The Property Tax
The annual property tax bills will be sent out by the city for the current year. A tax assessment notice is usually distributed in August already whereas the final tax bill will be delivered to property owners in the last week of October of every year. Often there are questions about how they are being calculated and what the single items mean. This page should allow for a better understanding.
First of all the city will determine the total tax budget needed. After that the values of all properties will be assessed. The city administration consists of different authorities, e.g. the authority responsible for police and fire departments, schools, libraries, waste removal, mosquito control, water management, waterways etc. that all show their own portion of the taxes in the bill.
Let's assume that the total planned city budget is $280 million for the next year and that the assessed value of all properties within the city boundaries is $20 billion. The budget is being divided by the total value which results in a so called millage rate of 0.014. We further assume that your property is being assessed at $250,000 by the General Appraiser. This amount is being multiplied with the millage rate: $250,000 x 0.014 = $3,500. Your property tax will then be $3,500 per year. The General Appraiser only assesses the value of the properties, but not the millage rate. In the tax bill you will see all the single line item positions.
All final tax bills will be sent to the owners recorded address during the last week of October. They are due on March 31st of the following year. You can save money by paying early. The city offers you a discount of 4% just by settling the account in November. Each month you will be able to deduct 1% less until you have to pay the net amount in March. If you have not paid by the end of March you risk that the city will issue a tax certificate to get the money from somebody else. To not lose any interest in your property you have to buy back this certificate from that person including fees and the additional interest accumulated.
Line items of the Property Tax Bill:
1. Account number, name, site address and recorded address of the owner
2. Legal description of the property
3. Market assessed and cap assessed value and deductions for homestead, blind people, widows etc. and the final taxable value
4. Amounts due depending on date of payment
5. (Ad valorem=value is the base) Taxes of levying authorities and millage rates as well as exemptions and final amount
6. (Non-Ad valorem=size is the base) Assessments for fire service, solidwaste and financed city utilities but also stormwater fees and mowing fees for unimproved lots
7. Total amount of taxes if paid by March 31st of the following year
You can pay your property taxes on the tax collector's website any time at http://www.leetc.com.
Taxes are based on a full calendar year; January 1st - Dec 31st.