Appraisal districts were formed by the Texas Legislature in 1979 as part of a sweeping change designed to standardize the administration of local property taxes. Senate Bill 621, or the “Peveto Bill”, was named for Rep. Wayne Peveto from Orange, Texas and formed the foundation of our current property tax system. Before 1979, each taxing entity appraised all properties within their boundaries, meaning your property could (and usually did) have widely varied appraised values for the school district, the county, the city, and other taxing entities.
The appraised values were the basis for your property tax levies to each entity, and there was no centralized process for informal discussion or formal protest of your valuation or tax amount. If you needed to resolve a dispute, you were required to visit each tax office. There was no uniformity in appraisal methods, the frequency of reappraisals, or the qualification for appraisers. There were even differences in what types of property were placed on the various tax rolls.
The solution was the creation of a centralized agency in each county, tasked with the appraisal of property for ad valorem tax purposes. These central appraisal districts were required to appraise each taxable property at market value and to reappraise at least once every three years. A state oversight board (now the Property Tax Assistance Division of the Comptroller’s office) required the creation of appraisal review boards charged with hearing taxpayers’ appeal protests. A tax code was written that prescribed appraisal standards and taxpayer appeal procedures and guaranteed each appraisal district was regularly reviewed by a state agency.
Montgomery County Facts:
As one of the oldest towns in Texas, Montgomery began as a trading post in 1826 and was charted in 1837.
Montgomery was the first county seat of Montgomery County and was the third county formed under the Republic of Texas.
It is also recognized as the birthplace of the Texas Lone Star Flag.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an appraisal district
Each Texas county is served by an appraisal district that determines the value of all the county’s real and personal property. Generally, a local government that collects property taxes, such as a county, city, and school district, is a member of the appraisal district.
What is a taxing entity?
Taxing entities are the local government entities such as cities, hospital districts, junior colleges, and municipal utility districts. Taxing entities provide services to the taxpayers they service such as schools, roads, police, fire, and other services taxpayers expect.
By what authority is my property taxed?
Property is taxed by the authority of the Texas Constitution. There are five principles by the Constitution for property taxes in Texas.
1. Taxes must be equal and uniform. No single property or type of property should pay more than its fair share.
2. Property must be appraised on its current market value meaning the price that it would sell for on the open market when both the buyer and seller seek the best price and neither is under pressure to buy or sell.
3. Each property in a county must have a single appraised value. This is guaranteed using the county appraisal districts.
4. All property is taxable unless federal or state law exempts it from the tax.
5. Property owners have a right to reasonable notice of increases in their appraised property value.