Definition: Texas Property Tax Code
Texas property tax codes can be defined as statutes for regulating taxation, tax assessment, tax exemptions, appeal options, hearing procedures for tax appeals, judicial property tax appeals, prompt payment of property taxes, penalties for late property tax payments and other related property tax matters.
The Texas Property Tax Code has many sections (subtitles). Below is a summary of the main subtitles and what they entail.
A: General Provisions
The general provisions define important terms like property, what happens to a property owner’s tax obligations in case they fall due on a weekend or holiday, how tax refunds are handled, how property owners get notices for due taxes, guidelines for electronic data, among other important information critical for a property tax system.
B: Property Tax Administration
This subtitle addresses state administration issues ranging from how the property tax administration advisory board is formed to its roles, grounds for removing members, restriction on membership, powers and duties of the board, guidelines on property tax forms & record systems, statewide tax rate lists and other state administration issues.
C: Taxable Property & Exemptions
As the name suggests, this section goes into detail on the different types of property. Section 11.01, for instance, defines types of property (real & tangible personal property, intangible personal property, public property, etc.) and the property tax implications of each type. The subtitle exclusively states that all real & tangible personal property in Texas is taxable unless it is exempted by law. Property under the state’s jurisdiction is taxable unless stated otherwise, or in special circumstances i.e., the property is temporarily located outside Texas.
Subchapters B and C talk about exemptions to Texas property tax. Texas property tax codes that explain when a property owner can be exempted from paying property tax partially or partly are discussed in these subsections. The sections have information on the type of property owners and property that qualifies for property tax exemptions in Texas and how exemptions are administered. For instance, the qualifications for exemptions, the application process for exemptions, notices for application requirements, consequences of late applications and related information are expressly addressed from Sec. 11.41 to 11.49.
D. Appraisal & Assessment
Subtitle D covers taxpayer information, property inspection, publicizing requirements, filling dates, confidential information, penalties for intending to evade property tax, among other important requirements and procedures. Chapter 22 and Chapter 23 highlight the property appraisal procedures that must be followed.
E. Collections and Delinquency
Chapters 31 to 33 discuss everything there is to know about collecting property taxes in Texas, tax liens, individual liability and delinquency. This subtitle states how property tax bills should be sent, information about some tax bills, delinquency dates, and dates for special installment payments i.e., split payments.
The chapters also cover other special scenarios that warrant installment payments in Texas, what can lead to postponement of delinquency, ideal methods of paying taxes, procedures for sending refunds, protesting payments and more.
Subtitle E addresses delinquency in-depth, including rare scenarios surrounding delinquency and how to deal with them. For instance, there are provisions on how taxing units are supposed to handle penalties and interest on delinquent tax resulting from fund transmission errors or US Postal Service delays. In such an instance, taxing units can waiver resulting penalties and interest charges.
Subtitle E has everything on property tax collections and delinquency that a property owner needs to know, including property seizure in Sec.
The Texas Property Tax Code also contains provisions property owners can use to protest any eventuality in the property tax billing process. For instance, Sec. 41.411 talks about protesting for failing to get a tax notice. The procedure for protesting, guidelines for protest hearings, notices for other matters before a hearing and determination of protests are also clearly given.
Subchapter D talks about administrative provisions for remedies i.e., issuance of subpoenas, inspecting tax records, hearing procedures, evidence, recording proceedings, provision of state assistance, issuance of public notices for appeals and more.
The duties of the appraisal review board are also provided in Sec 41.01. The role of the board includes but isn’t limited to determining protests brought forward by property owners, addressing clerical errors in appraisal records, and determining the validity of exemptions.
Summary: Texas Property Tax Codes
Property taxes are a complex matter. In Texas, all matters ranging from administration of property taxes to collections and remedies are covered extensively in the Tax Code. It is, therefore, recommendable for all property owners in Texas to familiarize themselves with the code. Considering the hefty penalties and interest charges that property owners face for failing to pay property tax, understanding important provisions is crucial.
While many property owners get into tax problems for lack of funds, some may face foreclosure due to no fault of their own. A wrong address or US postal service delay can bring forth penalties. Texas property codes have provisions for handling such problems. The above information covers the basics of the Tax Code. For more detailed information, review the entire Texas Property Tax Code here.
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