One of the primary responsibilities of the Office of Mike Sullivan, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector,
is to levy, collect and disburse property taxes. Property taxes also are known as ad valorem taxes because the taxes are levied on the value of the property.
The Tax Office maintains approximately 1.44 million tax accounts and collects property taxes
for more than 60 taxing entities in addition to Harris County. For the 2012 tax year,
the Tax Office expects to collect more than $4 billion of property tax payments.
The Harris County Appraisal District establishes taxable values.
Anything that might change the value, such as an exemption,
property description or protest, is handled by the appraisal district.
(Go to www.hcad.org for further information.)
When the certified appraisal roll is received from the Harris County Appraisal District,
the property values are loaded into the Tax Office's internally developed computer system.
The governing body of each taxing unit, the Commissioners Court for the County, sets the tax rate.
The certified appraisal roll and the tax rates are used to levy the current property taxes in October/November of each year.
Tax statements are then printed and mailed to property owners and mortgage companies. Most tax payments are mailed to a lockbox at the County depository.
There the payment documents are scanned, and the checks are deposited and recorded.
Thereafter, the Tax Office disburses the taxes collected to the various taxing entities for which it serves as collector.
The Tax Office accepts property tax payments online, by mail or in person.
Persons paying property taxes may use multiple credit cards or multiple e-checks to pay their taxes.
Any combination of credit cards and/or e-checks also may be used for payment.
Partial payment is accepted and will reduce any penalty and interest owed.
Current taxes that remain unpaid on February 1 of the following year become delinquent
and are assessed penalty and interest. Taxes that remain delinquent on business personal
property may incur an additional collection fee of 15-20% after April 1st.
Delinquent taxes on real property incur the additional collection fee on July 1.