Property Tax Bills
The 84th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1 and Senate Joint Resolution 1. If voters approve SJR 1 in Nov. 2015, the mandatory residence homestead exemption for school districts will increase and the school district tax ceiling will decrease. School districts, cities and counties will be prohibited from repealing or reducing a local option percentage residence homestead exemption adopted for the 2014 tax year until 2020. This Web page will be updated with SJR 1 changes upon voter approval. For the 2015 tax year only, SB 1 provides for a supplemental appraisal roll, effective and rollback tax rate calculations and a prescribed tax bill. A summary of these changes can be found on the Comptroller’s website.
Tax Code Section 31.01 requires the assessor to prepare and mail a tax bill to each property owner listed on the tax roll or to that person's agent by Oct. 1 or as soon thereafter as practicable each year. In the case of mortgaged property where taxes are paid from an escrow account controlled by the mortgagee (mortgage holder), the notice requirements are satisfied by sending the tax bill to the mortgagee. Written authorization by the property owner is not required in order to deliver the tax bill to the mortgage company when the mortgage company acknowledges that it has authority for payment of taxes on the property.
For purposes of this section, a tax bill includes both the tax bill and separate statements referenced in Tax Code Section 31.01.
The tax bill is required to include the following information:
- the property subject to the tax;
- the appraised value, assessed value, and taxable value of the property;
- the market value and the taxable value for purposes of deferred or additional taxation as provided by Section 23.46, 23.55, 23.76, or 23.9807, as applicable, if the property is land appraised as provided by Subchapter C, D, E, or H, Chapter 23;
- the assessment ratio for the unit;
- the type and amount of any partial exemption applicable to the property, indicating whether it applies to appraised or assessed value;
- the total tax rate for the unit;
- the amount of tax due, the due date, and the delinquency date;
- the payment option and discounts provided by Sections 31.03 and 31.05, if available to the unit's taxpayers, and state the date on which each of the discount periods provided by Section 31.05 concludes, if the discounts are available;
- the rates of penalty and interest imposed for delinquent payment of the tax;
- the name and telephone number of the assessor for the unit and, if different, of the collector for the unit;
- for real property, for the current tax year and each of the preceding five tax years:
- the appraised value and taxable value of the property;
- the total tax rate for the unit;
- the amount of taxes imposed on the property by the unit; and
- the difference, expressed as a percent increase or decrease, as applicable, in the amount of taxes imposed on the property by the unit compared to the amount imposed for the preceding tax year;
- for real property, the differences, expressed as a percent increase or decrease, as applicable, in the following for the current tax year as compared to the fifth tax year before that tax year:
- the appraised value and taxable value of the property;
- the total tax rate for the unit; and
- the amount of taxes imposed on the property by the unit.
Transportation Code Section 280.003(d) requires the tax assessor-collector of a county that establishes street lights along a county road to impose a fee on every landowner whose real property benefits from the street lights and to include the fee on the owner’s property tax bill. The tax bill is required to separately state the amount of the fee.
Additionally, if for any of the preceding six tax years any information required by Tax Code Section 31.01(c)(11) or (12) to be included in a tax bill or separate statement is unavailable, the tax bill or statement must state that the information is not available for that year.
Tax Code Section 33.04 requires delinquent tax bills to be delivered to each person whose name appears on the current and cumulative delinquent tax rolls.
Delinquent tax bills or statements are required to include the following information:
- the name, address, and telephone number of the collecting office, the name of the taxing unit(s) for which delinquent taxes are due on the specified property for which that office collects, and the name and telephone number of the assessor for the taxing unit(s) if different from the collector;
- the name and address of the property owner and/or agent;
- the description of the property;
- the account number of the property;
- the year(s) for which the taxes are delinquent;
- the amount(s) of delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest due, indicating the amount due each taxing unit;
- the date by which the taxes delinquent should be paid before additional penalties and interest are applied;
- if applicable, a statement that a protest or request for correction is pending before an appraisal review board or that an appeal to district court or binding arbitration is pending; and
- if applicable, a statement that a tax deferral or abatement applies to the account.
Delinquent tax bills prepared for owners of special inventory shall separately itemize the taxes levied against special inventory pursuant to Tax Code Sections 23.122, 23.12, 23.1241 and 23.128, and must include the name and telephone number of the assessor for the taxing unit and, if different, of the collector for the unit.
