Am I eligible for a homestead exemption?

In order to qualify for the general homestead exemption, you must own and occupy your property as your principal place of residence as of January 1st of the tax year in question. You must file an application with the Coleman County Appraisal District between January 1st and April 30th of the tax year in question. You may file for a late homestead exemption up to one year after the delinquency date.

Am I eligible for an additional exemption when I turn 65 years of age?

If you are age 65 or older, your residence homestead will qualify for an additional exemption and you will receive a tax ceiling on your home for school and county taxes. Also, if a homeowner who has been receiving the tax ceiling dies, the ceiling transfers to the surviving spouse, if the survivor is 55 or older and has ownership in the home. The survivor must apply to the appraisal district for the tax ceiling to transfer.

Is there a homestead exemption for homeowners with disabilities?

A person with a disability may get an exemption if (1) you can’t engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability or (2) you are blind and can’t engage in your previous work because of your blindness. If you receive disability benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program through the Social Security Administration, you should qualify. Disability benefits from any other program do not automatically qualify. If you qualify for the disabled persons exemption you will receive a tax ceiling on your home for school and county taxes.

Can I claim a homestead exemption on a mobile home if I do not own the land?

Yes. You will need to furnish a copy of a document called a statement of ownership and location. This document is issued to mobile home owners by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Manufactured Housing Division.

What are the requirements for qualifying land for agricultural-use valuation?

Generally, land must meet the following requirements: (a) Minimum size 10.00 acres. (b) History of being devoted to agricultural use (such as grazing cattle or cutting hay) for at least five of the past seven years. You must be able to document this history of ag usage. (c) Currently be devoted to agricultural use at a level of intensity that is common in the local area. (There are minimum standard production requirements that must be met.) (d) An application for agricultural use valuation must be filed with the appraisal district between January 1st and April 30th. (e) Must pass an on-site field review of the property conducted by a staff appraiser. Please call our office for further information.

What does the term market value mean?

The Texas Property Tax Code requires that all taxable property must be appraised at its market value. Market value is the price at which a property would sell if exposed for sale in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser. Basically, it is the price that would be agreed upon between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

How is the value for my home determined?

Sales prices of recently sold properties are the most accurate indicators of market value. Each year the appraisal district analyzes sales of property throughout the county and uses these sales prices as the basis for making its appraisals. Also, an appraiser from the appraisal district periodically visits each property and observes its exterior features. Factors such as location, type of construction,age, size, and condition of the property are considered.

Why is the term IMPROVEMENT shown on my tax notice when I have not done anything to my property?

The word improvement on your notice means any building or structure that is attached to the land. State law requires that most tax notices show separate values for land and improvements.

What kinds of property are taxable?

The Texas Property Tax Code states that all property is taxable unless the state legislature has passed laws to exempt it. Houses, mobile homes, lots, acreage, commercial buildings, apartments, oil and gas reserves, industrials, utilities, and business inventory and equipment are all taxable.

When are property tax bills mailed and when are they due?

The tax bills are generally mailed around the middle of October each year and are due no later than January 31st of the following year. If you are paying by mail, be sure that your payment is postmarked no later than January 31st. Any bills that are not paid by January 31st begin to accrue penalty and interest regardless of the reason for non-payment.

If I do not receive my tax bill by the delinquency date, do I still have to pay penalty and interest charges?

Yes. Even though the appraisal district mails everyone a bill, it is the property owner’s responsibility to see that his taxes are paid on time regardless of whether or not he actually receives the bill. State law does not permit the tax assessor-collector to waive penalty and interest charges.

What effects do unpaid property taxes have on my property?

Unpaid property taxes constitute a lien against each item of taxable property. The taxing units may file a lawsuit asking the court to allow foreclosure of that lien. The property may then be sold at auction and the proceeds used to pay the taxes.

Do I have any personal liability in regard to unpaid property taxes?

Yes. Each person who owns taxable property on January 1st of the year in question is personally liable for all taxes due on the property for that year. A person who owned taxable property on January 1st can be sued personally for delinquent taxes, even if the property has been sold or transferred since then.