If you’re about to purchase property in the state of Texas, you must learn how the Texas property tax assessment works.
This article helps you learn about:
- Texas property tax assessments
- Property tax appeals and how to file them
- Property tax exemptions and how to apply for them
Learn how to lower your tax bills in Texas without wasting time or effort!
Since there are over 200 counties in Texas, concrete information about how property tax assessments work isn’t easy to find right away. Each county has its own:
- Tax rate determined by the local tax units
- Rules regarding when and how often properties are appraised
- Laws covering property tax appeals
- Tax relief programs and their eligibility criteria
Paying your property tax bills starts with the tax assessment process, which is why you need to understand how it works.
A county tax appraiser comes to your home to assess its market value, which is the price your property would be sold for. To determine the value of your home, the tax appraiser looks into the:
- Price you paid when buying the property
- Lot size the property sits on
- Square footage of the house or apartment
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your home
- Market value of surrounding properties
- Desirability of the area you live in
- Defects your home has
- Installations or improvements you made on your property
When the tax appraiser estimates the value of your home, they multiply the number by your county’s tax rate to determine how much your annual tax payment will be.
What To Do During Your Assessment To Reduce Your Tax Bills
You can do a lot to lower your property taxes in Texas during the assessment alone, including:
- Getting information about your home’s history—How old your home is can influence its assessed value. Knowing the information about your property’s history helps you determine whether there are any discrepancies in your tax bills later on
- Finding out what the properties in your neighborhood are valued at—Research the market values of the homes in your area to see whether the information adds up. For example, if you and your neighbor both have four rooms and a bathroom in your home but yours is appraised higher than theirs, your tax assessor might have made an error
- Being present during the assessor’s walkthrough and inviting them inside—If you stay by the appraiser’s side during the assessment, you can see right away whether they are making any mistakes while assessing your home’s value. You should also invite them inside to make sure they see all the defects (if there are any)
- Delaying any improvements you plan to make—If you have plans about refurbishing your home or adding any improvements, leave them for when the assessment is over. That way, the improvements won’t be added to your home’s appraised value, and your tax bills will be lower
What if You Disagree With Your Home’s Appraised Value?
Your county’s tax appraiser is obliged to give you your property assessment record. When you get it or your first tax bill, you should read it carefully to see whether there are any errors.
If you believe your home’s value was appraised higher than it should have been, you can appeal it.
As noted, each county in Texas has specific rules about where and how you can appeal your property tax assessment. In most cases, you have to:
- Fill out a form
- Send the form to the local tax unit along with other documents
- Pay a fee
- Wait to see whether your appeal can be sorted out without a court hearing
- Gather the evidence that proves your assessment is incorrect
- Protest your property’s assessment in court if it comes to that
Other Ways You Can Reduce Your Property Tax Bills in Texas
Like all states, Texas has a variety of different tax exemption programs for citizens that help you pay your property taxes.
If you are eligible for a tax exemption, a part or the entirety of your home’s assessed value can be reduced, which automatically lowers your annual tax bills.
Check out the table below to see some of the most common tax relief programs in Texas:
|Property Tax Exemptions in Texas||Approximate Eligibility Criteria|
|Property tax exemptions for veterans||Veterans with a 100% disability, their spouses, or widow(er)s can get tax relief in almost all counties|
|Senior citizens exemptions||Citizens usually have to be over 65 to get a property tax exemption in Texas|
|Solar property tax exemptions||Properties that have solar panels are eligible for many tax relief programs. This is the government's way of encouraging its citizens to go green|
|Agricultural property tax exemptions||Owners who use their lands for agricultural purposes should apply for the agricultural tax exemption. The land usually has to be their primary source of income|
These are not all property tax exemptions in Texas you may qualify for. Since these programs are confusing, DoNotPay has designed a product that helps you get all the information you need in one place.
When you make a DoNotPay account, you can get a specific guide that tells you what property tax exemptions you are eligible for and how to apply for them.
How Do You Get DoNotPay’s Guide on Reducing Property Taxes?
The best aspect of our product is that it takes only a few minutes to get you all the information you need. Here’s what you should do:
- Log in to your DoNotPay account
- Go to our Property Taxes product
- Answer our chatbot’s questions about yourself and your property
Besides getting all the info about property tax exemptions in Texas, our app also helps you appeal your property tax assessment.
Instead of browsing through countless websites and making a trip to your local tax office, let our app generate a guide for you to find out:
- What documentation you need when appealing your tax assessment in Texas
- What forms you need to fill out and where to send them
- How to gather the evidence that helps you win your case
- What to do during your court hearing
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