According to the Texas Comptroller's Office 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.
Smith County offers online tax information and payments. You may begin by clicking here for Smith County Tax Records/Tax Payments.
- A 2.50% convenience fee for credit and debit card transactions with a minimum fee of $1.50.
- No Fee will be charged for Electronic Checks.
- Please verify all information entered. Failure to do so may result in your payment being returned unpaid by your bank.
- Information obtained will be used for the initiation of an electronic ACH debit.
- Submitting a payment electronically does not guarantee that the payment will be made if the funds cannot be received from the financial institution you specified.
- The Smith County Tax Records/Tax Payments accepts the following types of credit cards
The Property Tax Year
The Texas Comptroller's Office states 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. Taxes are due upon receipt of the bill.
- Failure to receive a tax statement does not affect the validity of the tax, penalty or interest, the due date, the existence of a tax lien, or any procedure to collect a tax.This is according to Section 31.01 (g) of the Texas Property Tax Code.
- If you receive a tax notice and a mortgage company is responsible for payment, please write your loan number on the statement and mail to your mortgage company.
- The deadline for paying the current year tax is January 31 of the following year. Example: 2007 taxes were due by January 31, 2008.
- If you plan to mail your payment in late January, please be sure to have the post office stamp the envelope with a January postmark. Note: the date of this postmark is the date that will be used as the date of payment to your account
- Current taxes that remain unpaid as of February 1 of the year following the year in which they were imposed are delinquent and are assessed penalty and interest. Penalty and interest apply on the delinquent tax as follows: (P&I applied according to Section 33.01 of the Texas Property Tax Code).
- February: 7%
- March: 9%
- April: 11%
- May: 13%
- June: 15%
- July: 18% + 15% additional collection fee
- August: 19% + 15% additional collection fee
- September: 20% + 15% additional collection fee
- Interest continues to accrue an additional one percent each month until taxes are paid in full. Taxes not paid in full by June 30 will be referred to the delinquent tax attorney for enforced collection. This is when the additional collection fee of 15 percent will be added. At this time legal action may take place.
- The delinquent tax attorney for Smith County and all but one of its jurisdictions (TISD) is Linebarger, Goggans, Blair & Sampson, LLP. The delinquent tax attorney for Tyler Independent School District is Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins & Mott. Visit our delinquent tax sale section for more information