Understanding Your Property Taxes


Three factors are used to calculate the property taxes you pay: value, exemptions and rate. Appraising the value and granting exemptions are the responsibility of Morris County Appraisal District.  Tax rates, the primary instrument of taxation, are adopted each year by the local taxing units in which you live.

Almost all property owners in Morris County will pay taxes to at least four local taxing units: the county, the college district (Northeast Texas Community College), a city and a school district.

The Morris County Appraisal District (MCAD) is governed by a board of directors consisting of five voting members appointed by the taxing units in the county. The chief executive officer of the Appraisal District in charge of day-to-day operations is the Chief Appraiser.  Texas law requires that all property appraisals be fair, uniform and valued at market value. Morris County Appraisal Review Board (ARB) consists of 5 individuals from within the county appointed by the Appraisal District Board of Directors to hear taxpayer complaints concerning property values.  After all complaints are heard by the ARB, a roll of all properties with names, addresses, exemptions and values must be provided to the taxing units by July 25th of each year.

The governing bodies of the local taxing units (school boards, city councils, etc.) publish their Truth in Taxation information every August.  This includes the effective and rollback tax rates.  The effective rate is the rate required to produce the same revenue from the same properties taxed in both the current and previous years. It does not include new properties or new construction.  The rollback rate is the rate that would result in an increase sufficient to trigger a rollback election, currently eight percent.

By the end of the fiscal year, the local taxing units must adopt their operating budgets for the coming year and a tax rate that is projected to produce enough revenue to fund the budget. For the vast majority of taxing units, the fiscal year ends September 30, although some entities in the state have a fiscal year that ends June 30 or August 31.

The Tax Assessor-Collector takes the value data from the Appraisal District, applies the tax rates adopted by the taxing units and sends out tax statements in October of each year. Although taxpayers have until January 31 of the following calendar year to pay their property taxes without incurring penalty and interest, taxes are due upon receipt of the tax statement.

For more information, you may contact the Appraisal District or your local taxing units.