Property taxes in Texas are the main source through which local governments get funding in the state. They also provide funding for county, city, school districts and other services. The collection of property taxes in Texas cities like Houston, Cypress, and Katy, keep the state running smoothly by meeting the needs of its taxpayers.
If you’re moving to Texas, you need to understand a little bit about how property taxes are determined in this state. According to Texas law, all property, whether personal or used for business, is taxable at its market value.
The total tax burden for any given property starts with the appraised value given to the property by the appraisal district of each county. For Harris County Appraisal Distict, click here . From there, exemptions are imposed, such as the homestead exemption. The remaining value is multiplied by the tax rate that is set by the local governing units in that jurisdiction.
The Homestead Exception
First time home buyers, in particular, will be interested to learn about the homestead exemption. By applying for the Homestead Exemption, you can decrease the amount of taxes you pay on your primary residence in Texas.
What is the Homestead Cap?
Because of what the law calls the “homestead cap,” the appraised value of a Texas home that’s occupied by the owner can be lowered. The cap states that a property’s value can increase at a maximum of 10 percent per year. So, if a property is appraised at
$175,000 the year, but the value of the home last year was $150,000, the home would be taxed at a value of $165,000.
How to Calculate Your Property Taxes in Texas
So, how exactly do you determine what your property tax bill will be this year? There’s a relatively simple process:
- Start with the appraised value of the home posted on the county’s property appraisal’s website.
- Deduct any exemptions that you may qualify.
- Multiply the appraised value by the tax rate in your area.
What if you don’t agree with your Assessed Property Value?
Think you are paying too much in taxes? There is a protest procedure if you don’t agree with the assessed value of your home. You can protest the appraised value, and your property will be re-examined by a Board of Review. This can all intially be done online.
You will have the opportunity to present your case as to why the appraised value should be lower. You should present comparable sold homes in your neighborhood as data showing why your property’s value is incorrect. Please contact me if you’d like some help in this arena.
Yes, people moving to Texas from other states do think that our property taxes are high. Heck, even Texans think property taxes can be high. No one likes paying taxes. Fortunately, we don’t have a state income tax, and our standard of living here in Texas is still lower than other states.