How Are My Texas Property Taxes Used?

Texans pay a significant amount of annual property taxes. But what gets paid for using your property taxes? Because Texas does not levy a state income tax, numerous government services rely on local property taxes for operations.

Texas Property Tax Basics

In Texas, there are no statewide income or property taxes. Instead, all property taxes are assessed and collected on the local level. 

Each county has its own appraisal district responsible for determining the taxable value of all properties within its jurisdiction. The district's assessment is then multiplied by property tax rates levied by local taxing units.

Texas homeowners typically pay property taxes to multiple local taxing units. The local school district, county government, municipal government, and other special units all levy their own property taxes. 

In some counties, multiple taxing units combine their efforts and outsource billing and collection. If this is the case, you will only receive one yearly property tax bill. Otherwise, you may receive multiple bills from the different taxing units. 

What Do My Property Taxes Pay For?

Because there are no statewide income or property taxes in Texas, local property taxes pay for critical governmental services. Your property taxes fund the public schools in your area and pay for police and fire protection.

Additionally, your property taxes can pay for road construction and repair, libraries, sewer and water services, and parks. The Texas Comptroller’s website has additional information regarding property tax collection and services.

All Texas property owners pay taxes to the local school district and the county government. If your house is located within the boundaries of a city, you will also pay property taxes toward city services. County and city governments provide parks, playgrounds, and police, as well as additional programs.

Your home may also be in one or more special taxing districts, such as for a hospital, junior college, or specific road program. These special taxing districts will levy their own property taxes to fund their particular program or service.

What if My Property Taxes Are Too High? 

Texas uses property taxes to pay for numerous important, vital governmental services. However, that does not mean you should pay more than your fair share.

The Texas Constitution grants all property owners the right to protest their tax bills. This ensures all taxpayers have a remedy if their taxes are not levied uniformly and equally. Specifically, you have the opportunity to protest your appraisal district's assessment of your home's value every year.

The local appraisal district is supposed to use your home's market value as of January 1 to determine your annual tax assessed value. But because the district must evaluate every property in the county, they do not specifically appraise your home.

Instead, the district uses mass-appraisal technology and algorithms to come up with a value for your house. These assessments often do not accurately reflect the market value of your property, leading to your tax bills being too high.

If you file a Texas property tax protest, a local body known as the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) will schedule a hearing on your home’s assessment. The ARB, after reviewing evidence, has the power to conclude your home assessment was too high. With a lower assessment, you will pay less money in property taxes.

Texas law also grants you the right to have a professional representative guide you through the entire property tax protest process. The experienced team at Watchtower will assist you with filing the protest, gather and present evidence that your home's market value is lower than its assessed value, and negotiate upon your behalf. 

Best of all, Watchtower's services come at no risk to you. So, sign up today for Watchtower's tax protest services using our convenient website portal.

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