Archive for the ‘Local taxes’ Category

4 ways to lower your property tax bill


1. Claim your exemptions!

Exemptions exist to lower your tax bill. Take as many as you qualify for.

  • Homestead exemption. This significantly lowers your bill.
  • 100% disabled veteran’s exemption
  • Partially disabled veteran’s exemption

2. Set a tax ceiling on your taxes.

Property tax ceilings are for residents 65 or older and limit your taxes.

3. Look for errors.

We’re all human, and mistakes do happen. Look over your tax bill carefully to ensure it is correct.

4. Protest if your assessment is incorrect.

The Texas constitution guarantees your right to equal and uniform property taxes. Your property taxes can’t be significantly higher than a similar property with similar characteristics. However, appraisers don’t appraise your specific house every single year, so their assessment might be off.

If your house has been appraised incorrectly, follow our outline to protest the appraisal. The lower your appraisal, the lower your property taxes will be.

Travis County Property Taxes

Published by Research Editor on January 15th, 2013 - in Local taxes, Travis

Travis County folks have a variety of ways to gather information about property taxes in Travis County.

Social Connections

The Tax Office is active on Facebook and Twitter. When I checked these pages out today, I found an update that mentioned one of the Tax Offices is unable to process motor vehicle registrations because of a system outage. Great information: it would have saved me a trip, had I planned to go register my car today.

The Tax Office also has a Youtube channel with over a dozen helpful videos, including How to Save on Property Tax and 2012 Property Tax Deadline and Payment Options.

Paying Your Property Taxes

Pay property taxes online here, along with information on convenience fees and other payment options.

Get a letter of intent for installment payments. To learn if you’re eligible for installments, see our article, How to Pay Property Taxes in Installments and contact the tax office today if you need to pay in installments.


Forms, like Homestead Exemptions, Tax Ceiling Certificates, and Protest Forms are available

Protesting Taxes

Details on how to protest your taxes in Travis County and on the formal hearing procedures are easily accessible.

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Bexar County Property Taxes

Published by Research Editor on September 24th, 2012 - in Bexar, Local taxes

Information for Bexar County property taxes is available in two places: the county site and the appraisal district site.

The Bexar County site features include:

The Bexar Appraisal District site has:

To test the two different searches, I put Sea World’s address in the County search and the Appraisal District search. Nothing shows up in either if you spell the address “10500 Sea World Drive” but both have information if you shorten it to “10500 Sea World Dr”. Both give you information for “10500 Sea World”.

As a side note, did you know that Sea World pays almost $100,000 in property taxes?

How the Texas Homestead Tax Cap Works


How the Texas Homestead Tax Cap Works: in simple terms.

For homes that are receiving a homestead exemption, which is any property that the owner considers their primary residence, the appraised value may be lower than the property’s market value because of what the law refers to as the “homestead cap.”

Currently the law states that, while a property’s January 1st market value isn’t capped, the property’s appraised value is capped at a maximum increase of 10% from the previous year.

So, let’s say:

  • The market value of someone’s home on Jan 1st is $200,000
  • But, the year prior it was only valued at $170,000.
  • This year’s appraised value would be $187,000, which is an increase of 10% from the previous year.

But in some situations, the value of the home can go down while the appraisal goes up.
Lets pretend that next year, something happens and:

  • The home’s value drops from $200,000 to $190,000.
  • The cap for that year would be $205,700.
  • The appraised value would increase from $187,000 to $190,000.

and taxes would increase even though property value decreased.

To qualify for the cap, the owner must first receive the homestead exemption, then the value must increase more than 10% within a year.

For more informative tax articles and videos, visit
For a property tax loan, visit

Split Payments: first half due next week

Published by Research Editor on November 23rd, 2011 - in Local taxes, Taxes

tax payment split dollar cracked

If you decide to split your property tax payments, November 30 is the last day to pay the first half.

Why split payments

When you split your payments, you get to pay half of the taxes by November 30 and the other half by June 30 of the following year, without any penalty.

The no-penalty aspect is the best part, followed closely by the fact that you’re not facing an enormous lump sum all at once on January 31. The drawback, however, is that you’re paying half of the taxes two months before the January 31 deadline. If you’re strapped for cash, that isn’t always an option.

How to split payments

Contact your tax collection office to see if the split payment option is available for you. They’ll be able to walk through the steps specific to your local area.


If you will have trouble paying your property taxes for 2011 and splitting payments isn’t an ideal option for you, consider getting a property tax loan to ease the burden.

Harris County Property Taxes

Published by Research Editor on October 28th, 2011 - in Harris, Local taxes

Harris County has collected its property tax information on a single website, This website is well organized to help you with your property taxes in Harris County. The Resources tab is probably the best place to start browsing. It lists links within its own website to important pages, like information about protests before the ARB, the tax calendar for Harris County, and homeowners exemptions.

Also of interest on the site:

Dallas County Property Taxes

Published by Research Editor on October 13th, 2011 - in Dallas, Local taxes

Dallas county outline "dallas county property taxes"

Is your property in Dallas County? The county’s websites provide a wealth of information that you may find useful. The official Dallas County Website, for everyone in Dallas county, covers:

The Dallas Central Appraisal District website has even more information, devoted to property taxes:

Tarrant County Property Taxes

Published by Research Editor on September 3rd, 2011 - in Local taxes, Tarrant

Tarrant county outline  and word art saying Tarrant county property taxes

Is your property in Tarrant County? The county’s two websites–Tarrant Appraisal District and Tarrant County–provide a wealth of information that you may find useful:

You can pay your Tarrant County property taxes online. However, there is a convenience fee charged by credit card companies.

Search for your property tax account. You can see your current property tax statement, pay your taxes online, and see the tax history for your property. My home, for example, started with $2,700 in property taxes and peaked in 2008 with $4,200 in property taxes.

Access forms and applications online, including exemption, notice of protest, and rendition forms.

The Tax Estimator Calculator lets you see how your Tarrant county property taxes would change if the value of your house changed, if your exemptions changed, or if you lived in a different city or school district.Payment options. All taxpayers in Tarrant county can choose to play half their taxes before December 1 and the other half by July 1. This is a good option if you are unable to pay the balance by January 31 but do not wish to get a property tax loan.

See the protest process for Tarrant County. While we have a general overview of the protest process on, each county has its specific processes.

Tarrant County tax rates for each taxing entity (cities, towns, school districts, college, hospital, and water districts).

Deed history cards. Instead of trekking to downtown Fort Worth to view deed history cards, you can view them online. These show property tax records, ownership, and property history prior to 1984.
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