Tax Code Section 31.01(k) allows taxpayers and tax assessor-collectors to enter agreements for the electronic delivery of tax statements or bills. Tax Code Section 31.01(l) provides that the Comptroller's office may prescribe acceptable media, formats, content and methods for the delivery of tax bills by electronic means and provide a model form agreement which are outlined below.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a rule. Electronic delivery of tax bills is a local option. The guidelines and model form are not mandatory. They are intended to be used as general information to assist taxing units. The Comptroller's office is not offering legal advice. The guidelines and model form neither constitute nor serve as a substitute for legal advice. Questions regarding the meaning or interpretation of statutes, legal requirements, and other matters should, as appropriate or necessary, be directed to an attorney or other appropriate counsel.
Format and Content
The content and format of all tax bills delivered electronically must conform to the requirements of all laws and Comptroller rules applicable to content and format of tax bills delivered by mail.
Methods for Delivery of Tax Bills
For purposes of this section, electronic refers to the method of transfer of information delivered by email (e.g. content set forth in body of email, PDF attachment to email, word processing document attachment to email, hyperlink included in body of email).
Electronically delivered tax bills:
- must be delivered by email and set forth all information required for tax bills in the body of the email. A tax bill may be delivered by email using means other than setting forth all required information in the body of the email only by agreement.
- may deliver the required information by email incorporating any electronic means to which the assessor and the individual or entity entitled to receive the tax bill have agreed in writing in accordance with Tax Code Section 31.01(k) requirements.
- must be delivered using an email that provides confirmation of receipt. If confirmation of receipt is not received by the 30th day following the date the tax bill is sent by email, the assessor must deliver the tax bill to the individual or entity entitled to receive the tax bill by mail. This subsection shall not be construed to limit or otherwise alter the provisions of Tax Code Section 31.01(g).
When an individual submits a signed agreement for the electronic delivery of tax bills to the assessor for consideration, the assessor must advise the individual or entity of its acceptance or rejection within 10 business days of receiving it. Written notice of acceptance must be provided by email to the email address designated in the agreement for electronic delivery of tax bills. Written notice of rejection must be mailed to the name and mailing address designated in the agreement as the name and address of the individual or entity entitled to receive a tax bill under Tax Code Section 31.01.
Failure to send or receive the required tax bill, including a tax bill that has been requested to be sent under electronic agreement, does not affect the validity of the tax, penalty or interest, the due date, the existence of a tax lien, or any procedure instituted to collect a tax.
Tax Code Section 33.01 establishes the penalty and interest (P&I) rates on delinquent property taxes. PTAD provides P&I charts for use in calculating the total amount due on delinquent property tax bills. The charts include the rates for taxes delinquent on Feb. 1 of the tax year, but do not include additional penalties for attorney fees.
The rates in these charts do not apply to delinquent taxes based on a different delinquency date such as taxes on omitted property, split payments, late-mailed tax bills, installment payments or homesteads with a tax deferral. Except for school districts, these rates also do not apply to delinquent taxes for a year in which a tax rate rollback election reduced the tax rate because the taxing unit had to extend the delinquency date.
Tax Code Section 33.05 provides that real property taxes delinquent more than 20 years and personal property taxes delinquent more than 10 years are removed from the delinquent tax rolls, unless the taxing unit has pending litigation on those taxes.
The Tax Code addresses 33 types of property tax bills that vary by delinquency date or by the requirements for applying delinquent penalty and interest charges. The tax bill charts detail the delinquency date, penalty and interest amounts for each type of bill.
Almost all property tax bills are due on receipt. Tax Code Section 31.01(g) provides that failure to send or receive the tax bill does not affect the validity of the tax, penalty, interest, the due date, the creation of a tax lien or any procedure instituted to collect a tax.
The only exception is that a property tax collector may not send a bill until the total taxes due for all taxing units the collector serves is $15 or more. A property owner may file a written request with the collector that a tax bill not be sent until the total amount of taxes due on the property is $15 or more.
The dates in the charts reflect the delinquency date; not the last day to pay before delinquent. Tax Code Section 1.06 states that if the last date for the act to be performed is on a Saturday, Sunday or legal state or national holiday then the act is considered timely if done on the next business day. One example of how this provision would affect this chart is as follows:
- Last day to pay taxes without delinquency (last day for legal action to be performed) is Jan. 31.
- Taxes are shown in chart as delinquent on Feb. 1.
- If Jan. 31 falls on a Friday, the taxes are delinquent on Saturday, Feb. 1.
- If Jan. 31 falls on a Saturday, taxes may be paid on Monday, Feb. 2 and are delinquent on Tuesday, Feb. 3.
- If Jan. 31 falls on a Sunday, taxes may be paid on Monday, Feb. 1 and are delinquent on Tuesday, Feb. 2.
For questions about property tax bills and collections, call the Property Tax Assistance Division's Information Services Team at 512-305-9999 or 1-800-252-9121 (press 2 for the menu and then press 1 for the Information Services team).