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BROWNSVILLE — Tax bills are hitting the mailboxes.
This year, homestead exemptions are climbing from $40,000 to $100,000 — if voters approve a proposition in a Nov. 7 election.
At his office, Cameron County Tax Assessor-Collector, Antonio “Tony” Yzaguirre Jr.’s mailing out about 219,233 tax statements for the 2023 tax year.
“If taxpayers have not received a tax bill, they can pay their taxes online at cameroncountytx.gov/tax or at any of our 10 branch offices county-wide,” he said in a news release.
The tax bills, including 203,479 real estate property accounts and 15,754 personal property accounts, are hitting mailboxes on behalf of Cameron County and all of other county taxing jurisdictions.
“Cameron County now has the responsibility of collecting all property taxes for every taxing body within the county,” the news release said.
This year, the county’s total levy stands at $557,888,296.52.
The Texas Property Tax Code states that taxpayers are responsible for payment of property taxes regardless of whether they received a tax statement.
Taxpayers may find their property tax balance at cameroncountytx.gov/tac.
“Property tax statements are mailed early to allow taxpayers to take advantage of the tax discounts that are offered by certain districts,” the release said.
“We urge the public to take advantage of tax discounts available to property owners who pay their taxes early,” Yzaguirre said.
For those districts offering discounts, payments made during October will receive 3% discounts, 2% discounts during November and 1% discounts during December.
While there are no discounts for taxes paid in January, taxes for 2023 become due on Jan. 3, 2024 — and they become delinquent on Feb. 1.
Homestead exemption election
This year, the Texas Legislature passed SB 2, with Texas voters giving their approval of the property tax relief bill in a Nov. 7 election.
SB2 increased the amount of the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000.
In order for the increase to remain, voters must pass Proposition 4 on the ballot of the constitutional amendment election set for Nov. 7.
“Every registered voting taxpayer in the state of Texas will have to vote during the Nov. 7 election in order to keep this additional exemption on the tax bill,” the release said.
The Texas Legislature also gave the county tax assessor-collector the authority to include the $100,000 exemption in October, rather than in November when the voters are scheduled to vote on this amendment.
The 2023 property tax statement will include a $100,000 exemption on all school district tax accounts with a homestead exemption approved by the Cameron Appraisal District, allowing taxpayers to take advantage of the tax savings up front in October, along with the 3% discount.
“This exemption grants huge savings on school taxes for homesteaders and individuals over 65 years of age that have a homestead application on file,” Yzaguirre said.
If the voters do not vote in favor of this amendment on Nov. 7, the amendment will fail, leading the tax assessor-collector’s office to mail out additional tax statements for the balance.
“It is crucial that we all get out there and vote for Proposition 4 which increases the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000,” Yzaguirre said.
If taxpayers do not have a homestead application on file, they can submit one at the Cameron Appraisal District.
Once the application is approved, a refund may be processed on the 2023 property taxes if already paid.
Taxpayers may only have one property as their homestead in the state of Texas.
Under state law, any taxpayer applying for an over-65 exemption must have been 65 years old at the beginning of that year.
The over-65 exemption is a program designed for the elderly who are on a fixed income.
Individuals violating or making false statements regarding these sections of the Texas Property Tax Code face Class A misdemeanor charges or state jail felonies under Penal Code Section 37.10.