Property tax is always a touchy subject, especially in places like Texas. Although property taxes only have to be paid one time per year, there is a plethora of organizations, districts, and boards that are working on property taxes throughout the year in Texas.

Tax bills for the previous year should arrive no later than January 10th. In fact, the assessor should mail tax bills by October 1 of that year, but with all the appraising, adjudicating, and data compiling that government workers have to do, it’s a miracle that they get tax bills to their constituents at all. It certainly takes a long time for initial appraisals to eventually turn into tax bills.

When will the CAD start sending tax assessments?

This might seem like a silly question, but it’s one that can be important for some people. Early in the year, the local county appraisal district (CAD) begins the process of appraising each property within its jurisdiction. At the beginning of the year, appraisal notices are generally sent out. However, the chief appraiser has until April 1 to mail notices of appraised value for single-family residences. The reason these value assessments are sent out early in the year is so that property owners can protest the valuation with the appraisal review board (ARB).

The Interim

Of course, after the appraisal notices have been sent out, property owners have until May 31st or 30 days after receiving the tax assessment to file for a protest. If their protest is accepted by the ARB, then they will partake in a hearing to try to prove their case. Most of these hearings take place between April and July.

According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the deadline for the ARB to approve the appraisal records is July 20. This should have occurred after at least 95% of the property in the county has been assessed and confirmed. If more than 5% of property valuations have yet to be resolved, then the ARB may be given an extension to August 30. This is only applicable for counties with one million or more residents.

Tax Rates and Tax Bills

Eventually, the tax roll is approved and certified by the local ARB and CAD. With these values in mind, taxing units (e.g. school districts, municipalities, counties, etc.) are given the opportunity to set their tax rate for the year. They have until September 29 to set their tax rate. If the taxing units miss these deadlines, then the tax rate will revert to the previous year’s rate.

Finally, the tax assessor for the county must use all the data from the tax rolls and the tax rates to compile and create tax bills for all the property owners in their county. State law sets October 1 as the day that the assessor should send out the tax bills to all property owners. In some cases, it’s not practical to send out the tax bills on or before October 1. So, it’s relatively common for property owners to get their tax bills in October or even early November in some cases. In any event, you can expect your tax bills around that time.

Contact O’Connor & Associates today for more information on your property tax bill!