FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Accurate as of November 24, 2009

Listed below is a series of frequently asked questions. You may click on the question and an answer will follow or if you prefer you may scroll down the page.

1. How do I get information on my property taxes that are pending for my property? Back To Top

For information on property taxes, please call the Laredo Independent School District Tax Office at 956-795-3300 or go by 904 Juarez Ave., Laredo, Texas 78040. You may be able to print a tax statement by going online athttp://www.laredoisd.org/departments/taxoffice/search4.asp. You will need to provide the name under which the property is listed and or the correct physical address of the property and or the account number.

2. How do I get a tax statement of taxes due for the current and prior years?

You may be able to print a tax statement by going online at http://www.laredoisd.org/departments/taxoffice/pro/tax_online.asp.  You will need to provide the name under which the property is listed and or the correct physical address of the property and or the account number. You may request an updated tax statement by calling the Tax Office at 956-795-3300.

3. How do I get a copy of a payment receipt and /or a payment history of my account? Back To Top

There is only one original receipt and it is given to whomever paid the taxes. The Tax Office will be able to provide a copy of the “Account Status” at no cost. Before calling the Tax Office, please have available the date of the payment for which you are requesting information. However, If you want certified tax certificate, there is a State mandated fee of $10.00 per property account. Tax certificates are available daily from 8:00am to 2:30pm. 

4. How do I get information on a lawsuit/tax warrant that has been filed against my property?

For all questions regarding lawsuits and/or tax warrants, you are asked to call the school district delinquent tax attorneys. The Law Firm of Kazen, Meurer & Perez has been contracted to assist all taxpayers. Please provide the name and address of the property in question. To expedite your request, if you have the account number and/or the lawsuit/tax warrant number, please provide that information.

The Law Firm of Kazen, Meurer & Perez may be contacted by phone at 956-725-7822, via fax at 956-723-3554 or visit with their friendly staff at at 211 Calle del Norte, Ste. 200 in Laredo, Texas, 78042-6237.

5. How do I request a refund on an overpayment on taxes paid on my property? Back To Top

A taxpayer needs to go in person to the Tax Office to make a refund request. You will be asked to provide proof of payment and other personal identification. The original payment receipt or copy of check (front & back) will be needed before any information is released. The refund will be made directly to the person, firm, business, or mortgage company that actually made the overpayment. The payment will be in the form of a check and will be mailed from the Finance Department. All refunds of $500 or more will need approval from the School Board. It may take four to eight weeks from date the refund is requested to date the taxpayer receives the refund check.

6. How do I make payments?

Property tax payments are accepted in any one of several payment methods:

  1. Cash …US currency only is accepted
  2. Check….personal check for the amount of taxes due. There is a $25.00 return check fee for all checks not honored by any bank for any reason. Checks will be converted to an electronic image and processed electronically to the bank. The taxpayer account may be debited as early as the same date the check is presented for payment.
  3. Bank money order
  4. Cashier Bank money order
  5. Commercial money order

7. How do I make arrangements to pay in installments? Back To Top

  1. Half payment option is available to all taxpayers for the current year taxes. The taxpayer pays half of the amount due on or before November 30th and the second half is due on or before June 30th of the following year. This is a two payment option, taxpayers are not allowed, under this plan, to make monthly payments. These taxpayers are given an extended period to pay their taxes without any penalty or interest charges.
  2. Quarterly payment option is available only to senior citizens over the age of 65 and all disabled persons regardless of age. However, the taxpayer must qualify him/her self and the property at the Webb County Appraisal District. For qualification information that office may be contacted by calling 956-718-4091.
  3. Employees of this School District may qualify by applying for the payroll deduction plan. This plan is beneficial to school employees because they can extend the payment period. However, if payment in full is not made before the delinquency date, then penalty and interest charges will apply.
  4. If taxpayers qualify, a taxpayer may enter into a special payment contract. This contract is valid for the current or prior year delinquent taxes only. If the property tax account is not under lawsuit, then the taxpayer may make the request for special payment contract directly at the Tax Office. If the account is under lawsuit/tax warrant, the taxpayer needs to make arrangements with the delinquent tax attorneys, Kazen, Meurer & Perez by calling 956-725-7822.
  5. hardship for medical and/or financial payment plan is available for qualified taxpayers. Both a minimum monthly payment is required and time extension may be made available for the qualified taxpayer. During the plan’s payment period, this category of taxpayers will not be “sued” by our School District and no aggressive collection actions will be taken. There are restrictions and taxpayers must be “qualified” for this plan.

