Liberty County property tax statements delayed by Nov. 2 elections

It’s October – the time of year when the Liberty County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office typically begins sending out property tax statements; however, this year’s statements are being delayed due to the upcoming Nov. 2 election.

Tax Assessor-Collector Ricky Brown said the statements will be posted in the mail immediately after the election.

“We have to figure out what the hospital district is going to charge based on the results of the election. We are ready to send them out but we can’t send them until we know if their rate is going to stay at $0.09 or $0.18 per $100 valuation,” Brown said.

When the statements arrive, Brown believes residents will be pleased to see the new format.

“We switched over to a new vendor and I think our taxpayers are going to find the statements easier to read and understand,” he said.

However, not all of the tax statements will arrive from the tax assessor-collector’s office. The Liberty County Central Appraisal District is responsible for the tax statements for Devers, Dayton and Tarkington ISDs, meaning that residents in those areas will receive one statement from the tax assessor-collector’s office for all taxes for the county, utility districts and emergency services districts, and one for the school district.

Most homeowners apply for homestead exemptions that reduces part of the home’s valuation from taxation, thereby lowering your overall tax payment. Your primary residence is the only property that qualifies for a homestead exemption. Typically, homestead exemptions remain in place until there is a change in ownership.

If your statement arrives and it appears your homestead exemption has dropped, there are ways to remedy the situation, said Chief Appraiser Lana McCarty with the Liberty County CAD.

“If your homestead exemption dropped, you should have received a letter from the CAD,” McCarty said.

Agricultural exemption rules vary, so it is best to consult with the CAD to determine if your property qualifies. For example, less acreage is needed for bees as opposed to livestock. Typically you do not have to reapply for ag exemptions.

“We do an ag check when we go out every six years. We literally lay eyes on every single property in the county every six years. There are other properties that are viewed more often,” she said.

While it can be expected that people will complain about rising property valuations, McCarty said the CAD has little leeway there.

“We are required to stick with appraisal standards,” she said.

WHEN TO PAY TAXES

All property taxes are due by Jan. 31, 2022 unless a payment agreement is in place. For people 65 and older, are disabled people, the tax office accepts a no-interest bi-monthly payment plan. The first payment will be due on Jan. 31, 2022, with three subsequent payments made in March, May and July. Payment plans are available for other residents but fines and interest will apply.

If you fail to pay your taxes by Dec. 31, 2022, you could pay up to 38 percent more. Statements will include information about paying the taxes in person, by email or by credit card/debit card.

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