Pay 2011 Property Tax Now – It Only Gets Worse After July 2

May 30, 2012

Property owners who have not paid their 2011 taxes by July 2 will incur a large increase in their bill on July 3, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners said today.

He urged those taxpayers who cannot pay the entire bill to enter into an installment agreement to avoid having a substantial penalty added to the total.

“Taxpayers delinquent on July 3 will see their bill will go up by more than 20 percent that day,” Sumners said.  “What’s worse, on July 3, by law, the tax office must turn over all delinquent accounts to the collection attorneys of the more than 60 taxing jurisdictions we work with.”

For example, a tax bill of $100 in January grows to $115 in June, with $15 penalty and interest. On July 3, it grows to $142, with an additional $27 in penalty and interest.

“Taxpayers who can’t pay their entire bill can avoid the additional 20 percent penalty by entering into an installment agreement,” Sumners explained.

Payments can be made in monthly installments through October.

“This can be done as late as July 2, but please do not wait until the last minute,” he said.

Harris County taxpayers may sign up for an installment payment agreement at any of the 15 tax office branches on or before July 2. They also may request an agreement via e-mail at tax-office@tax.hctax.net, by calling 713-368-2000, faxing a request to 713-368-2219 or by mailing a request to Harris County Tax Office, P.O. Box 4663, Houston, TX 77210-4663.

Under the agreement, the signed first payment coupon and the first payment must be delivered in person on or before July 2 or postmarked July 2 or sooner.

Today, the tax office mailed more than 90,000 delinquent tax notices informing taxpayers of an additional 15-20 percent collection penalty if they don’t pay by July 2.

The mailing includes several thousand special notices to homeowners who are over 65 or disabled. These notices include a Harris County Appraisal District form to request a property tax deferral, which allows these homeowners to delay payment of their property taxes and prevents any property tax foreclosure while they live in the home.

Active military personnel may also qualify for a deferral or waiver.

If the payment is being made online, the transaction must be completed by 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time on July 2.

The tax office accepts full or partial payment of property taxes.

Taxpayers may use any combination of credit cards and/or e-Checks for payment online at www.hctax.net. Credit card and e-Check payments are also accepted by touch-tone telephone by calling 713-368-CARD (2273). American Express, Discover, MasterCard and VISA credit or debit cards are all accepted.

VISA consumer debit cards will be charged a transaction fee of $3.95. A non-refundable transaction fee of 2.15 percent will be added to all other credit/debit card payments processed. E-checks are free.

If taxpayers wish to arrange for an installment agreement or a military deferral or waiver, or have any other questions regarding their property tax account, taxpayers should contact the tax office at 713-368-2000.

Taxpayers who are over 65 or disabled and wish to defer payments of their property taxes should complete the property tax deferral form enclosed with the notice and send it to the Harris County Appraisal District or call HCAD at 713-957-7800.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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