8. How do I make payment arrangements to pay next year’s taxes?

A taxpayer may enter into an “escrow” payment plan in which payments are made toward future taxes. The taxpayer may not be delinquent in any prior or current year taxes. An estimate of next year’s taxes is calculated. When the taxes become due, all escrow payments are credited. If there are excess funds in the escrow fund, these funds are refunded to the taxpayers or he/she may elect to have these excess funds “escrowed” to next year’s taxes. In the event that there is a shortfall in the escrow fund, after crediting all funds, the taxpayer is sent an invoice for the remaining balance.

9. Where do I find the LISD Tax Office Back To Top

Click here for a map and directions 
904 Juarez Ave. 
Laredo, Texas 78040 
Phone: 956-795-3300

10. Where do I find the delinquent tax attorney’s office of Kazen, Meurer & Perez?

Click here for a map and directions   
211 Calle del Norte Ste. 200
Laredo, Texas 78040 
Phone: 956-725-7822

11. Where do I find the Webb County Appraisal District? Back To Top

Click here for a map and directions
3302 Clark Blvd. 
Laredo, Texas 78043 
Phone: 956-718-4091

12. Why doesn’t my tax statement reach my home?

There are several reasons why this is happening.

  1. As per the Texas Property Tax Code, a tax statement is considered delivered when the tax statements are delivered to the US Post Office.
  2. The address is incorrect. Taxpayers need to provide updated information to the Webb County Appraisal District (956-718-4091).
  3. The property owner (s) may request that tax statements be mailed to an address other than their home/business location. This may happen when statements are going to an accounting firm or a mortgage company. When the taxpayer changes accounting firms or mortgage companies the new address is not updated at the Appraisal District.
  4. The property owner may have had a post office address and has since either closed or changed postal addresses.
  5. The property owner may have moved to another location. Even if a change of address is made with the US Post Office, at about a year later, the Post Office does not forward the mail.
  6. Sometimes the mailing address is correct, and some family member just “forgot” to give the mail to the responsible person.
  7. Even if the taxpayer does  not get a tax statement, it will not alter the due dates, amounts due, nor will it extend any deadlines.

13. Why doesn’t the amount on the “revised statement” match the “original statement” amount? Back To Top

The Tax Office may have received a change from the Appraisal District that modified the amount of taxes dues. Some of the instances that this could happen include:

  1. Loss of an exemption. This causes the taxes to increase to the full tax amount.
  2. Loss of an Over 65 senior citizen exemption and the “frozen” tax amount. The property is “owned” by a different person other than the original owner who qualified for the “freeze amount”.
  3. The granting by the Appraisal District of an exemption. This will cause the taxes due to be reduced.
  4. The property may have been owned by one owner and has since been deeded to several owners, each owning a percentage of the total value. Each owner would get a new tax statement with the tax amount due for his/her ownership percentage.
  5. Change in value due to an addition (improvement) to the property. The value of the improvement causes the total value of the property to increase. The increase value then results in an increase tax amount.
  6. Increase in value due to market conditions. Appraisal district is responsible to appraise the value of property on an average of every three years.
  7. For an explanation as to a taxpayers specific change in the taxes due, please call the Tax Office at 956-795-3300.
  8. For an explanation as to a property’s specific change in value, please call the Webb County Appraisal District at 956-718-4091.

14. Who is the Tax Assessor/Collector?

The name of this person is Rodolfo Sanchez. Mr. Sanchez is certified as a “Texas Registered Assessor” with the State of Texas. He is also certified as a “Certified School Tax Administrator”. As a tax assessor/collector, he is under the state regulatory agency known as the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Mr. Sanchez is always available to meet with any taxpayer that may wish to discuss his/her individual property tax situation. Also available, should Mr. Sanchez be with other taxpayers, is a tax office staff that is equally capable of addressing and where needed correcting all taxpayer concerns.

It is recommended that you call ahead to 956-795-3300 to set up an appointment.

15. Who is the Chief Financial Officer? Back To Top

Mr. Alvaro Perez is the School District’s Chief Financial Officer.  Mr. Alvaro Perez, among other duties, is responsible for overseeing the functions of the Tax Office. It is through his knowledge of finances that our School District continues to grow financially strong.

