Weatherford Democrat

April 2, 2014

Updated property tax info available for Texas taxpayers


Weatherford Democrat

— New and updated property tax information has just been compiled by Parker County Appraisal District and is available now to assist taxpayers. This property tax information is current and covers a wide range of topics, such as taxpayer remedies, exemptions and appraisals and is of value to select groups such as disabled veterans and persons who are 65 years of age or older.

“Whether you are a homeowner, business owner, disabled veteran, or a taxpayer, it’s important you know your rights concerning the property tax laws,” said Larry Hammonds, chief appraiser of the Parker County Appraisal District. “You can contact us about any property tax issues with full confidence that we will provide you the most complete, accurate and up-to-date information to assist you.”

This includes information about the following programs:



Property tax exemptions for disabled veterans

The law provides partial exemptions for any property owned by veterans who are disabled, spouses and survivors of deceased disabled veterans and spouses and survivors of military personnel who died on active duty. The amount of exemption is determined according to percentage of service-connected disability. The law also provides a 100 percent exemption for 100 percent disabled veterans and their surviving spouse.



Property tax exemptions

Non-profit organizations that meet statutory requirements may seek property tax exemptions and must apply to their county appraisal district by a specific date. Businesses that receive tax abatements granted by taxing units, firms that ship inventory out of Texas, and businesses that acquire pollution control property may also be eligible for statutory exemptions.



Rendering taxable property

If a business owns tangible personal property that is used to produce income, the business must file a rendition with its local county appraisal district by a specified date. Personal property includes inventory and equipment used by the business. Owners do not have to render exempt property such as church property or an agriculture producer’s equipment used for farming.



Appraisal notices

If a taxpayer’s property value increased in the last year, the Texas taxpayer will receive a notice of appraised value from the appropriate local county appraisal district. The city, county, school districts and other local taxing units will use the appraisal district’s value to set property taxes for the coming year.



Property tax remedies

This comptroller publication explains in detail how to protest a property appraisal, what issues the county appraisal review board (ARB) can consider and what to expect during a protest hearing. The publication also discusses the option of taking a taxpayer’s case to district court or entering into binding arbitration if the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the outcome of the ARB hearing.



Homestead exemptions

A homestead is generally defined as the home and land used as the owner’s principal residence on January 1 of the tax year. A homestead exemption reduces the appraised value of the home and, as a result, lowers property taxes. Applications are submitted to the appropriate local county appraisal district.



Productivity appraisal

Property owners who use their land for agricultural purpose or wildlife management can be granted property tax relief on their land. They may apply to their local county appraisal district for an agricultural appraisal which may result in lower appraisal of the land based on how much the taxpayer produces, versus what the land would sell for in the open market.



Residence homestead tax deferral

Texas homeowners may postpone paying the currently delinquent taxes due on the appreciating value of their homes by filing a tax deferral affidavit at their local county appraisal district. This tax relief allows homeowners to pay the property taxes on 105 percent of the preceding year’s appraised value of their homestead, plus the taxes on any new improvements to the homestead. The remaining taxes are postponed, but not cancelled, with interest accruing at 8 percent per year.



Property tax deferral for persons age 65 or older and disabled homeowners

Texans who are 65 years of age or older, or who are disabled as defined by law, may postpone paying current and delinquent property taxes on their homes by signing a tax deferral affidavit. Once the affidavit is on file, taxes are deferred, but not cancelled, as long as the owner continues to own and live in the home. Interest continues to accrue on unpaid taxes. You may obtain a deferral affidavit at the appraisal district.



Availability of electronic communication

Chief appraisers of a county appraisal district and appraisal review boards may communicate electronically through email or other media with property owners or their designated representatives. Written agreements are required for notices and other documents to be delivered electronically in place of mailing.



Protesting property appraisal values

Property owners who disagree with the appraisal district’s appraisal of their property for local taxes or for any other action that adversely affects them may protest their property value to the appraisal district’s appraisal review board.



More info

For more information about these programs, contact the Parker County Appraisal District at 1108 Santa Fe Drive, Weatherford, TX 76086, by telephone at 817-596-0077, or email at parkercad@parkercad.iswdata.com. The website is www.parkercad.org.

More information is also available from the State Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division website at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax or contact the Texas Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division at 800-252-9121 and press “2” to access the menu and then press “1”.