Truth-In-Taxation – Tax Information
2021 Taxing Unit Rates & Information:
Taxing Unit “proposed” & “adopted” tax rates
Taxing Jurisdiction Requirements:
- Truth-in-taxation requires local taxing units to make taxpayers aware of tax rate proposals.
- Appraisal Districts are required to send appraisal notices and certify an estimate of taxable value prior to appeals, of property per taxing unit in order for the entity to begin their budget process.
- Taxing units create a budget and adopt a property tax rate that supports that budget.
- Property owners are publicly informed of any increases by most entities.
- Most taxing units must comply with its hearing requirements, notice of no-new-rate and voter-approved rate, and finally the tax rate adoption process.
Key components in the process:
- Taxes are calculated by taking the Taxable Value, dividing by 100, and multiplying the result by the tax rate. Tax Amount = Taxable Value / 100 * Tax Rate
- No-New-Revenue Rate: A calculated rate that would provide the taxing unit with approximately the same revenue that it received last year from property that was taxed in both years. This does not include additional revenue from new construction.
- Proposed Rate: The tax rate that the taxing unit is considering for adoption.
- Voter Approval Rate: This is the maximum tax increase allowed by law without triggering an election. It is calculated by taking last year’s maintenance and operations rate then, 1. if a special taxing unit: adding 8%, and adding the unit’s debt rate (interest and sinking (I&S) fund rate), or 2) if taxing unit other than special taxing unit adding 3%, and adding the unit’s debt rate (interest and sinking (I&S) fund rate).
- Adopted Rate: The tax rate that the taxing unit voted to adopt for the current year.
Terms & Definitions:
- No-new-revenue tax rate – (Last year’s levy minus lost property levy) divided by (current total value minus new property value).
- Voter-approval tax rate for a special taxing unit – Voter-approval tax rate equals (no-new-revenue maintenance and operations tax rate times 1.08) plus current debt rate.
- Voter-approval tax rate – for a taxing unit other than a special taxing unit – (No-new-revenue maintenance and operations tax rate times 1.035) plus current debt plus unused increment rate.
- No-new-revenue maintenance and operations rate – (Last year’s levy minus last year’s debt minus last year’s junior college levy? divided by (current total value minus new property value).
- De minimus rate – the rate is equal to the sum of:
- (A) a taxing unit’s no-new-revenue maintenance and operations rate;
- (B) the rate that when applied to a taxing current total value, will impose an amount of taxes equal to 500,000, and
- (C) a taxing unit’s current debt rate.
- Unused increment rate – a taxing unit that did not use all of its revenue growth may bank that unused growth as long as the taxing averaged below 3.5 percent of the voter-approval rate over three years.
Important dates and timeline of the tax rate process:
|Truth-in-Taxation Important Dates|
|Date||Activity||Tax Code Reference|
|April 1st||Chief appraisers send notices of appraised value on most properties by this date or as soon thereafter as practicable.||Tex. Tax Code § 25.19(a)|
|April 30th||Chief appraisers prepare and certify the estimate of the taxable value of property in counties, cities and school districts to tax assessors.||Tex. Tax Code § 26.01(e)|
|July 20th||Appraisal review boards approve the appraisal records. This date may extend to Aug. 30 for certain larger counties.||Tex. Tax Code § 41.12(a)|
|July 25th||Chief appraisers certify the approved appraisal roll to the taxing units.||Tex. Tax Code § 26.01(a)|
|Aug 7th||Chief appraisers send required postcard containing link to the local property tax database for your tax information. Certain taxing units publish notice of no-new-revenue and voter-approval tax rates by this date or as soon thereafter as practicable.||Tex. Tax Code § 26.04(e)|
|August-September||Taxing units adopt their budgets according to their fiscal years. School districts must publish a Notice of Public Meeting to Discuss Budget and Proposed Tax Rate 10 to 30 days before the public meeting date. (School districts with a July 1 fiscal year adopt budgets in June and follow a different schedule). Most taxing units adopt a tax rate after adopting their budgets.||Tex. Ed. Code § 44.004(b)|
|Before Sept 30th||Taxing units other than water districts must adopt their tax rate before this date or 60 days after receiving the appraisal roll, whichever date is later. The governing body must adopt a tax rate that exceeds the voter-approval tax rate no later than the 71st day before the next uniform election date that occurs in November of that year.||Tex. Tax Code § 26.05(a) and Tex. Election Code § 3.005(c)|
|Oct 1st||Tax assessors prepare and mail tax bills by this date or as soon thereafter as practicable.||Tex. Tax Code § 31.01(a)|
Taxing Unit updates & more:
Please note: The Bell County property tax database will be updated regularly during August and September as locally elected officials propose and adopt the property tax rates that will determine how much you pay in property taxes. The governing body of each taxing unit decides if property taxes will increase. The appraisal district only determines the market value of the property.
2021 Taxing Unit proposed & adopted tax rates – Click here: 2021 Property Tax Database – Search your Property
Tax Discounts –
- Participating entities provide a discount if taxes are paid in full by applicable dates:
- 3% ends November 1st
- 2% ends November 30th
- 1% ends December 31st
Reminder: All taxes are due by the end of January before becoming delinquent!
Why does my property tax bill seem so big?
For additional information about truth-in-taxation go to the State Comptroller’s office, or click here: Texas State Comptroller
For additional information about tax rates and levies go to the State Comptroller’s office, or click here: Tax Rates and Levies
“The Texas Legislature does not set the amount of your local taxes. Your property tax burden is decided by your locally elected officials and all inquiries concerning your local taxes should be directed to those officials.”
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