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What Happens If I Don't Pay Property Taxes in Texas?
If you have delinquent property taxes in Texas, you will pay an exuberant amount of penalties and interest, up to 47%. If your delinquency goes to long, ultimately you will lose your home or real estate to a tax lien foreclosure sale.
Why Is My Property Taxed?
Texas is a heavily property taxed state. People who own a property outright or are financing real property in Texas must pay property taxes. The county uses those funds to pay for schools, public services, libraries, roads, parks, salaries, and other beneficial services the public uses.
How is My Property Assessed?
The amount of property taxes that the property owner pays is based on the assessed value of the property for that taxable year. The county usually uses an outside real estate appraisal company to determine the value of your property. There are a lot of different factors that go into assessing your property.
Once your real estate is assessed the county applies a tax rate to that assessed value. 2.5% is a realistic average to take to determine your taxes. If your real property is valued at $300,000, your tax bill would be around $7,500. The taxpayer is sent a tax bill usually in the month of October. That bill will be due January 31st.
When a property owner fails to pay their property taxes by February 1st, the taxpayer is officially in default and their property delinquency is made public.
What if I can’t pay my property taxes that are already delinquent before the first of July?
PENALTIES, INTEREST, AND FORECLOSURE
If your delinquent property taxes are not paid
by July 1, they will not only incur additional penalties, but there will also be a 20% attorney fee added on. This is because the taxing unit must form a contract with an attorney in order to be able to collect the delinquent taxes from the property owner. The tax office will notify the owner of this additional attorney fee prior to July 1. The property owner should know in plenty of time of the additional fees being added on should the taxes not be paid. If the taxes are not paid by July 1, the attorney can choose to attempt collections using legal proceedings.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay Property Taxes
In Texas, the delinquent tax amount—including interest and penalties—becomes a lien on the property. (Tex. Tax Code § 32.01). But when do overdue taxes become delinquent? Generally, subject to a couple of exceptions, if the taxes aren’t paid before February 1 of the following year for which the tax is imposed, the taxes are considered delinquent. (Tex. Tax Code § 31.02).
At any time after the property tax becomes delinquent, the taxing authority may start a foreclosure in court. (Tex. Tax Code § 33.41). If you don’t pay off the overdue amounts or have a valid defense to the foreclosure, the court will enter a judgment, and your property will be sold to a new owner at an auction. If the home doesn’t sell at the tax sale, it will be "struck-off" to the county, which means the county gets the property. The county will then try to sell it later.
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