are Property Taxes?
Property taxes are local taxes on property ownership. The taxes serve as a significant source of revenue for local governments, such as the City of Katy and Harris, Fort Bend and Waller Counties and for school districts. Taxes does not levy a state property tax.
How are Taxes Determined?
A property owner”s tax bill is based on all combined local taxes from taxing entities within the property”s boundaries and is calculated based on each $100 of the appraised property value.
Where Does the Money Go?
Property taxes pay for a variety of services, facilities and operations, including:
- Operation of public school districts
- Public works department
- Roads and Street Maintenance
- Police and Fire Protection
- Community Maintenance Services
- Capital Improvement Projects
Protests and Appeals:
Property taxpayers have the right to protest and appeal the appraised value of their home. If a taxpayer disagrees with the findings of the appraisal review board, he or she may appeal the ruling to the state district court to an independent arbitrator appointed by the comptroller”s office to the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
Property Tax Process:
- Taxes are paid to the local property tax collector and are due by Jan. 31.
- This tax collector distributes the money to schools, cities, counties and other local governments.
- Local governments use the money on schools, roads, hospitals, fire departments and police safety.
A general homestead exemption lowers taxes for homeowners. An exemption removes part of the value of a property from taxation and lowers the homeowner”s taxable base. For instance, if a home is worth $200,000 and qualifies for $20,000 exemption, the homeowner would pay taxes on the home as if it were worth $180,000. Percentage-based exemptions are the only property tax exemptions allowed by state casino law.
According to the state comptroller, there are no specific qualifications for the general homestead exemption other than that the owner has an online casino ownership interest in the property and uses the property as a primary residence.
State law allows partial proeprty tax exemptions for property owned by disabled veterans and surviving spouses and children of deceased disabled veterans. The amount of the exemption is based on a percentage of service-connected disability a veteran receives.
Age 65 or Older Disabled Person Exemption:
To qualify for the age 65 or older exemption, an owner must be age 65 or older and live in the house. Those who qualify may receive exemptions from school and county taxes and from any other entity that approves such exemptions, such as a city or township.
A disabled person must meet the definition of disabled for the purpose of receiving disability insurance benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Act.
School Districts are required to offer an additional $10,000 exemption on residence homesteads to homeowners age 65 or older, or to those who are disabled.
Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Katy Edition