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 (a) After notice has been provided to a person, the person’s real property, whether improved or unimproved, is subject to seizure by a municipality for the payment of delinquent ad valorem taxes, penalties, and interest the person owes on the property and the amount secured by a municipal health or safety lien on the property if:

(1) the property:

(A) is in a municipality;

(B) is less than one acre; and

(C) has been abandoned for at least one year;

(2) the taxes on the property are delinquent for:

(A) each of the preceding five years; or

(B) each of the preceding three years if a lien on the property has been created on the property in favor of the municipality for the cost of remedying a health or safety hazard on the property; and

(3) the tax collector of the municipality determines that seizure of the property under this subchapter for the payment of the delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest, and of a municipal health and safety lien on the property, would be in the best interest of the municipality and the other taxing units after determining that the sum of all outstanding tax and municipal claims against the property plus the estimated costs under Section 33.48 of a standard judicial foreclosure exceed the anticipated proceeds from a tax sale.

(b) The seizure and sale may not be set aside or voided because of any error in determination.

(c) For purposes of this section, a property is presumed to have been abandoned for at least one year if, during that period, the property has remained vacant and a lawful act of ownership of the property has not been exercised. The tax collector of a municipality may rely on the affidavit of any competent person with personal knowledge of the facts in determining whether a property has been abandoned or vacant. For purposes of this subsection:

(1) property is considered vacant if there is an absence of any activity by the owner, a tenant, or a licensee related to residency, work, trade, business, leisure, or recreation; and

(2) “lawful act of ownership” includes mowing or cutting grass or weeds, repairing or demolishing a structure or fence, removing debris, or other form of property upkeep or maintenance performed by or at the request of the owner of the property.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 1017, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 914, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 319, Sec. 2, eff. June 18, 2003.

Property Tax Protection Program Benefits