Mr. Alvaro Perez maintains an “open door policy”.  He welcomes comments from the general public. He is always available to meet with taxpayers.  He may be reached by calling 956-795-4112

16. Who is the Superintendent of Schools?

Dr. A. Marcus Nelson is the Laredo ISD Superintendent of Schools.  Dr. Nelson welcomes commentary from all parents, students and the general public.  His office may be reached by calling 956-795-3409

17. What is the date that tax statements are mailed? Back To Top

The current year tax statements are mailed on or about October 1st of each year. The taxes become due upon receipt of the tax statement. However, the Tax Office allows for the payment of the current year taxes to be paid, without penalty and interest charges, up to January 31st of the following year.

18. What is the date that taxes become delinquent? Back To Top

February 1st of the year following the year in which the original tax bill was mailed is the date taxes become delinquent. For example, for tax year 2003, the original tax statements will be mailed on or about October 1, 2003 and become delinquent if not paid before February 1, 2004. This allows for the taxpayer to pay, without penalty and interest charges, from October 1st of the current year to January 31st of the following year.

19. What is the date that lawsuits and/or tax warrants are filed? Back To Top

All taxes are delinquent if not paid before February 1st. On February 1st the delinquent tax attorney, Kazen, Meurer & Perez begin filing lawsuits and tax warrants. The taxpayer will incur additional expense up to $700, if a lawsuit is filed.

20. What is the effective date of ownership of property for tax purposes? Back To Top

All property in Texas is appraised (a value is determined) as of January 1st of each year. The owner of the property on January 1 is responsible to ensure that taxes are paid even if he/she sold the property on January 2 or at any other time during the year. The Webb County Appraisal District is the state agency that was set by the State of Texas responsible for appraising property and granting/denying exemptions. The Appraisal District may be reached by calling 956-718-4091.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns on your property tax statements, please call the Laredo ISD Tax Office at 956-795-3300.

Listed below is additional general property tax information: 
[information reprinted from the State Comptroller’s Office]

21.Q: What are property taxes? Back To Top

 A: Property taxes -- also called ad valorem taxes -- are locally assessed taxes. The county appraisal district appraises property located in the county, while local taxing units set tax rates and collect property taxes based on those values. Property taxes provide more tax dollars for local services in Texas than any other source -- they help pay for public schools, city streets, county roads, police, fire protection, and many other services.

22. Q: How does the property tax system work? Back To Top

A: There are three main parts to the property tax system in Texas: An appraisal district in each county sets the value of property each year. A chief appraiser is the chief administrator and operates the appraisal office.

A citizen board called the appraisal review board settles any disagreements between a property owner and the appraisal district about a property's value.

Local taxing units -- city, county, school, and special districts -- decide how much money they will spend by adopting a budget. Next, the units set tax rates that will raise the revenue necessary to fund their budgets. The adopted budgets and the tax rates set to fund the budgets determine the total amount of taxes that a person will pay.

The property tax year has four stages: appraising taxable property, protesting the appraised values, adopting the tax rates, and collecting the taxes.

January 1 marks the beginning of property appraisal. What a property is used for on January 1, market conditions at that time, and who owns the property on that date determine whether the property is taxed, its value, and who is responsible for paying the tax.

Between January 1 and April 30, the appraisal district processes applications for tax exemptions, agricultural appraisals, and other tax relief.

Around May 15, the appraisal review board begins hearing protests from property owners who believe their property values are incorrect or who did not get exemptions or agricultural appraisal. When the ARB finishes its work, the appraisal district gives each taxing unit a list of taxable property.

In August or September, the elected officials of each taxing unit adopt tax rates for their operations and debt payments. Several taxing units tax your property. Every property is taxed by the county and the local school district. You also may pay taxes to a city and to special districts such as hospital, junior college, water, fire, and others.

Tax collection starts around October 1 as tax bills go out. Taxpayers have until January 31 of the following year to pay their taxes. On February 1, penalty and interest charges begin accumulating on most unpaid tax bills. Tax collectors may start legal action to collect unpaid taxes on February 1.

23. Q: Does Texas have a state property tax?  Back To Top

A: No. Texas has only local property taxes levied by local taxing units. The state does not have local tax records on each property and its ownership and does not set your property's value for property taxes.

