HCAD provides updated property tax information

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

May 12, 2022

New and updated property tax information has been compiled by Hill County Appraisal District and is available now to assist taxpayers.

This property tax information is current and covers a wide range of topics, such as taxpayer remedies, exemptions and appraisals, and has information for select groups, such as disabled veterans and those age 65 or older.

“Whether you are a homeowner, business owner, disabled veteran or other property owner, it’s important to know your rights concerning property tax laws,” said Mike McKibben, Chief Appraiser of the Hill County Appraisal District. “Contact us with your questions and we’ll provide you the most complete, accurate and up-to-date information available to assist you.”

• Property Tax Exemptions for Disabled Veterans – The law provides partial exemptions for any property owned by disabled veterans or surviving spouses and surviving children of deceased disabled veterans. Another partial exemption is for homesteads donated to disabled veterans by charitable organizations at no cost or not more than 50 percent of the good faith estimate of the homestead’s market value to the disabled veterans and their surviving spouses. The exemption amount is determined according to percentage of service–connected disability. The law also provides a 100 percent homestead exemption for 100 percent disabled veterans and their surviving spouses and surviving spouses of U.S. armed service members killed in the line of duty.

• Homestead Exemptions– A homestead is generally defined as the home and land used as the owner’s principal residence on January 1 of the tax year. A homestead exemption reduces the appraised value of the homestead and, as a result, lowers property taxes. Applications are submitted to the appraisal district office.

• Productivity Appraisal – Property owners who use land for agricultural purposes or wildlife management can be granted property tax relief on their land. Visit the appraisal district’s website http://www.hillcad.org and go to the “Public Info” tab then “Agricultural” for more information. You can file an application that may result in a lower appraisal of the land based on production, versus market value.

• Property Tax Exemptions – Non–profit organizations that meet statutory requirements may seek property tax exemptions and must apply at the appraisal district by a specific date. Businesses that receive tax abatements granted by taxing units; ship inventory out of Texas that may be eligible for the freeport exemption; store certain goods in transit in warehouses that are moved within 175 days; construct, install or acquire pollution control property; own and operate energy storage systems; convert landfill–generated gas; or store offshore drilling equipment while not in use may also be eligible for statutory exemptions.

• Rendering Taxable Property – If a business owns tangible personal property that is used to produce income, the business must file a rendition with the appraisal district by April 15. Personal property includes inventory and equipment used by a business. Owners do not have to render exempt property such as church property or an agriculture producer’s equipment used for farming. Failure to render results in a penalty being applied to the tax bill.

• Residence Homestead Tax Deferral – Texas homeowners may postpone paying the currently delinquent property taxes due on the appreciating value of their homes by filing a tax deferral affidavit at their local county appraisal district. This tax relief allows homeowners to pay the property taxes on 105 percent of the preceding year’s appraised value of their homestead, plus the taxes on any new improvements to the homestead. The remaining taxes are postponed, but not canceled, with interest accruing at eight percent per year.

• Property Tax Deferral for Persons Age 65 or Older or Disabled or Disabled Veteran Homeowners – Texans age 65 or older or disabled, as defined by law, or who qualify for a disabled veteran exemption may postpone paying current and delinquent property taxes on their homes by signing a tax deferral affidavit. Once the affidavit is on file, taxes are deferred, but not canceled, as long as the owner continues to own and live in the home. Interest continues to accrue at five percent per year on unpaid taxes. You may obtain a deferral affidavit at the appraisal district.

• Appraisal Notices – Taxpayers typically receive a notice of appraised value from the appraisal district in the spring. The notice should be reviewed carefully; it contains important information about the property record. Once notices are mailed, the updated information is available at http://www.hillcad.org. The city, county, school districts and other local taxing units will use the appraisal district’s value to set property taxes for the coming year.

• Protesting Property Appraisal Values – Property owners who disagree with the appraisal district’s appraisal of their property for local taxes or for any other action that adversely affects them may protest their property value to the Hill County Appraisal Review Board (ARB). The normal deadline to file a protest is May 15.

• Property Taxpayer Remedies – This comptroller publication explains in detail how to protest a property appraisal, what issues the county appraisal review board (ARB) can consider, and what to expect during a protest hearing. The publication also discusses the options of taking a taxpayer’s case to the district court, the State Office of Administrative Hearings, or binding arbitration if the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the outcome of the ARB hearing. You can find it at comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property–tax/.

• Notice of Availability of Electronic Communication – Chief appraisers and ARBs may communicate electronically through email or other media with property owners or their designated representatives. Written agreements are required for notices and other documents to be delivered electronically instead of mailing.

To learn more, visit http://www.hillcad.org. Information is also available on the Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division’s website at comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/.

The Hill County Appraisal District can be reached by phone at 254-582-2508.

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