Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


In order to qualify for the general homestead exemption, you must own and occupy your property as your principal place of residence. You must file an application with the Washington County Appraisal District between January 1st and April 30th of the tax year in question. You may file for a late homestead exemption up to two years after the delinquency date.

If you are age 65 or older, your residence homestead will qualify for an additional exemption and you will receive a tax ceiling on your home for school and county taxes. Also, if a homeowner who has been receiving the tax ceiling dies, the ceiling transfers to the surviving spouse, if the survivor is 55 or older and has ownership in the home. The survivor must apply to the appraisal district for the tax ceiling to transfer.

A person with a disability may get an exemption if (1) you can’t engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability or (2) you are blind and can’t engage in your previous work because of your blindness. If you receive disability benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program through the Social Security Administration, you should qualify. Disability benefits from any other program do not automatically qualify. If you qualify for the disabled persons exemption you will receive a tax ceiling on your home for school and county taxes.

Yes. You will need to furnish a copy of a document called a statement of ownership. This document is issued to mobile home owners by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Manufactured Housing Division.

The land must have a history of being devoted to agricultural use (such as grazing cattle or cutting hay) for at least five of the past seven years. You must be able to document this history of ag usage. It must be currently devoted to agricultural use at a level of intensity that is common in the local area. (There are minimum standard production requirements that must be met.) An appllication for agricultural use valuation must be filed with the appraisal district between January 1st and April 30th. Must pass a review of the property conducted by a staff appraiser. Please call our office for further information.

The Texas Property Tax Code requires that all taxable property must be appraised at its market value. Market value is the price at which a property would sell if exposed for sale in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser. Basically, it is the price that would be agreed upon between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

Sales prices of recently sold properties are the most accurate indicators of market value. Each year the appraisal district analyzes sales of property throughout the county and uses these sales prices as the basis for making its appraisals. Also, an appraiser from the appraisal district periodically visits each property and observes its exterior features. Factors such as location, type of construction,age, size, and condition of the property are considered.

The word improvement on your notice means any building or structure that is attached to the land. State law requires that most tax notices show separate values for land and improvements.

The Texas Property Tax Code states that all property is taxable unless the state legislature has passed laws to exempt it. Houses, mobile homes, lots, acreage, commercial buildings, apartments, oil and gas reserves, industrials, utilities, and business inventory and equipment are all taxable.

The tax bills are generally mailed around the middle of October each year and are due no later than January 31st of the following year. If you are paying by mail, be sure that your payment is postmarked no later than January 31st. Any bills that are not paid by January 31st begin to accrue penalty and interest regardless of the reason for non-payment.

Yes. Even though the appraisal district mails everyone a bill, it is the property owner’s responsibility to see that his taxes are paid on time regardless of whether or not he actually receives the bill. State law does not permit the tax assessor-collector to waive penalty and interest charges.

Unpaid property taxes constitute a lien against each item of taxable property. The taxing units may file a lawsuit asking the court to allow foreclosure of that lien. The property may then be sold at auction and the proceeds used to pay the taxes.

Yes. Each person who owns taxable property on January 1st of the year in question is personally liable for all taxes due on the property for that year. A person who owned taxable property on January 1st can be sued personally for delinquent taxes, even if the property has been sold or transferred since then.

FAQ Documents

Establishing Value

Ownership & Exemptions

Paying Taxes

The Property Tax System

Contact Information