Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Time to Pay Your Property Taxes

This is the time of year when tax bills are due. Prime Properties does not pay tax bills for our clients, you are paying these yourself or they are paid out of an escrow account managed by your mortgage company.

If you pay the tax bills yourself you can send the payment before the end of the year in order to deduct the expense on your 2008 personal taxes. If you do not have the funds to pay by December 31, make sure pay by January 31 in order to avoid steep penalties for late payments. It is cheaper to borrow the money then to pay the late penalties.

You should expect to see anywhere from a single tax bill up to a total of three bills, this depends on how the tax districts are divided for your property. In Texas your tax bill will be approximately 3% of the value of the home. In Oklahoma your tax bill will be approximately 1% of the value of the home. The reason for the huge difference is because Oklahoma has a personal income tax to help fund the government, while in Texas most of the funding comes from property taxes.

If your taxes are paid by a mortgage company escrow you should still receive your own copy of what your tax bill is for the year. If you receive nothing then it is likely you do not have your correct address listed with the county tax office. It is very important that you have your proper address listed on your tax records since this address will be used to communicate with you for various reasons. An example is if your HOA places a lien on your home, they will normally use the address on the tax records to notify you before they foreclose on your home. If you do not have the proper address on the tax records your home could be foreclosed on and you will never know until it is too late!

What if you want to contest your tax valuation? For Texas the time to contest your taxes is in the April 15 - May 31 time frame. It is too late now to do anything about your current tax bill.

Send me an email at kmartin@primeprop.com if you are a Prime Properties client and you have any questions about your property taxes. I will do my best to answer any questions you may have.

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