Are there any special rules or regulations regarding property tax in my state?

The Property Tax Assistance Division provides a Texas Property Tax Rules Manual (PDF). For updated versions of the rules, see Texas. For updated versions of the rules, see the Texas Administrative Code. The property tax in Texas is a tax that is calculated and administered locally.

There is no state property tax. The property tax provides the most money of all the taxes available to local governments to pay for schools, roads, police and fire services, emergency response services, libraries, parks and other services provided by local governments. The proposals focus on taxes paid by homeowners and require school districts to reduce their tax rates. Deductible real estate taxes are generally any state or local property tax that is collected for the general public welfare.

The charge must be uniform for all real estate in the jurisdiction at a similar rate. According to section 11.27 of the Tax Code, you may qualify for a Texas property tax exemption if you have a solar or wind energy device installed on your property. Section 11.13 (d) of the Tax Code allows any tax unit to adopt a local residence and property exemption option. Property tax exemptions reduce the appraised value of your real estate, which can lower your tax bill.

Tax experts argue that doing so would make the property tax system more unfair by granting greater discounts to homeowners who have held their properties for a longer period of time. Nor would it reduce tax bills, experts say, because local governments, such as cities and school districts, could simply increase their tax rates to compensate for the loss of funds by reducing the tax limit. The state requires that tax units offer certain mandatory exemptions and they have the option to decide locally whether or not to offer others (local option). In some programs, the loan is secured by a lien on your home and appears as a special appraisal or special tax on your real estate tax bill during the loan period.

However, the most controversial element of the proposal would be to tighten the limit on how much the value of an owner's primary residence taxed by school districts can increase each year, a proposal that has been opposed by Patrick and Bettencourt, as well as by supporters of tax cuts and business lobbyists. Many states and counties also impose local taxes on benefits for property improvements, such as evaluations of streets, sidewalks, and sewer lines. Finally, section 11.134 of the Tax Code gives the surviving spouse of a lifeguard who died or was mortally injured in the line of duty a full exemption from property tax in their home of residence if they have not remarried since the lifeguard died. These deductions are known as property tax exemptions, and in Texas, they are the most common way homeowners reduce their tax burden.

Some taxes and fees that you cannot deduct on Schedule A include federal income taxes, social security taxes, transfer taxes (or stamp taxes) on the sale of properties, homeowner association fees, inheritance and inheritance taxes, and charges for water, sewer or garbage collection services. If you choose to deduct general state and local sales taxes, you can use your actual expenses or the optional sales tax tables. Section 11.134 of the Tax Code gives the surviving spouse of certain lifeguards killed or fatally injured in line of duty a full exemption from property tax in their residential home if the surviving spouse has not remarried since the lifeguard's death. In turn, the state would cover the district's deficit and, since the tax rate would fall, so would the district's payments to Robin Hood, Ramos said.

The Lone Star State also omits inheritance and inheritance taxes, but there is a state sales tax, real estate taxes, and other miscellaneous levies...

Glenna Penrod
Glenna Penrod

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