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Property Taxes and Payment Options

Property Taxes

This article discusses what to do if you are having trouble paying your property taxes.

Exemptions will lower your property taxes. Deferrals and payment plans can help you avoid losing your home to a tax foreclosure. Here, learn the different types of exemptions as well as the options for deferrals and payment plans. 

What are property tax exemptions?

Property tax exemptions are also known as tax ceilings, freezes, or limitations. There are numerous exemptions such as:

  • general residence,
  • heirship property,
  •  over-65,
  • surviving spouse over 55,
  • disability, and
  • disabled veteran.

If you are a senior with a disability, you can only take one additional exemption to your homestead exemption.

Property tax exemptions save a significant amount on your property taxes. You can apply for exemptions at the county appraisal district online, in person, or by mail.

What are property tax deferrals?

Property tax deferrals are agreements to postpone property taxes to prevent foreclosure, interest, and attorney fees. Deferrals do not cancel the taxes owed. They delay the deadline for paying taxes for home owners with the over-65 or disability exemptions. The taxes will not be due until 180 days after the homeowner sells the home or dies. Before applying, contact your mortgage company to make sure that the tax deferral does not affect your mortgage payments. Tax deferral applications are available on your county’s appraisal district website. The state controller compiled a directory of appraisal districts at Local Property Appraisal and Tax Information.

What are your options for payment plans?

Payment plans are a way to avoid foreclosure and expensive penalties. You need to contact your county's tax appraisal district as soon as possible to set up a payment plan. If you have a homestead exemption as well as an over-65 or disabled exemption, you will not pay any interest. If you only have a homestead exemption, there is only 1% interest as well as a penalty for the first month of your payment plan. If you ask for a payment plan before the collection process begins, you will not have to pay attorney fees, which are 15 to 20% of the total balance due. There are no penalties for completing the payment plan early.

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