The Tax Code requires the office of the Comptroller to prepare and publish an annual list of statewide total tax rates reported to the Comptroller’s office by all taxing units. SB2 (Senate Bill 2), the recently passed Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, amends some of the processes and details related to the preparation of the annual tax rate list.

Annual statewide list of tax rates

Section 5.091 of the Tax Code has been amended to state that the Comptroller is tasked with preparing an annual list that indicates the total tax rate imposed by every taxing unit in the state as reported to the office of the Comptroller by each appraisal district. The list will include the total tax rates in the year in which the list is made.

Before SB2, the annual statewide list of tax rates did not include those for school districts. Previously, the annual list reported the tax rates for the year preceding the one in which the list is prepared. Before SB2, the Tax Code did not emphasize that the appraisal districts are responsible for reporting the total tax rates imposed by the taxing units to the office of the Comptroller.

Roles of the Comptroller

According to the amended Tax Code, the Comptroller is responsible for establishing the deadline for the submission of the tax rates. The Comptroller is also tasked with prescribing the manner in which the appraisal districts submit the required tax rates.

When all the necessary information on property taxes has been gathered, the office of the Comptroller will list the tax rates in alphabetical order according to the (1) county or counties in which the taxing units are located and (2) the name of each taxing unit.

Local entities are required to self-report the tax rates, market values, and taxable values. The Comptroller is not responsible for the factualness of the self-reported data. The information found in the annual statewide list of property tax rates and levies are calculated by the office of the Comptroller and are not necessarily similar to actual tax collections.

The Comptroller must publish the annual list of tax rates not later than January 1 of the year following the last year covered by the list. The Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division (PTAD) is responsible for publishing the list on the Comptroller’s website by January 1.

Currently, the website of the Texas Comptroller shows the annual lists of tax rates and levies from the year 2013.

In addition to the annual list of property tax rates published by the Comptroller, Section 26.16 of the Tax Code requires county assessor-collectors to post tax rates for each county on the county website, if one is maintained. A hyperlink to the list of county tax rates must be prominently posted on the county website with the title “Tax Rate Information.” The hyperlink must link to (1) a table that includes all the taxing units located in the county or (2) a list of all the taxing units located in the county.

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