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Texas Property Taxes –What You Need to Knowfrom:
Taxes in Texas are just a bit different than in many other states. First of all, there is no state income tax in the state of Texas. There is also no personal property tax. Revenue to fund the state government, schools and local governments are obtained solely from Texas property taxes, which are charged on land and improvements to land, including structure, as well as from funds obtained from the Texas lottery.
If you own a home, your Texas property taxes might be slightly higher than the property taxes in other states, but this is to offset the fact that no state income tax is charged – and the difference does not equal the amount of state income tax you would pay in other states. So, all in all, Texas is still a relatively inexpensive state in which to live, at least from a tax perspective.
Texas property taxes are based on your home’s value, with is appraised by the tax assessor. Then, your home’s value is averaged with that of other homes in your neighborhood to determine the actual tax value. Therefore, the value that is used to determine your Texas property taxes will not be the exact fair market value of your home. Depending upon the value of other homes in your neighborhood, the tax value will be slightly higher or lower than the true value. Each year, you’ll be notified of the tax value of your home, and you will have the opportunity to appeal it if you feel that it’s too high.
The actual tax rate that will be charged for Texas property taxes is determined by the tax assessor’s office after the valuations have been made on the properties. In 2003, tax rates varied between 2.2% and 3% of the assessed value of the home. Tax districts in Texas are by county, but also include your school district, hospital district, community college district and flood district. Based on this, your tax rate could be slightly different than someone else living in your county because of the other districts factored in.
In Texas, if you have a mortgage on your home, your property tax bill is likely paid by your mortgage company. Your mortgage bill will be increased each month by an amount equal to 1/12 of the projected property taxes for the year. So, you are paying your property taxes monthly to the mortgage company, and they will pay the county once a year. This is far more convenient for most homeowners, because it eliminates receiving a huge tax bill once a year.
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