There are 4 actors involved
Individuals and businesses who own “real” property i.e. any property that cannot be readily moved. It includes land and buildings or other fixtures affixed to the land. Tangible property of businesses can also be taxed. Renters pay for property taxes indirectly because it is passed on expense by landlords.
Appraisal Review Board (ARB)
The mediators for property tax protests
They hear any disagreements between a property owner and the appraisal district, primarily over appraisal value.
Central (County) Appraisal District (CAD)
The professional number crunchers
CADs list and set the value of all taxable property each year. This is used to calculate property taxes. They also send the notices in the spring of your property’s appraisal value for that tax year.
Local Taxing Unit
Levying and setting property tax rates
Public school districts, Counties, Cities, and Special taxing units (e.g. Junior/Community College districts, Hospital districts, and Water districts).
Texas Property Tax Timeline
Generally all property is valued as of this date
CADs work to determine values
Collect prior year taxes
ARB member training occurs (continues through May 1)
CAD must mail notices of value to owners of single family residence homestead properties
Business owning tangible personal property must file a rendition statement with the CAD
Property owners must file for exemptions with the CAD
Chief Appraiser provides preliminary estimate of tax roll to taxing units
Taxing units receive estimate of appraisal roll from chief appraiser
CAD must mail value notices of ALL property by this date
Deadline for filing most protests of appraised value with the ARB
Deadline for filing written protest of appraised value with the ARB if notice of appraised value was delivered after Apr. 16
June – July
ARB hearings on protests: ARB notifies CAD of corrections to appraisal records
ARB notifies chief appraiser of any remaining appraisal amounts in dispute
Appraisal roll certified by chief appraiser to taxing units
Taxing units receive official tax roll from chief appraiser
CAD sends notice to property owners that the estimated amount of taxes may be found in a property tax database
Taxing units must calculate and publish tax rates (ETR, RTR, and proposed rate)
August 15 – August 21
School districts must order a tax rate election (TRE) by the 78th day before the November uniform election date IF a proposed rate exceeds the voter-approval tax rate (VATR)
August 22 – August 28
Taxing units other than school districts must order a TRE by the 71st day before the November uniform election date IF a proposed rate exceeds the VATR
Taxing units adopt their tax rates for the current tax year
Tax bills mailed
February 1, following year
Unpaid taxes incur penalties
Who Pays Property Taxes?
Everyone who owns property pays property taxes, including businesses that own real and tangible property and individual residential homeowners and landlords.
Renters pay for property taxes indirectly because it is a passed on expense by landlords in their rent. According to a Reform Austin survey of apartment associations across Texas, landlords consider the change in property valuation and property tax rates as one factor in a long list of expenses that are constantly changing in addition to market supply and demand in determining monthly rent.