24. Q: Are the taxes on my home based on the current year's market value? Back To Top

A: Property owners' taxes are based on the most current year's market value minus applicable exemptions. The appraised value of a residence homestead for a tax year is limited to the lesser of either its market value or the sum of the market value of any new improvements and 110 percent of the appraised value of the preceding year. The 10 percent increase is cumulative - that is, 10 percent times the number of years since the property was last appraised. Therefore, if a homestead increases in value by 20 percent in two years, all of the increase can be added to the appraisal roll. A limitation takes effect for a residence homestead on January 1 of the tax year following the first tax year the owner qualifies the property for the residence homestead exemption. The limitation ends on the January 1 of the first tax year that neither the owner nor the owner's spouse or surviving spouse qualifies for the homestead exemptions.

25. Q: Which local taxing units may tax my property in Texas?Back To Top

A: All taxable property will pay county and school taxes. If the property is located inside a city's boundaries, you may also may pay city taxes. Special taxing units -- junior college, hospital district, road district, and others -- may also tax your property.

Tax Bills

26. Q: May I pay only part of the taxes due? Back To Top

A: State law allows taxing units, at their option, to authorize tax collectors to accept one-half of a taxpayer's taxes by November 30 and the remainder by June 30 without paying penalty and interest. Not all taxing units offer this option.

Tax collectors also may choose to collect partial payments, payments by credit card, or escrow payments. Such payments do not forestall any penalty and interest on the unpaid portions.

27. Q: I'm on a limited income because I'm disabled or elderly. Is there a special payment plan for over-65 or disabled persons?Back To Top

A: A homeowner that qualifies for the over-65 or disabled exemption may pay current taxes on his or her home in four installments. The person must pay at least one-fourth of the taxes before February 1. With this payment, the homeowner indicates that taxes are being paid in installments. The remaining payments are due by January 31, March 31, May 31, and July 31-without any penalty and interest. If the person misses an installment payment, a 12-percent penalty and also interest (at 1 percent for each month delinquent) is added to the installment amount.

Delinquent Taxes

28. Q: What is the deadline for paying taxes without penalty and interest? Back To Top

A: The deadline to pay is January 31. The tax collector will add penalty and interest charges to taxes that are unpaid on February 1. In rare instances, a taxpayer may have a delinquency date later than February 1-check with your tax office.

29. Q: What is the amount of penalty and interest? Back To Top

A: If taxes become delinquent, the tax collector adds a 6 percent penalty and 1 percent interest in February. Penalty continues to accrue at 1 percent per month until July 1. On July 1, the penalty is 12 percent. Interest continues to accrue at 1 percent per month until paid. For example, on July 1, unpaid taxes would have accrued 18 percent penalty and interest - 12 percent penalty and 6 percent interest.

A taxing unit also may add a penalty-up to 15 percent-for attorney fees.

30. Q: Can a taxing unit waive penalty and interest due on delinquent taxes? Back To Top

A: State law requires a taxing unit's governing body to waive penalty and may waive interest on a delinquent tax if the taxing unit or its agent caused an owner's taxes to become delinquent. The property owner must pay the tax within three years after he or she knows or should have known of the delinquency. The property owner must request the waiver before the 181st day-six months-after the delinquency.

31. Q: When can the additional penalty for attorney fees be added? Back To Top

A: Taxes that become delinquent on or after February 1 but not later than May 1 and remain delinquent on July 1 of the tax year incur the additional penalty for attorney fees of up to 15 percent. The taxing unit must contract with an attorney to collect delinquent taxes. The tax collector must mail the delinquent taxpayer a notice that the additional penalty will be added July 1. The collector sends the notice not earlier than 30 days and no more than 60 days from July 1 - during the month of May. The attorney will pursue collection of the taxes through legal proceedings, if necessary.

Also, the collector that has a contract with an attorney may add the 15-percent penalty to taxes that become delinquent on or after June 1. The delinquent taxes include those under the split payment option, installment payments for over-65 or disabled persons, or taxes on late mailed bills that have a later delinquency date than February 1. The penalty attaches the first day of the first month that begins at least 21 days after the date a notice of delinquency and penalty is sent to the property owner.

32. Q: If I didn't receive a tax bill, will I get more time to pay without penalty and interest? Back To Top

A: No. State law provides that failing to send or receive a tax bill does not affect the validity of the tax, penalty, or interest due by an individual, the tax's delinquency date, the existence of a tax lien, or any procedure the taxing unit institutes to collect the tax. Property owners know that property taxes are due each year and should check if they do not receive a tax bill.

