by Tiffany Hamil
Each year in Texas, January 31 brings death to savings and escrow accounts to anyone who owns property in the Lone Star state. It is on this day that property taxes in Texas are due. We may feel the pain now, but the time to fight is actually this May. To help you plan, check out the 2012 Property Tax Calendar below to further understand important dates in Texas Real Estate:
January 31st Property Taxes are due for the 2011 tax year.
May 1st The District notifies the property owner of the property’s Proposed Value. The Proposed Value is the value that the District thinks the home is worth as of January 1, 2012. This means that the District used sales primarily from January-December of 2011 in its determination of value. Notice the delay in valuation.
Extra Caveat: the District is NOT required to notify you via mail if the Proposed Value of your home is unchanged or reduced. This does NOT mean that you still shouldn’t protest this value. To check out your value online, go to your local Appraisal District’s website. In Google, search “(your county) Appraisal District). You should then find the official website for your Appraisal District. You can then search by owners name or address and find the Proposed Value.
May 31st: In most counties, May 31st is the deadline to file a protest. The law actually says that the property owner has 30 days from the date of notification of the Proposed Value to protest. Thus, if your county doesn’t notify you until May 7th of your Proposed Value, your deadline to protest is extended beyond May 31st. In the DFW area, Denton is notorious for having a deadline that extends beyond May 31st. Remember, even if the District didn’t notify you via mail, the deadline is still the same. You must stay on top of this issue.
June & July: Hearing dates are scheduled and will occur with the Appraisal Review Boards.
July 20: Certification date. On this date, the ARB must certify the appraisal records, but may not do so if more than 5 percent of total appraised value remains under protest. What does this mean to you? It means that most ARB hearings will be completed prior to this date, and it means that the taxing units have this number available to them when establishing the tax rate.
Sept 29: Last day for taxing units to adopt 2012 tax rates. Ever wonder why even if your appraised value is unchanged, you pay more in taxes? It’s because the taxing units have recognized the shortfall in the appraised values and have correspondingly increased the tax rates. Seems a little unfair, huh?
Oct 1: Tax Bills are mailed for the amount due January 31, 2012.
Jan 31, 2013: Taxes are due from the 2012 Tax Year.
Moral of the Story: Don’t miss your opportunity to protest this upcoming May. If you would like to be emailed a reminder, please send me your name and property address to http://www.dfwtaxadvisor.com, and I will add you to our May Reminder List.
Tiffany L. Hamil is a Dallas tax attorney and consultant. She is an advertiser on this blog, and also someone we have used and rely on for property tax advice. Get your property tax questions ready, because once again, The Tax Doctor, Tiffany Hamil, will be in!