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Beginner’s Guide to Property Tax

Updated on March 11, 2020
derick james profile image

Hi everybody, It’s derick from Houston and am working as a freelance property tax consultant. I love reading and writing.

What’s property taxes?

Property taxes are collected by the local government. These taxes are usually determined by the local officials in every county or state. The taxes collected are used to pay for the schools, streets, roads, police, fire protection, and other services.

4 major parties involved in the property tax system

Property Owner

The property owner otherwise referred to as the taxpayer is responsible for paying taxes no matter the property is a residence or a commercial.

Appraisal District

Each county has an appraisal district that is administered by a chief appraiser. The chief appraiser is selected by the appraisal district's board of directors. The board of directors is elected by the local taxing units. These local taxing units collect taxes and fund the appraisal district.

Appraisal Review Board

The members of this board are local citizens. The board of directors appoints the ARB members, in counties where the population is more than 1,20,000. The administrative district judge in the county appoints the ARB members. The board listens to the disagreements that arise between the property owner and the appraisal district based on the property value.

Local Taxing Units

The local taxing units include counties, cities, school districts, etc. These local taxing units decide how much they'll have to spend on the public services and decide the amount of property tax to be collected for the year. The county tax assessor-collector collects the property tax due in that county and transfers it to the appropriate taxing unit.

Property Tax Process

January 1st to April 30th

During this period the appraisal districts evaluate the property values and attach a lien to make sure the property tax is paid and process applications for exemptions.

April and May

The appraisal district sends notices of the appraised value.

May to July

Property owners protest and ARB listens to them, makes determinations and approves appraisal records.

August and September

The local taxing units adopt the tax rates.


The local taxing units start sending the tax bills to the property owners.

January 31st of the next year

The local taxing units check the taxes due.

Feb 1st

The local taxing units start penalties.

July 1st

The local taxing units may impose additional penalties for the legal costs involved in collecting unpaid property taxes.

What happens to the paid property tax?

  1. The local property tax collector collects the property tax from property owners
  2. He distributes the tax collected to cities, schools and other local governments
  3. The local governments, in turn, spend this on schools, roads, hospitals, etc

How can you challenge this system?

If a taxpayer is not satisfied with the decision taken by the local Appraisal Review Board, the taxpayer has the right to appeal the decision and this is where property tax reduction experts come into action to reduce the property taxes.

I hope this blog post helped you in covering the basis of property taxes! It’s your turn to reduce your property taxes now!

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2020 derick


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