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From Enterprise Staff
New and updated property tax information has just been compiled by Polk Central 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 has information for select groups, such as disabled veterans and persons aged 65 or older.
“Whether you are a homeowner, business owner, disabled veteran or taxpayer, it’s you know your rights concerning the property tax laws,” Polk Chief Appraiser Chad Hill said. “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 available 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 disabled veterans or surviving spouses and surviving children of deceased disabled veterans. Another partial exemption is for homesteads donated to disabled veterans by charitable organizations at no cost or not more than 50% of the good faith estimate of the homestead’s market value to the disabled veterans and their surviving spouses. The exemption amount is determined according to percentage of service-connected disability. The law also provides a 100% homestead exemption for 100% disabled veterans and their surviving spouses and surviving spouses of U.S. armed service members killed in action.
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; ship inventory out of Texas that may be eligible for the freeport exemption; store certain goods in transit in warehouses that are moved within 175 days; construct, install or acquire pollution control property; own and operate energy storage systems; convert landfill-generated gas; or store offshore drilling equipment while not in use 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 a business. Owners do not have to render exempt property such as church property or an agriculture producer’s equipment used for farming.
Normally, taxpayers 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 Taxpayer Remedies
This Comptroller publication explains in detail how to protest a property appraisal, which issues the county appraisal review board (ARB) can consider and what to expect during a protest hearing. The publication also discusses the options of taking a taxpayer’s case to district court, the State Office of Administrative Hearings or binding arbitration if the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the outcome of the ARB hearing.
A homestead is generally defined as the home and land used as the owner’s principal residence on Jan. 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.
Property owners who use land for timberland production, agricultural purposes 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 a lower appraisal of the land based on production, versus market value.
Residence Homestead Tax Deferral
Texas homeowners may postpone paying the currently delinquent property 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% 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% per year.
Property Tax Deferral for Persons Aged 65 or Older or Disabled or Disabled Veteran Homeowners
Texans who are aged 65 or older or disabled, as defined by law, or who qualify for a disabled veteran exemption 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 at 5% per year on the unpaid taxes. You may obtain a deferral affidavit at the appraisal district.
Notice of Availability of Electronic Communication
In appraisal districts located in counties with a population of more than 200,000 or that have authorized electronic communications, and that have implemented a system that allows such communications, chief appraisers and ARBs 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 instead 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 ARB.
For more information about these programs, contact Polk Central Appraisal District at 936-327-2174. The office is located at 114 Matthews St. in Livingston. Visit the website at www.polkcad.org. Information is also available on the Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division’s website at comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/.