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Why You Should Get a Tax Certificate

There are plenty of intricacies involved with property tax laws in Texas. If you don’t have the right understanding of the system, then you can end up in a negative position. Unlike many states, Texas does not directly collect property taxes from its residents. Instead, property taxes are taken by cities, counties, school districts, and other “taxing units.”

They make a determination about how much to tax each property owner depending on the valuable information that can be found on the tax roll. According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, this includes assessed property values, locations of the property, owner’s names, delinquent taxes, interest, and penalties. The information on a tax roll can be invaluable for most property owners. But, why should you get a tax certificate?

1. Understand What You Have to Pay

In some cases, it might be in your best interest to look up how much you will need to pay prior to purchasing a property. There are properties that have delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest that can add up. This is information that might keep you from buying a property.

You may also be unaware of the delinquent taxes and other penalties levied on property that you have owned for years. Getting a tax certificate clues you into all that information so you know where you stand.

2. Valuable Evidence

If you are protesting the appraisal made by your county appraisal district (CAD) on your property, then you are going to need evidence to support your claim. A tax certificate from one of the taxing units provides a great deal of information. For instance, if you were not the owner of the property on January 1, then the tax certificate will show that. In that case, you would not have to pay the associated property taxes. A tax certificate can also provide you with current and past years’ valuations from the CAD.

3. Construction or Demolition Permits

A tax certificate is also necessary if you want to get a construction or demolition permit. This is important because most municipalities will not let you build or demolish anything on a property if it still has delinquent taxes. The tax certificate works as proof that there are no back taxes and you can get started on construction. Of course, if there are delinquent taxes and penalties, then you may be liable for paying them before you can start construction and demolition.

All in all, having proper tax certification is a just a great way to know what’s going on with your property and the taxes associated with it. Tax certificates cost only $10 at the tax office in your county. It generally takes about 3 days for the office to research and compile the needed information. When the office obtains the certificate, they will notify you, and you can pick it up in person at their location. This is a great way to get a lot of information about your property and use it in a constructive manner.

More questions about Tax Certificates? Contact O’Connor today to speak with one of our property tax experts.

Blog Author

Patrick O’Connor, MAI, Owner and President
Patrick O’Connor has been active in reducing property taxes, providing expert witness testimony and appraising commercial real estate property since 1983. Pat is active in publishing analyses and data with respect to the real estate market, while being a highly regarded media spokesperson for the real estate community. He holds a MAI, the highest achievable designation from the Appraisal Institute, and is a licensed senior property tax consultant. Pat earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. In 2001, he authored the first definitive consumer guide to Texas property taxes, Cut Your Texas Property Taxes.

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