You may want to check with your mortgage company to determine if your taxes were paid timely.

33. Q: If I'm elderly or disabled and can't pay my taxes, will the taxing units sell my house and put me on the street for not paying my taxes? Back To Top

A: If a homeowner is 65 or older or disabled, the homeowner may defer or postpone paying any delinquent property taxes on his or her home for as long as the owner lives in it. To postpone tax payments, the owner must file a tax deferral affidavit with the appraisal district. A homeowner may suspend any lawsuit by filing an affidavit with the court. The deferral is for all delinquent property taxes owed taxing units that tax the home.

A tax deferral only postpones paying taxes. It doesn't cancel them. Interest is added at the rate of 8 percent a year. Once the owner no longer owns the home or lives in it, past taxes and interest become due. Any penalty and interest that was due on the tax bill for the home before the tax deferral will remain on the property and also become due when the tax deferral ends. After the tax deferral ends and the taxes remain unpaid, the taxing units may add attorney fees on the 91st day after the deferral and pursue tax collections.

34. Q: May a property owner pay a portion of delinquent taxes? Back To Top

A: Some tax collectors allow delinquent property owners to pay delinquent taxes in installments for up to 36 months. A tax collector isn't required to offer this option. Before signing an installment agreement, you should know that the law considers the taxpayer's signature an irrevocable admission that you owe all the taxes covered by the agreement.

35. Q: When can a taxing unit file a delinquent tax suit? Back To Top

A: A taxing unit may file a lawsuit at any time once taxes on a property go delinquent. The taxing unit's last resort is taking a delinquent property owner to court. If a delinquent tax suit is successful, the court costs will be added to the delinquent tax bill. Each owner who owns taxable property on January 1 is liable for all taxes due on the property for that year. This means that an owner who owned taxable property on January 1 can be sued personally for delinquent taxes on a property, even if the property has been sold or transferred since then.

Each taxing unit holds a tax lien on each item of taxable property. This tax lien gives the court the power to foreclose on the lien and seize the property, even if its ownership has changed. The property will then be auctioned, and the proceeds used to pay the taxes.

Contact your local taxing unit to discuss the specifics of your tax situation.

36. Q: Can a property owner whose property was sold at an auction get that property back? Back To Top

A: Yes. A person can redeem the foreclosed property within six months after the purchaser's deed is filed for record. The old owner must pay the new owner the purchase bid for the property, plus recording fees, amount of any taxes, penalties, interest, and costs on the property, plus 25 percent of the aggregate total. If the property was a residence homestead or land designated agricultural use when the lawsuit was filed, the old owner may redeem the property within two years from the date the deed was recorded. The first year includes 25 percent of the aggregate total; the second year is at 50 percent of the total.

Exemptions

37. Q: Do I, as a homeowner, get a tax break from property taxes? Back To Top

A: You may apply for homestead exemptions on your principal residence. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home's value from taxation, so they lower taxes. For example, your home is appraised at $50,000, and you qualify for a $15,000 exemption, you will pay taxes on the home as if it was worth only $35,000.

38. Q: Do all homes qualify for homestead exemptions? Back To Top

A: No, only a homeowner's principal residence qualifies. To qualify, a home must meet the definition of a residence homestead: The home's owner must be an individual (for example: not a corporation or other business entity) and use the home as his or her principal residence on January 1 of the tax year. If you are over-65, the January 1 ownership and residency are not required.

39. Q: What is a homestead? Back To Top

A: A homestead can be a separate structure, condominium, or a mobile home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it. A homestead can include up to 20 acres, if the land is used as a yard or for another purpose related to the residential use of the homestead.

40. Q: How do I get a homestead exemption? Back To Top

A: You must file an application with the county appraisal district between January 1 and April 30 of the tax year. You may file late-up to one year after you pay your taxes or they go delinquent, whichever is first. Once you receive the exemption, you do not need to reapply unless the chief appraiser sends you a new application. In that case, you must file the new application. If you should move or your qualifications end, you must inform the appraisal district in writing before the next May 1.

41. Q: What homestead exemptions are available? Back To Top

A: There are several types of exemptions you may receive.

