Understanding Harris County Property Taxes: Essential Tips for Homeowners

Harris County property owners should know the basics of property taxes to ensure effective financial and property management. This guide will help explain how property taxes are determined, important tax dates, and some essential tips for property tax delinquency.

How Is Harris County Property Tax Determined?

The Harris Central Appraisal District establishes taxable values and handles anything that might change the value of the appraisal, such as an exemption, property description or protest. The appraisal district will issue an assessed value and send it to the property owners between April 1st and May 15th. If the proposed assessment is inaccurate, an appeal for the property assessment can be filed by the property owner.

Since each county has its own tax rate, the governing body of each taxing unit is responsible for setting the tax rate, with Harris County’s current tax rate being 2.13%. For an estimate of how much your property taxes would cost, click here for a property tax calculator from Smart Asset.

According to Harris County Tax Collector-Assessor, the certified appraisal roll and the tax rates are used to levy the current property taxes in October/November of each year, where tax statements are then printed and mailed to property owners and mortgage companies.

When is the last day I can pay my property tax bill without penalty and interest?

According to Harris County Tax Collector-Assessor, for your payment to be considered timely, you must pay your bill by January 31st to avoid penalties and interest. The only exception to this rule is when the last day of the month is a Harris County holiday or falls on a weekend. If that’s the case, then the official deadline would be the following business day. So, be sure to mark your calendar and pay your taxes by January 31st to avoid any penalties.

How Can I Pay My Property Tax in Harris County?

The Harris County tax office accepts property tax payments in several ways, such as paying online, by telephone, mail, or in person. You can also pay using a combination of credit cards or multiple e-checks. Don’t think you will be able to pay in full? Partial payments are always accepted and will reduce penalties and interest owed if you can’t pay the full amount by the deadline of January 31st.

If you become delinquent on your property taxes, you can contact the Harris County tax office to set up an installment agreement payment plan. This installment plan can range from 12 to 36 months and will accrue penalties and interest until your bill is fully paid off. For more details on how to pay your property taxes, check out the FAQs for tax payments on the Harris County tax office website.

It is important to note that if you are paying Harris County property taxes, some parts of Harris County have other districts that collect property taxes too. These can include Municipal Utility Districts (MUD) or Independent School Districts (ISD) that collect taxes separately. For example, Goose Creek is an ISD. In this scenario, if you lived in Goose Creek, you would need to pay your normal Harris County bill as well as another bill separately to satisfy all tax amounts.

Is a Payment Plan with the County the Best Solution for Delinquency?

If you have little to pay on your delinquent property taxes, then making payments through the county could be a great solution for you. However, if you have a high property tax bill and know it will take you many months to pay it off through the county, then you should resort to a different option for paying your property taxes. Paying through the county will accrue interest and penalties over time, making it difficult to pay.

At Johnson & Starr, we provide property tax loans that relieve the burden of past-due property taxes. We pay your property tax bill in full and create a payment plan that works best for your unique situation. So, if you have a high property tax bill and want to avoid accruing penalties and interest over time, contact us today!