In-Depth Guide to Property Taxes in Texas

Like other states, Texas has many rules, regulations, and deadlines for property taxes which come from the state’s constitution, as well as laws passed by the state legislature. If you pay property taxes in Texas, knowing these rules, dates, and laws can help you understand your rights as a taxpayer and property owner.

Five Constitutional Rules: How the System Works & Taxpayer Responsibilities

Understanding the rules of taxation that are included within the Texas Constitution can help you recognize whether you may need to file a property tax appeal. The rules were written to ensure all residents are treated equally under the law. Here are the most important rules regarding Texas property taxes.


  1. All tax activity must be uniform. Similar properties must be treated the same way when evaluated for tax.


  1. Current market value must be used for taxing tangible property. Although there are a few exceptions to this rule, the price a property would fetch from sale on the open market must be used for property valuation.


  1. All property is eligible for taxation. As with the rule regarding current market value, there are some exceptions to this rule, but most properties will be taxed by the state.


  1. Timely notices are required for increases to appraised property value. The state must let you know ahead of time that your property appraisal value has increased. This advance notice ensures you can file an appeal if necessary.


  1. Each property must have a single appraised value. Sometimes, there may be exceptions to this rule if a property crosses a county line.

If you’re interested in the actual text of the Texas Constitution, you may take a look at the state’s official site for more information.


All About Tax Exemptions

One of the most important parts of being knowledgeable about your taxes is understanding what exemptions may exist that could impact the amount you must pay each year. The first thing to understand about property taxes is that they’re not assessed by the state – they’re handled individually by each county. Here are the four main exemptions available:

  • Charitable organizations & businesses – A tax exemption is just one of the many benefits available to charitable organizations and certain types of businesses.
  • Disabled individuals and those age 65 and over – A disabled individual or someone over the age of 65 may qualify for a property tax exemption up to $10,000.
  • Residence homestead – A residence homestead may be eligible for up to a $25,000 exemption with the smallest exemption at $5,000.
  • Veterans – A disabled veteran or surviving spouse, as well as children of deceased, disabled veterans, may be eligible for a partial exemption.

Tax Rules for Second Homes in Texas

A home may be subject to a variety of taxes, but there are different rules that guide taxation for second homes than the rules that impact primary residences. A change to the tax code in the 1990s made it easier for families to purchase a second home because they were able to avoid having to pay taxes on profit up to $500,000.

This change to the rules made it much easier for families to move into a second home or purchase a second property without having to pay taxes on the profit earned from selling the first house. At one time, the only way to avoid these taxes was to move into a larger and costlier home. The change in rules has made it easier to instead purchase another, smaller home.


Get Help with Your Texas Property Tax Today

Do you have questions about your Texas property taxes? Do you want to know whether a property tax appeal might reduce your balance owed? Are you worried about property taxes you can’t pay? Get in touch with the caring and knowledgeable professionals of Hegwood Goup today! For information and assistance with your property taxes, email us or give us a call at (972) 284-9574.

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