Harris County Property Tax
One of the primary responsibilities of the Office of Ann Harris Bennett, 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 Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office Property Tax Division maintains approximately 1.5 million tax accounts and collects property taxes for 70 taxing entities including Harris County.
How Property Tax is Determined
The Harris Central 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 Central 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.
Property Tax Payments
The Tax Office accepts property tax payments online, by telephone, by mail or in person. Persons paying property taxes may use multiple and any combination of credit cards or multiple e-checks to pay their taxes. Partial payments are accepted and will reduce any penalty and interest owed.
Current taxes that remain unpaid on February 1 of the calendar year following the tax year become delinquent and are assessed penalty and interest. Business personal property taxes that remain delinquent may incur an additional collection fee of 15-20% after April 1st. Real property delinquent taxes incur the additional collection fee of 15-20% on July 1.