  • School taxes: All residence homestead owners may receive a $15,000 homestead exemption from their home's value for school taxes.
  • County taxes: If a county collects a special tax for farm-to-market roads or flood control, a residence homestead owner may receive a $3,000 exemption for this tax. If the county grants an optional exemption for homeowners age 65 or older or disabled, the owners will receive only the local-option exemption.
  • Age 65 or older and disabled exemptions: Over-65 and/or disabled residence homestead owners may qualify for a $10,000 homestead exemption for school taxes, in addition to the $15,000 exemption for all homeowners. If the owner qualifies for both the $10,000 for over-65 homeowners and the $10,000 exemption for disabled homeowners, the owner must choose one or the other for school taxes. The owner cannot receive both exemptions.

42.Q: How do I qualify for a disabled person's exemption? Back To Top

A: You are eligible for this exemption if you can't engage in gainful work because of a physical or mental disability or you are 55 years old and blind and can't engage in your previous work because of the blindness. To qualify, you must meet the Social Security definition for disabled. You qualify if you receive disability benefits under the federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program administered by the Social Security Administration. Disability benefits from any other program do not automatically qualify you. To prove your eligibility, you may need to provide the appraisal district with information on disability ratings from the civil service, retirement programs, or from insurance documents, military records, or a doctor's statement.

43. Q: What if I miss the deadline for filing for a homestead exemption? Back To Top

A: You may file for a homestead exemption up to one year after the date the owner paid the taxes on the home or the date the taxes became delinquent, whichever is earlier. If you are 65 or older, you must apply for the exemption no later than one year from your 65 birthday.

44.Q: What is an over-65 tax ceiling? Back To Top

A: Once an over-65 homeowner qualifies for an over-65 homestead exemption for school taxes, that owner gets a tax ceiling for that home on school taxes. The school taxes on that home can't increase as long as the owner owns and lives in that home. The tax ceiling is the amount the owner pays in the year that he or she qualified for the over-65 exemption. The school taxes on that home may go below the ceiling, but the school taxes will not be more than the amount of the ceiling. If the homeowner improves the home (other than normal repairs or maintenance), the tax ceiling is adjusted for the new additions. For example, if an owner adds on a garage or game room to the house, the tax ceiling will change.

45. Q: Does the tax ceiling remain the same if the over-65 homeowner moves to another home? Back To Top

A: No. However, an over-65 or over-55 surviving spouse homestead owner may transfer the percentage of their over-65 tax ceiling to a different home in the same or another school district. The ceiling on the new home would be calculated to give the homeowner the same percentage of tax paid as the ceiling on the original home. For example, if a homeowner currently has a tax ceiling of $100, but would pay $400 without the ceiling, the percentage of tax paid is 25 percent. If the senior citizen moves to another home and the taxes on the new homestead would normally be $1,000 in the first year, the new tax ceiling would be $250 or 25 percent of $1,000.

46. Q: If I own only 50 percent of the home I live in, do I qualify for the residence homestead exemption on the home? Back To Top

A: Yes. However, if you qualify for a homestead exemption and are not the sole owner of the property to which the homestead exemption applies, the exemption you receive is based on the interest you own. For example, you own a 50 percent interest in a homestead and will receive one half, or $7,500, of a $15,000 homestead offered by a school district.

47. Q: Is the disabled veteran's exemption the same as the disabled person's exemption? Back To Top

A: No. To receive a disabled veteran exemption, you must either be a veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces or the surviving spouse or child (under 18 years of age and unmarried) of a disabled veteran or of a member of the armed forces who was killed while on active duty.

In order to qualify for a disabled person exemption, you can't engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability or you are 55 years old and 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 administered by the Social Security Administration, you will qualify for the disabled person exemption.

48. Q: What is the amount of the disabled veteran's exemption? Back To Top

A: The exemption amount that a qualified disabled veteran receives depends on the veteran's disability rating from the branch of the armed service:

 

Disability Rating

Exemption Amount

10% to 30%

$5,000 from the property's value

31% to 50%

$7,500 from the property's value

51% to 70%

$10,000 from the property's value

71% to 100%

$12,000 from the property's value

 

Effective with the 2009 tax year, the Texas Legislature enacted new 100% veteran disability exemption. The new veteran disability is in addition to the previous exemptions. If the veteran qualifies for this additional exemption the value of his/her resident homestead would be 100% exempt. For additional information, please call the Webb County Appraisal District at 956-718-4091.

