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Comptroller News


Disaster area can use tax-payment option

"Last month I announced a plan to help local governments whose tax revenue has declined since Hurricane Rita," Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn said. "Today I am informing hard-hit taxpayers of a means of lessening their hardship by taking advantage of a provision of the Property Tax Code that allows individuals to pay property taxes in installments."

Residents who own a residence damaged as a direct result of a disaster may take advantage of this provision of the Property Tax Code.

Before taxes become delinquent, a homeowner must pay one-fourth of the taxes and give written notice to the taxing unit that the remaining taxes will be paid in installments. The homeowner may pay remaining taxes in three equal installments without incurring penalty or interest.

For more information, contact the county appraisal district in which the homestead is located or call the Comptroller's property tax hotline at 800-252-9121.


Property tax rendition deadline approaching

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn reminds Texas businesses to render their property--or list the taxable inventory, furniture and fixtures, machinery and equipment and other property that a business owned or managed as of January 1, 2006--with county appraisal districts by April 15.

Rendering allows property owners to record their property's value and ensures that the appraisal district sends them a notice before changing a value on the property.

Business owners are subject to monetary penalties if they file their annual property tax rendition late, fail to render or file an incomplete or false rendition.

Property owners may file a written request for an extension with the chief appraiser on or before April 15 to receive an automatic extension to May 15.


Sales tax revenue rises

The state collected $1.57 billion in sales tax revenue in December 2005, up 15.9 percent compared with December 2004. The late-November kickoff of holiday shopping gave sales tax revenue a boost, and purchases related to Southeast Texas' continuing recovery from Hurricane Rita continue to contribute to sales tax revenues.

"In the 22 Southeast Texas disaster counties, local sales tax revenues are up 38 percent, overall, compared with a year ago," Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn said.

Strayhorn sent January sales tax allocations of $260.2 million to Texas cities; $22.9 million to counties; $11.1 million to 102 special-purpose taxing districts; and $106.7 million to 10 local transit systems.


Comptroller announces staff promotion

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn announced in January the promotion of Will Holford to special assistant for Communications.

"I am pleased to promote Will Holford to special assistant for Communications," Strayhorn said. "He has been a talented member of my communications staff for more than two years and will now be a valuable asset to my executive staff."

Holford has served as press secretary for Strayhorn since July 2004, a position he previously held in 2000 and 2001. His other work experience includes public relations manager and market development manager for Bank of America, reporter for the Odessa American and staff writer for the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise.