Last week we learned in the Dallas Morning News that about 3,000 elderly (that is, folks over age 65) and disabled Dallas County property owners are due for a fiscal surprise because of a computer glitch in the Dallas County Appraisal District that miscalculated their 2010 tax bills. That surprise is a higher tax bill than what they anticipated or were told, averaging about $333. They are also getting a letter of apology from the tax assessor-collector, explaining how DCAD screwed up. No one ever wants these kinds of surprises! Even worse, this hits people on fixed incomes who may have seen investment returns plummet in recent weeks. So sorry, they were told, but pay up for a Sept. 30 payment deadline.
Well, a trusted friend of mine tells me the homeowners may have an out. Apparently, the elderly in Texas (he says) can defer payment of ad valorum taxes, paying 8% interest on the accruing balance, until home is sold. He is not sure if this applies to the disabled. Naturally, no one wants to go into debt to the Appraisal District but if this means keeping your home rather than being forced out or foreclosed on from not paying property taxes, this option might be a home-saver.
I did a quick search and found this is done in many states, but I did not see any specifics on Texas. Just this info on retiring in Texas. While I make a few phone calls, if anyone in Candy Land is familiar with this, please holler in the comments.