49. Q: May I file for a disabled veteran's exemption after the deadline has passed? Back To Top

A: Yes. The deadline for filing for a disabled veteran's exemption is between January 1 and April 30 of the tax year. However, you may file for a disabled veteran's exemption up to one year after the date the owner paid the taxes on the property or the date the taxes became delinquent, whichever is earlier.

50. Q: If a religious or charitable organization purchases property during the year, may the organization receive an exemption on the new property for that year?

A: Yes. The religious or charitable organization may receive a property tax exemption upon ownership and qualification after January 1. The organization has to file for the exemption on property acquired after January 1 within one year of acquiring the property.

Property Protests

51.Q: What rights do I have if I disagree with an appraisal district action? Back To Top

A: If you disagree with the appraisal district's value or any action of the appraisal district about your property, you may file a protest with the appraisal review board (ARB). In most cases, you have until May 31 or 30 days from the date the appraisal district notice is delivered-whichever is earlier-to you.

Most appraisal district offices will meet with you informally to review your protest to try to solve problems.

After filing your protest, you will receive written notice of the date, time, and place for a formal hearing with the appraisal review board. At the formal hearing, the ARB listens to both the taxpayer and the chief appraiser. The ARB's decisions are binding only for the tax year in question.

52. Q: What are some helpful hints when protesting to the appraisal review board (ARB)? Back To Top

A: Below are suggestions to prepare for your protest before the ARB.

  • Ask one of the district's appraisers to explain the appraisal.
  • Check the appraisal to make sure the property description and measurements of your property are correct.
  • Check the appraisal to see if it accounts for hidden defects-for example, a cracked foundation or inadequate plumbing. Evidence of a hidden defect could be a photograph, or a statement from a builder or independent appraiser.
  • Ask the district for the appraisal records on similar properties in the area-to learn if similar properties are treated equally.
  • Consider using an independent appraisal by a real estate appraiser. Insurance records are often helpful.
  • Get documents or sworn statements from any person providing any sales information.
  • Use sales of properties that are similar to the subject property in size, age, location, and type of construction.
  • Use sales that occurred closest to January 1.
  • Weigh the cost of preparing a protest against the potential tax savings.
  • Ask the appraisal district to see and inspect all information it used to set the value of your property. The appraisal district must give you the opportunity to inspect information, even if the information would normally be considered confidential.
  • Ask to inspect and obtain a copy of the data, schedules, formulas, and any other information that the appraisal district plans to introduce at the hearing. The law requires the appraisal district to allow you the opportunity to inspect during the 14 days before the protest hearing.

53. Q: When will the appraisal district notify me about the protest hearing? Back To Top

A: The district must notify you 15 days before your hearing of the date, time, and place of the hearing. At least 14 days before the protest hearing, the district must send you a copy of Taxpayers' Rights, Remedies & Responsibilities; a copy of the appraisal review board procedures; and a statement about your right to inspect information. You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the data, schedules, formulas, and any other information that the chief appraiser plans to introduce at the hearing.

54.Q: Must I appear in person to present a protest? Back To Top

A: When protesting, you may appear in person, send someone to present the protest, or send a sworn affidavit containing the property owner's name, the property's description, and the property owner's evidence or argument specifying the appraisal district or review board determination you are protesting. The appraisal district and the Comptroller's office has an affidavit form (50-133 Affidavit for Protest Hearing) available to use, but you need not use this form. If your letter contains all the items listed above, then you may have your letter notarized and send it to the ARB.

 If you send someone in your place, you must give written authorization to the person to represent you before the review board. You must use an Appointment of Agent form, available from the appraisal district or Comptroller's office. No form is necessary if you are designating an attorney, mortgage lender, employee, or a person who is simply acting as a courier.

55.Q: I work and its difficult to attend a protest hearing during the day, Are hearings held at night or on weekends? Back To Top

A: The appraisal review board must provide hearing times for protests in the evening or on a Saturday or Sunday. You should contact the appraisal district to see when these hearing times are available.

Appeals

District Court Appeal

56. Q: What if I disagree with the appraisal review board's (ARB) determination? Back To Top

A: Once the ARB rules on a protest, it sends a written order by certified mail. If you are dissatisfied with the ARB's findings, you have the right to appeal its decision to district court in the county where the property is located. Before filing, you should consult with an attorney to determine if the case is a good one. Within 45 days of receiving the notice of determination from the ARB, you must file a petition for review with the district court. You also must make a partial payment of taxes-usually the amount of taxes that aren't in dispute-before the delinquency date.

