Tax Collection Information

Guide to Understanding the Property Tax Process

The material in this guide has been adapted from the Taxpayers' Rights, Remedies and Responsibilities pamphlet published by the State Comptroller of Public Accounts, and from various publications issued by the Harris County Appraisal District.

The Basics

Property taxes are local taxes. Local officials value your property, set your tax rates, and collect your taxes. However, Texas law governs how the process works.

In Harris County, property taxes are based on tax rates set by the various local governments (taxing units) that levy a tax and on the value of the property. The valuation or appraisal process, which is performed by the Harris County Appraisal District, serves to allocate the tax burden among property owners.

The property tax provides more tax dollars for local government services in Texas than any other source. Property taxes help pay for public schools, city streets, county roads, police, fire protection, and many other services. For example, in 1997, property taxes levied by taxing units in Harris County generated more than $3.4 billion in revenue.