The Basics About Texas Property Taxes
Let’s just start with the reason all of this is even necessary. Property taxes in Texas are due at the same time every year. But why?
Texas is one of seven states that does not tax personal income. Most of the state’s tax revenue is collected from sales tax and taxes from certain businesses and industries. At the local level, property taxes help generate the funds that are needed to support cities counties and school districts.
Your local emergency services are covered by property taxes and so are your area’s paved streets, libraries, parks, and government services. If we didn’t pay property taxes, we’d be in a pretty dire situation. That’s why it’s necessary to fulfill this obligation every year and why Texas’ delinquent property tax laws can seem so strict.
Why Do Property Taxes Seem So High in Texas?
In a recent article from USA Today, Texas was ranked sixth in the nation for the highest property taxes in the United States. Based on property tax data from the 2015 fiscal year, the state’s effective property tax rate was around 1.70 percent. In 2017, Wallethub calculated that the property tax rate in Texas was around 1.83%. The average price of a home in Texas was around $151,500, putting the property taxes at $2,775.
But why are property taxes in the state at the higher end of the spectrum? It’s mainly because local governments rely heavily on property taxes to support city or county services throughout Texas. In states where this occurs, the tax rates tend to be higher than average to adequately cover the needs of every community.
When Are Property Taxes Due?
Property taxes are due on January 31. If you can’t pay your property taxes in full, you’re not off the hook. You can make arrangements to pay your taxes in quarterly installments, but your first payment is still due by the 31st. Your payment is considered late on February 1 – no ifs, ands or buts about it.
What Happens if You’re Delinquent on Property Taxes in Texas — Or Don’t Pay Them at All?
Taxes are due on January 31. So on February 1, they’re considered delinquent if they haven’t been received by the taxing authority. At that point, you’ll start accruing interest and penalty fees. The combination of interest and penalty fees can go as high as 47.6% depending on where you live.
We’ve covered what could happen if you don’t pay your property taxes, but here’s a quick refresher. Not paying your tax bill will result in a tax lien against your property. A lien is a claim on your property that basically says your local tax authority has the first rights to your property over any other creditors. The lien amount is usually the overdue amount, plus interest and penalties.
The foreclosure process can start at any time after that. If you can’t cover the lien amount or you don’t have a good reason as to why your property shouldn’t be in foreclosure, your home or business can be sold to a new owner at a tax sale. If it doesn’t sell at a tax sale, it becomes county property and can be sold at another point in time.
What Are the Alternatives to Foreclosure?
If you’re struggling to come up with your payment, property tax relief could come in the form of a payment plan, assistance from a community agency or even an exemption, which is like a discount on the tax assessor’s appraisal value. These options can help offset a portion of what you owe, but you’ll still be required to pay off the remainder of your property tax bill.
A property tax loan is a good solution when you don’t qualify for exemptions or assistance and you know that installment payments might make things even tighter for you financially. As we all know, life tends to tie up our resources on a regular basis. Repairs pop up when we least expect them. Family emergencies come up every now and then. Or, we might just want to maintain our livelihoods so we’re not scraping by until the next paycheck arrives. Regardless of your needs, you can turn to Tax Ease for delinquent property tax help in Texas.
How Our Property Tax Loan Process Works
You’re busy and you don’t have time to run back and forth to sit in an office and fill out paperwork. That’s why Tax Ease makes the process for applying for tax loans simple. It can all be done in five simple steps.
Fill out an application online or call us and we’ll walk you through the process.
Our loan processors will collect and verify your information for approval.
Once you’re approved, we’ll create an affordable loan repayment plan with an interest rate that’s among the lowest in the industry.
We’ll arrange a time and place for you to sign your loan documents. While we have locations in Dallas, Houston and McAllen, we are not limited to just Dallas County, Harris County and Hidalgo County. We can meet you anywhere in the state.
We’ll pay your property taxes in full and then send you payment options for your property tax loan.