Late Filed Protests

57.Q: Can I protest an appraisal district's action after the deadline for filing a protest has passed? Back To Top

A: Under specific situations, you may protest after the normal protest deadline.

  • You may protest failure to receive a notice that the appraisal district or appraisal review board (ARB) was required to send you. You must file this protest before the delinquency date and you must not allow your taxes to go delinquent.
  • You may protest that the appraisal district appraised your property at least one-third higher than its market value. You must file this protest before the delinquency date, and you must not allow your taxes to go delinquent. You may not protest late for this reason if the property was subject to an earlier protest for the year.
  • You may protest for the correction of a clerical error, multiple appraisals, or including property on the appraisal roll that should not have been included. This type of late hearing protest may include the current year and the four previous tax years.
  • You may ask the chief appraiser to agree to do a "joint motion to correct." If both the chief appraiser and you are in agreement on the late change, then the ARB will approve the change.

If the ARB rules in your favor, it will instruct the chief appraiser to notify the taxing units about the change. If you paid the taxes, the taxing units will send you any refund for the change on the appraisal roll for your property.

Property Appraisal

58.Q: When is property taxable by a taxing unit? Back To Top

A: If a property is located in a taxing unit on January 1 for more than a temporary period, the property is taxable. State law makes certain properties exempt from taxation-either automatically or by taxpayer application.

59. Q: What is a rendition? Back To Top

A: A rendition is a form a property owner may use to report the taxable property he or she owns on January 1 to the appraisal district. The rendition identifies, describes, and gives the location of the taxable property. An owner may also give an opinion of the property's value on the rendition form, but it isn't required.

60. Q: Am I required to file a rendition form? Back To Top

A: You must file a rendition of business personal property that you own. Otherwise, you may submit a rendition if you choose, but you are not required to do so. If your property is appraised by more than one appraisal district, you should file a rendition in each appraisal district office. This situation can occur when your property is located in a taxing unit that reaches into a neighboring county. The appraisal districts will send you a notice with their addresses if this occurs. If someone other than the property owner, owner's employee, or the owner's affiliated entity files a rendition form, that person must swear to (notarized) the contents on the form before an officer authorized to administer an oath.

61. Q: What are the advantages of filing a rendition form? Back To Top

A: Filing a rendition allows you to exercise your rights as a taxpayer. Your correct mailing address is on record, so taxing units will send the tax bills to the right address. Your opinion of the property's value is on record with the appraisal district. Filing a rendition insures that you will receive notice if the chief appraiser puts a higher value on the property than the value you placed on the rendition form.

62. Q: What is the deadline for filing a rendition form? Back To Top

A: You must file a rendition with the appraisal district after January 1 and no later than April 15. The chief appraiser may extend the deadline to April 30 if you request an extension in writing and can show good cause for needing the extension.

63. Q: How does the appraisal district determine the value of a property? Back To Top

A: The appraisal district determines the value of all taxable property in the county as of January 1 of the tax year. The appraisal district must repeat the appraisal process for property in the county at least once every three years.

For example, the value of a home is an estimate of the price a home would sell for on January 1. The appraisal district compares a home to similar homes that have sold recently and determines the home's value.

The appraisal district also uses other appraisal methods to appraise types of properties that don't often sell, such as utility companies and oil leases. These methods include the cost approach-what it would take to build the property again, less depreciation-and the income approach-what an investor would pay for the property with an anticipated return.

64. Q: How and when will I know what value the appraisal district puts on my property? Back To Top

A: The chief appraiser will send you a notice of appraised value, telling you what the appraisal district believes is the value of your property. The notice includes a notice of protest form and explains how you can file a protest with the appraisal review board if you disagree with the district. The chief appraiser must mail a notice by May 15 or as soon thereafter as possible.

The notice of appraised value is sent if any of the following three circumstances exists:

  1. the value of a property is higher than it was in the previous year;
  2. the value of a property is higher than the value the owner gave on a rendition; or
  3. the property wasn't on the appraisal district's records in the previous year.

If the value difference in (1) is $1,000 or less, the appraisal district directors can instruct the chief appraiser not to send the notice.

Thank you for your visit to this website. If you have any other questions that may not have been covered above or if you want additional information, please call us at 956-795-3300.

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